Domestic ViolencePlease do not wait to get help!
Are you stuck in an abusive relationship? Just because violence has subsided, it doesn’t mean it won’t recur. Please read on. If any of this sounds familiar, don’t wait for the next incident of abuse. There is another way.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence comes in many forms, not just physical abuse. The basic premise is the long-term destruction of an individual’s personhood – their rights, their freedoms, and their privileges. Here are a few types of abuse common in domestic violence situations. Domestic violence victims may experience one or more of the following:
- Control – Controlling behavior is a means for the abuser to maintain dominance. Checking car mileage, monitoring phone calls, invading privacy, and generally encouraging dependency.
- Abuse – which comes in multiple forms
- Physical abuse including hitting, kicking, punching, beating, choking, physical restraint, threatening to injure others, and more.
- Sexual abuse involving force, guilt, manipulation, or the complete opposite…withholding sex as a means of control.
- Verbal abuse including treats, blame, name calling, yelling, or terrorizing…as well as the opposite, refusing to talk.
- Economic abuse – controlling access to money, severely limiting allowance, no voice in how money is spent.
- Isolation – strongly connected to control, the abuser keeps the victim from seeing others, especially to keep bruises and other injuries from notice of family and friends.
- Intimidation – Also characterized as emotional abuse, this includes such behaviors as insults, constant criticizing, distorting statements, creating confusion and insecurity, humiliation, even convincing the victim she is mentally incompetent.
The Cycle of Violence
Domestic Violence affects individuals of every age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, or nationality. There is a pattern to the abuse that is cyclical in nature.
First, is the tension building stage where stress begins to build between the abused and the abuser.
Second, is the release of tension in the form of abuse, whether physical, emotional, or sexual.
Third, is the remorse and reconciliation stage. This stage is also the known as the honeymoon stage. In this stage, the abuser may be so repentant and unbelievable kind, swearing the behavior will never happen again.
Fourth, is the calm before the cycle repeats itself.
Break the Cycle
If you have been through the cycle and recognize any of the above, or you know someone trapped in an abusive relationship, don’t expect the abuser to change. Get help!
Domestic violence is a crime. If you are in physical danger, call 911 and get immediate help. If this is reconciliation stage or the calm, use it to plan your escape from the abusive cycle.
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