All About Domestic Abuse and Violence
What is domestic violence and abuse?
When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in a marriage or intimate relationship to dominate and control the other.
Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” An abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.
Anyone can experience domestic violence and abuse; it does not make a distinction. Both same-sex unions and heterosexual couples can experience abuse. It affects people of various ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses. While women are more frequently the victims, abuse of all kinds, particularly verbal and emotional abuse, also affects men.
Bottom line: No matter who engages in it—a man, a woman, a teen, or an older adult—abusive behaviour is never appropriate. You ought to feel appreciated, cherished, and secure.
Indications of a violent relationship
The most striking of the numerous indicators of an abusive relationship is fear of your partner. Chances are your relationship is toxic and abusive if you feel like you have to continuously monitor what you say and do around them in order to prevent an outburst.
Other indicators include having feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, or despair, as well as a spouse who minimises you or tries to exert control over you.
Answer the following questions to evaluate whether your relationship is abusive. The likelihood that you are in an abusive relationship increases with the number of “yes” responses.
Are you in an abusive relationship?
Your inner thoughts and feelings
- feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
- avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
- feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
- believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
- wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
- feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Your partner’s belittling behavior
Does your partner:
- humiliate or yell at you?
- criticize you and put you down?
- treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
- ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
- blame you for their own abusive behavior?
- see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Sexual and physical abuse
When physical force is used against you in a way that harms or puts you in risk, this is referred to as physical abuse. Whether abuse takes place within or without the boundaries of a family, physical attack or beating is illegal. You can be shielded from a physical assault by the police, who have the legal right to do so.
Sexual abuse is any circumstance in which you are made to engage in unwelcome, risky, or demeaning sexual behaviour. Forced intercourse is an act of aggression and domestic abuse, even if it is performed by a spouse or close friend who you also have consensual sex with. Additionally, those whose partners abuse them physically and/or sexually run a higher risk of suffering life-threatening injuries or passing away.
There is a larger issue with emotional abuse than you may realise.
Physical abuse is not always present in abusive relationships. You can still be abused even if you don’t have any visible wounds. Emotional abuse affects both men and women and is just as devastating. Unfortunately, even the victim of emotional abuse frequently downplays or ignores it.
The goal of emotional abuse is to undermine your sense of independence and self-worth, leaving you with the impression that there is no way out of the relationship or that you have nothing without the abusive spouse.
Verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, accusing, and shaming is a form of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse also includes behaviours like isolation, intimidation, and control.
Threats of physical harm or other consequences if you don’t comply with the abuser’s demands are frequently included in emotional or psychological abusers’ abusive tactics.
Emotional abuse leaves behind very serious and lasting wounds. Since physical aggression can result in physical injuries that require medical attention, you could believe that it is far worse than emotional abuse. However, emotional violence can sometimes be far more harmful than physical assault.
Being abusive is a choice.
Contrary to popular belief, abusers do not lose control of their behaviour as a result of domestic violence or abuse victims. Violence and abusive behaviour are actually deliberate choices made to take control. Many different strategies are employed by perpetrators to control you and exercise their influence, including:
Dominance. Abusive people require a sense of control over the relationship. They may decide for you and your family, direct your actions, and demand that you do as they say. You could be treated like a servant, a child, or even like a possession by your abuser.
Humiliation. Abusers will use every possible measures to undermine your sense of worth or cause you to believe that you are somehow flawed. After all, you’re less inclined to leave if you think you’re useless and that no one else will want you. The purpose of using insults, name-calling, humiliating, and public put-downs is to undermine your self-worth and make you feel helpless.
Isolation. An abusive relationship will isolate you from the outside world to make you more dependent on them. You might not be able to see your loved ones or friends, or even get to work or school, because of them. To do anything, go anywhere, or visit anyone, you might need to get permission first.
Abusers CAN regulate their behaviour; they routinely do so.
Abusers are selective about who they hurt. They don’t slander, abuse, or otherwise annoy everyone in their lives who upsets them. They typically reserve their worst treatment for those who are closest to them and whom they claim to love.
When and where to abuse are carefully considered by abusers. They restrain their behaviour until no one else is present to see it. They may appear to be acting normally in public, yet the moment you are alone with them, they may lash out violently.
When it is advantageous to them, abusers might quit being abusive. The majority of abusers are not chaotic. In reality, when it’s advantageous for them to do so (such as when the police arrive or their boss calls), they are able to promptly halt their abusive behaviour.
Abusers who are violent frequently strike in places where they won’t be seen. Many physically violent abusers deliberately aim their kicks and punches where the bruises and marks won’t show, as opposed to acting out in a blind anger.
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