What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is not always easy to spot. Quite often the person being abused doesn’t realise that they are suffering from abuse. Many people experience domestic violence without ever being physically abused. Sometimes they’re not sure if what is happening to them is abuse. Feeling that no one will take them seriously, or, that they are making a big deal out of nothing are common concerns. Some think that if the violence is not physical, then it is not abuse.
If you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of how your partner will react, you are being abused. Emotional abuse is an attack on your personality rather than your body.
Abuse can range from physical, emotional, to sexual and financial.
Below is a list that may help you determine if you are suffering from some form of abuse:
- Are you afraid of your partner?
- Do you feel isolated? Are you cut you off from family and friends?
- Is your partner jealous and possessive?
- Does your partner humiliate or insult you?
- Does your partner verbally abuse you?
- Does your partner say you are useless and couldn’t cope without him/her?
- Does he/she physically hurt you? Does he/she shove, slap, punch or kick you?
- Has he/she threatened to hurt you or people close to you?
- Does your partner constantly criticize you?
- Does your partner have sudden changes of mood, which dominate the household?
- Is he/she charming one minute and abusive the next? Like Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde?
- Does your partner control your money?
- Do you change your behaviour to avoid triggering an attack?
- Are you unsure of your own judgement?
- Does he/she damage your possessions?
- Does he/she smash up the furniture?
- Does he/she tell you what to wear or how to do your hair?
Emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse.
Abuse is any behaviour that is designed to control and conquer another human being, through the use of fear, humiliation, and verbal or physical assaults. Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased.
Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of “guidance,” “teaching,” or “advice,” the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and traces of personal value. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting than physical ones.