Signs to look out for when it comes to domestic violence

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Domestic violence happens every day, sometimes right here in our backyard. In 2019 Working Against Violence served more than 2,000 clients.

If someone is a victim or knows someone who is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, working against violence is a good resource. (KOTA)

With a holiday like Valentine's Day on the way, the development director for Working Against Violence says abusers will often use this time as a way to hold power over their victims.

"Especially Valentine's Day when it's focused around love and gifts and those types of things. They will use that to say hey look I did this one good thing for you," says the development director for WAVI, Kristina Simmons.

Simmons says acts like giving the victim gifts, could overshadow the abuser's bad behavior.

"Perpetrators are looking for a victim; it's a grooming process. They're going into a relationship, and they're going to shower you with gifts and words and love, and then slowly it's isolation," says Simmons.

Abuse comes in different forms like verbal, financial, emotional, and even over social media.

"Having control over the account, knowing your passwords. I want to know who you're talking to. I want to know what you're saying about me," says Simmons.

Most of the time, the victim will not open up to others because they might feel ashamed or embarrassed, but there are signs friends and family can look for.

"Are you talking to that loved one or that friend less and less? Are you seeing them less and less? Are you noticing any changes in their behavior," says Simmons.

Whether you're a victim or you know someone that has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, it's important to remember that if you do need help, WAVI is a great resource.

And the best piece of advice for the victims and the survivors:

"You're valued, you're loved, and you deserve to be in a safe relationship," says Simmons.

If you or someone you know is need of help you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or head to the WAVI.