Pro Sports Wives: Signs of Domestic Abuse & Violence

Did you know domestic violence affects 1 out of 3 women worldwide? Domestic (also called spousal) abuse occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. When this domestic abuse includes physical violence OR violent threats it is referred to as domestic violence. As a [pro athlete’s] wife, it is extremely important for YOU to recognize the signs of domestic violence and abuse due to the alarming trend of offenses of male athletes.

The media has reported on countless male athletes who have perpetrated violent offenses against their wives or girlfriends. Research has not definitively proven domestic violence and abuse are higher in male athletes OR if they are highlighted because of their status. But to give you an idea of statistics, in 2010 Jeff Benedict, an English professor at Southern Virginia University released a thorough examination of arrests of professional and college athletes within a 6 month period. He found that out of 125 athletes arrested, domestic violence cases accounted for nearly 20%.

Domestic abuse often escalates from verbal abuse and threats to actual physical violence or domestic violence. Many women may not recognize abuse if it does not come in the form of physical violence. Sexual abuse is also a form of physical abuse. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging psychologically by destroying your self-worth, which leads to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Financial abuse is also a form of emotional abuse.

Below is a list of some common signs of domestic violence and abuse to raise YOUR awareness of this epidemic and how it may possibly be affecting YOU.

Signs of Domestic Violence:

Your spouse or partner:

  • Hurts you, or threatens to hurt or kill you
  • Has a bad and unpredictable tempter
  • Forces you to have sex
  • Destroys your belongings
  • Threatens to take your children away

Signs of Abuse:


  • Feel afraid most of the time around your partner
  • Are regularly humiliated or yelled at by your partner
  • Are criticized and put down by your partner
  • Are blamed for your partner’s own abusive behavior
  • Are kept from seeing your friends or family
  • Have limited access to money, the phone, or the car
Porsha Williams, LAMFT Pwilliams@

Porsha Jones, LAMFT

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