It is normal to get into conflicts in a relationship. However, how do you differentiate between normal conflict and domestic abuse? Domestic violence occurs when there is a disagreement between two or more intimate people. It can come in many forms and the victim may not even realize what is happening until it is too late. Whether you are in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, it matters not. Domestic violence cut across every relationship, irrespective of sexuality.
One thing that is common in every violent relationship is that the power of the relationship lies in the hands of the abuser. They can devise any means to control and hurt their partners. In some cases, the outburst of violence is often obvious at the beginning. However, in others, it starts gradually until it becomes obvious and undeniable.
Domestic violence is something that has no place in a healthy and loving relationship. Sometimes it can be so subtle that the victim maywonderwhether they are being abused or not. It doesn’t matter whether you are dating, engaged, or married, domestic abuse can occur in any kind of relationship.It usually starts from subtle threats, and then grows to verbal assaults eventually ends in violence. Victims of domestic abuse are usually broken, mentally and emotionally. It takes time to break free from the shackles of the abuse.
Recognizing domestic violence and abuse
There are different types of domestic violence or abuse. It can be sexual, physical, financial, emotional, and social. The important thing is to recognize abuse as what it is. It’s only a few domestic abuses start that with violence, they mostly start subtly and unrecognizable. The abuser grooms the victim by first of all stripping him or her of any self-worth, whichusually causes a feeling of loneliness. The consequences of domestic violence are often so extreme that sometimes the victim may not be able to break free.
This occurs whenever sexual act is forced on a partneragainst their wish. It covers nonconsensual sexual acts, rape, assault, etc. Rape is one of the most common forms of sexual abuse that abusers use to control their victims. It will affect the victim emotionally and psychologically. Rape is the oldest form of abuse used in stripping victims of their self-worth and confidence. With time and the right support, the victim may overcome it.
This is usually the most recognized form of abuse, because the abuser usually leaves obvious signs on the victim. If you are in a relationship that your partner is oftenbeating youthen, you are experiencing a physical abuse. It may start with a slap and thengraduate to severe beating. In this scenario, the abuser will find a way to blame the victim for his or her actions. This is the way they usually strip themselves of any blame.
A person who is controlling your finances and limiting your access tothe money is abusing you financially. What the abusers are usually after is to make the victims completely dependent on them. In other words, they want you to be asking them for money.
The reason why this abuse hurts so much is that it is often not noticed by outsiders. A person who is experiencing emotional abuse may not have a sense of self-esteem. The abuser takes away their confidence and independence. It usually comes with criticisms, verbal assaults, and belittling. Someone who is often times calling you names, looking down on you, and belittling you is abusing you emotionally.
If your partner is persistently talking you down in front of family and friends, then this is social abuse. A person who is being socially abused usuallystays away from friends and families as their abusers often intimidate and isolate them from others.
The we all have different beliefs. However, the moment your partner begins to prevent you from expressing yourreligious or cultural beliefs then,you are being spiritually abused. This oftenmakes the victim feel shameful about their own personal convictions.
Overcoming Domestic Violence and Abuse
If you are in an abusive relationship, one thing you should know is that abusers don’t change easily. It does not matter how long you endure or try to help them, they hardly changetheir attitude. The more you stay, the more it affects you emotionally and physically. You may deprive yourself of self-esteem and happiness which could eventually lead to depression. This is only if your abuser does not hurt or kill you. To overcome domestic violence and abuse, do the following:
Leave your abuser
This is the first thing you need to do. No one can force an abused person to leave because they will eventually come back. You need to decide you have had enough. Stop listening to your abuser’s words and excuses. There is no reason for abuse. Decide to leave that person today.
Safety and protection
Leaving an abusive partner can be dangerous because they do not always let their victims go. What you need to do is to seek out a domestic shelter. Call them when you are certain your abuser is not listening. You can call them in another location that is not close to your house.
After calling, you need to start preparing for your exit. Pack all your important documents into an-easy-to-access bag. Do this in such a way that your abuser won’t be able to suspect you. Keep contacting the shelter to know where to go and how to get there.
Limit your communication
Advancement of technology has made it easy to monitor a person’s movement. You need to secure your privacy in a way that your abuser is not able to track your phone or find where you are. There are certain precautions you need to take to protect yourself. Change the password of your email and social media accounts. Remove the GPS location from your car and other gadgets.
Abusive relationships will have a toll on its victims. So, once you are sure of safety, begin to seek help from a professional. Go for counseling and don’t be ashamed to share your experience as it may be the step toyour freedom.
Knowing and recognizing yourself worth
Abused victims are often stripped off ofthe essence of self-esteem. It is hard to remain confident and self-assured when someone is constantly hurting you. It is not okay to hurt someone you love. A counselor will help you overcome this doubt. Visiting families and friends that show you love and support also helps.
Domestic violence and abuse doesn’t have a place in any healthy relationship. If you are suffering any form of abuse, seek help as quick as possible. Abusers don’t easily changetheir attitude. You can only overcome domestic abuse by leaving.
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