There are many things aware of and to commit to memory if you are worried that you, a friend, or a family member may be a victim of abuse. Why do I include “you?” Would the victim of abuse not recognize that there is mistreatment going on? What a silly statement, right? Not so!
Some forms of domestic abuse exist that are not nearly as noticeable on the surface as the physical battering of domestic violence victims. There are some things that victims often don’t realize, or perhaps choose to ignore, but everyone should get a few facts internalized and perhaps save some anguish for yourself or a loved one in the future.
1. Although the majority of domestic abuse victims are women, many men are abused by a partner, too. Often they will not be verbal about it due to the feeling of dishonor or shame. Don’t assume it only happens to females.
2. Verbal abuse damages the spirit. Often the victim will start believing what the abuser says about them, totally crashing self esteem in the victim.
3. Emotional abuse includes things such as the abuser shaming, belittling, mocking, or embarrassing the victim. This can happen within the walls of the home only or it can be carried over to occur in public.
4. Psychological abuse includes insults being given to the victim about his or her looks, weight, cooking, intelligence, housekeeping, etc. Anything that will effectively cut down the victim is fair game for the abuser to use.
5. Financial abuse frequently includes the abuser making sure that he or she has full control of the household’s finances. The victim is never permitted access to enough money that might assist them in leaving the situation.
6. Sexual abuse includes criticizing the victim’s sexual performance.
7. Abusers can be virtually anyone, but it has been found that many people who end up abusing a partner share a few characteristics. He (or she!) will blame the victim for abuses that occur, they may have poor communication skills, they have trouble controlling urges, they have a need to be in control at all times, and they often suffer from low self esteem.
8. Be aware when dealing with an abuse victim that a crushed spirit due to emotional abuse is often as damaging as physical blows.
9. Things such as being restrained when trying to leave an abusive relationship, having things thrown in anger, and finding doors locked to prevent one from leaving the house or scene are also forms of abuse.
10. Sexual abuse may include groping or grabbing to which the recipient does not give approval.
11. The emotional parts of abuse will include the abuser mocking the victim by saying things such as they are a failure, they would not be able to survive on their own, no one else could possibly love them, etc.
12. Threats play a big part in domestic abuse. Threats to hurt the victim or others involved such as children are often the reason the victim doesn’t leave the situation.
13. Abusers will often not want the victim to get out of the house. It happens little by little many times, but eventually seeing friends and family will be forbidden or severely limited.
14. Phone calls to family or friends come into the same category as #13.
15. Psychological abuse may include impractical expectations that the abuser tries to force upon the victim.
16. Blaming family and friends for the domestic “problems” may be used as a way to keep the victim from seeing or speaking to other people.
17. The victim of financial abuse is repeatedly given only a small amount of money as an “allowance.”
18. Emotional abuse may include the abuser ignoring the victim for long periods of time.
19. It is vital to remember that there is no excuse for domestic abuse and that it is *not* the victim’s fault, as the abuser would have them believe.
20. In order to feel in control of a situation, the abuser will throw things around, break things, hit walls, etc. so that the victim will be terrorized.
21. Domestic abuses are not anger management problems. They are about control that the abuser wishes to command.
22. Domestic abuse is not to be pushed aside by the victim as “a normal disagreement” between partners. It is definitely not normal, nor should it be thought of as an ordinary way of life.
23. It is usually very difficult for a victim to actually leave an abusive situation. They are afraid very often, of the abuser turning even more violent if they try to leave. If the victim leaves, control is taken from the abuser and that can turn deadly, so be sure the proper precautions are taken.
24. If you are helping someone escape an abusive situation, remember that it may be the most dangerous time for them, both physically and emotionally.
25. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Request to be escorted away from the situation by police if there is danger to you. If you don’t have family or friends to stay with, know where a shelter for abuse victims is located.
26. Don’t be afraid to contact your police department for your safety. If you get a restraining order, keep in mind that although it is a good idea to do so, it will not in itself keep the abuser away if he or she intends to do harm.
27. If physical violence has taken place, or is possible, be sure to notify family members and friends. It will not be an easy thing to do, but if they are in any kind of danger, they need to be informed. This applies to threats as well.
28. Physical abuse that includes beating, hitting, choking, and so on, is often followed with promises by the abuser to “get better” and “stop hurting” the victim.
29. Do NOT think that “only” emotional or verbal abuse is nothing to be concerned about. It can escalate into physical violence rapidly.
30. We all watch television or listen to the news. We hear the interviews with neighbors saying “he seemed so nice and normal” or “they seemed to be a happy family” after a tragedy occurs. Don’t make the same mistake of waiting for something deadly to happen before anyone knew something was wrong.
By- Katharinaere are ma