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Shedding Light on Lesser-Known Forms of Domestic Violence



Often, we people think about domestic violence (DV), they often think of the images of bruises, black eyes, and physical injury - a narrative perpetuated by the media. However, here at Courageous Fire, LLC, our mission is to bring light to DV that extends beyond the conventional understanding of DV. We want to bring understanding to the lesser-known types of domestic violence, such as spiritual abuse, digital abuse, and revenge porn. In a survey conducted during one of our DV Awareness Training sessions, we learned that many individuals were unaware of these forms of abuse.


The Unseen Faces of DV


Spiritual/Religious Abuse (62.5% unaware):


Spiritual abuse involves ridiculing the victim's beliefs, forcing religious practices, or using spirituality to justify abusive behaviors. Imagine having your sacred texts twisted to convince you that your suffering aligns with the will of your god. This form of abuse is both confusing and manipulative, making victims feel trapped within their spiritual commitments.


Fortunately, there is help available. Nisaa African Family Services in Des Moines, Iowa, is a culturally responsive crisis agency that provides support to Black women facing DV. To access their services, contact us here at Courageous Fire, LLC, at 515-428-0077 and ask to be connected to Nisaa.


Digital Abuse and Revenge Porn (43.75% unaware):


Digital abuse involves using technology to control, harass, or intimidate a partner, while revenge porn entails the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. These forms of abuse can have profound emotional and psychological effects.


Support and Empowerment


We believe in providing comprehensive support to DV survivors. Here are additional resources to help victims on their journey to healing:


Mental Health Support: Connect with trauma-informed therapists from the CFire Recommended Black Therapist List. Visit https://www.iowahealthieststate.com/back-the-black, go to Get Resources, click on General Resources, click on "Black Therapists Recommended by Courageous Fire LLC". Prioritize a conversation with potential therapists to ensure a good fit before starting formal therapy.


Safety Planning: The National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) is an invaluable resource for creating personalized safety plans. Visit their website at thehotline.org for 24/7 support.


Empowerment through the Arts™: A service of Courageous Access, victims and survivors can break the cycle of DV with the Empowerment through the Arts™ program. This 6-week initiative, available for sign-up, has proven effective in preventing survivors from re-entering abusive cycles. Cohorts are currently being signed up for 4-6 Beautifuls in February - March 2024 and May - June 2024. You can sign up here.


Life Beyond Victimization - Abuse Reparations


At Courageous Fire, LLC, we embrace the concept of abuse reparations—a process we coined to describe this process:

  • A woman is victimized by DV

  • She puts distance between herself and the abusive relationship

  • She begins to have what we like to call awakenings - she discovers some specific type of clever resilience she possesses now that either did not exist prior to the abuse OR has been strengthened through the experience

  • She decides how she will combine her unique talents and that clever resilience into some type of business, project, initiative, etc.

  • She. Gets. PAID = Abuse Reparations

Survivors discover their resilience and talents, and use them to create these businesses or initiatives. This process leads to financial independence and empowerment.


It’s time to broaden understanding around domestic violence. By shining a light on these lesser-known forms of abuse, we empower victims and survivors to understand the abuse they’re experiencing and break free from the shadows - allowing them to reclaim their lives. Together, we can foster a community that supports and uplifts those affected by domestic violence.


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