Experts offer ways to deal with a toxic relationship

What are the signs? How can you get out before it’s too late?
(Source: Gray TV file photo illustration)
(Source: Gray TV file photo illustration)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 4:46 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The disappearance of Gabby Petito has reopened an important conversation about toxic relationships.

What are the signs?

How can you get out before it’s too late?

“It’s very traumatizing. I didn’t sleep the entire week even after he was arrested,” domestic abuse survivor Stephanie Rogers told KSLA News 12 just months after her ex-boyfriend was put in jail.

“He’ll say ‘I’m going to pick up something and knock you out with it’.”

Rogers described the experience as traumatizing. Now her goal is to be a voice for others.

She wants people to know the signs of a toxic relationship.

“If a person constantly says ‘I’m going to kill you’ and they can describe in detail how they are going to take your life, to me 90% of that will and can come true.”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. That equates to more than 10 million women and men each year.

A spokeswoman for Project Celebration, a place where domestic abuse victims can get help, said the warning signs are simple.

“The dynamics of domestic violence are pretty much the same across the board. It starts with jealousy, controlling behavior and then there is isolation,” Petrina Jenkins said.

A study that WalletHub published in March found that six states, including three in the ArkLaTex, tied for having the highest female homicide rate. They are Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Missouri and Alaska.

In Louisiana, 35.9% of women and 35.2% of men experience physical violence in their relationships.

Jenkins said it’s our responsibility as a community to have these conversations.

“That’s why it’s so important that you have resources, law enforcement that is trained to recognize the signs, and have resources on hand.”

Looking for resources? Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline here.

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