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Warning Signs Of Abuse

October 29, 2003, 9:55 PM by Stacy Bauer

On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. That abuse can be stopped before it's too late if we all look closely for the warning signs. For eight years, Stef Sage has helped victims of domestic violence at the Children's Inn, the abuse shelter in Sioux Falls.

Stef Sage says, "Sioux Falls has cases of domestic violence. It's not just Sioux Falls, it's the surrounding area as well."

Sage says victims often are silent about what's happening, but there are almost always clues.

Sage says, "There is always the obvious signs, the physical signs, bruising and things like that."

But some signs of abuse aren't physical. They include: becoming distant and cut off from family and friends; a lack of interest in favorite activities or hobbies; and being constantly checked up by a spouse or boyfriend.

Sage adds, "The power of control is a huge part of the relationships. Unfortunately, it's hard to even recognize some of those things because of that when they have that power and control they are able to slowly take away the things people were able to do before."

Sage says if a victim is afraid to speak out, it may be up to a friend or loved one to ask them what is going on in their relationship and to let them know there is help available.

Sage says, "To let them know that they deserve to be safe."

Many people here in KELOLAND do need help. Last year, almost four thousand women and men went to the Children's Inn for help escaping abusive situations. If you or someone you know needs help, call the Children's Inn at 605-338-4880 or toll free at 1-888-378-7398.

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