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In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski released a public service announcement (PSA) on Monday to help possible victims of abuse recognize the warning signs.
"Ask yourself honestly, is my partner controlling? Does he or she check my phone, emails and social media without permission?" questioned Chief Lusczynski in the video message shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Sheriff Chronister further emphasized that an abusive relationship does not always start with physical abuse. He asked viewers to question if their partner is also controlling who they spend time with, what they wear, what they eat or how they spend their money.
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The control behavior noted in the video can often lead to more violent behavior.
"Get help," said Sheriff Chronister. "The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to putting a stop to family violence and sexual assault, but it starts with you speaking up."
Sheriff Chronister advised anyone who believes they are in an abusive relationship to call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.