Family or Household Members:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Dating or former dating relationship
- Adults related by blood or marriage
- Biological or legal parent-child relationship
Acts of Violence & Series/Behavior
Acts of violence & series of behaviors to include: intimidation, threats, psychological abuse and isolation. Abuse is any act used to gain power or control over another person. There are several types of abuse to include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Economic abuse
Battery and abuse occur among people of all races, socio-economic classes, religious affiliations, occupations and educational backgrounds. The responsibility for the violence resides with the abuser, and it’s a learned behavior. But with help the abuser can learn how to become non-violent. No one deserves to be mistreated or abused regardless of situations or circumstances.
According to statistics 85% of women ages 15-44 years of age in the U.S injuries are related to acts of domestic violence. Witnessing violence is the #1 factor for transmitting violence to the next generation. Disturbing but true fact police respond better for strangers than for Domestic Violence victims.
Often times women are involved in abusive relationships and are unaware only because it’s not physical. I’m here to inform you that it doesn’t have to be physical to be classified as abuse. It is a lot easier to spot physical abuse if you aren’t too naïve to the fact (great idea for separate post).
Physical & Sexual abuse include but is not limited to: hair pulling, biting, shaking, pushing, pinching, choking, kicking, confinement, slapping, hitting, punching, using weapons, forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching in public, deprivation of food or sleep, among many other physical acts.
Now what may be a little more difficult for someone to identify as abuse would psychological/mental, emotional, and economic. Many have said that psychological and emotional abuse is worst than physical abuse. And I can just about agree with that, because it takes longer to heal that hurt; or to erase the mean, evil words spoken to you over and over again out of your memory. A black-eye or a busted lip can heal in a matter of days, but to try and clear your head from the constant sound of someone degrading or belittling you takes more time and effort to heal.
Psychological & emotional abuse include but is not limited to: insults, name calling, playing mind games, making you feel bad about yourself, putting you down in front of family & friends, humiliation, making all the big decisions, making you feel guilty, being the one to define the roles of men & women, treating you like a servant, making you think that maybe you’re crazy, and afraid to communicate your feelings and needs.
Economic abuse maybe the most difficult to identify, but it’s when the abuser has control over the victim’s access to economic resources, taking away their capacity to support themselves & are forced to depend on the perpetrator financially. Signs of economic abuse include but is not limited to: preventing you from having or keeping a job; *interfering with your efforts to maintain a job by sabotaging childcare, transportation, or other arrangements;* REFUSING to work; taking your money; not including you on family decisions; making you ask for money; not allowing you access to family finances; expecting you to behave in a certain way because you are not the “Breadwinner”.
It is important to know that disagreements do occur from time to time in relationships, but domestic violence & abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to establish and maintain power & control. Abuse is never a one time event; it is actually a cycle. During this cycle the victim can often times become more vulnerable to attacks. The cycle may occur many times through out a relationship.
Cycle of Violence:
Incident- any type of abuse occurs (physical, sexual, or emotional)
Tension Building- abuser starts to get angry; abuse may begin; breakdown in communication; victim feels the need to keep the abuser calm; tension becomes too much; victim feels like they are walking on egg-shells
Making-up: abuser may apologize for the abuse, and may promise that it will never happen again; abuser may blame victim for causing the abuse; abuser may deny abuse took place or say it was not as bad as the victim claims
Calm: abuser acts as if the abuse never happened; physical abuse may not be taking place; promises made during making-up may be fulfilled; victim may hope that the abuse is over; abuser may give gifts to victim
It is important to know that the cycle may repeat many times within a relationship, and each stage may last for different time frames. Each cycle can take any where from a number of hours to a number of years to occur. It all depends on the abuser and their hunger or sense for control. Not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Generally, as time goes on, the ‘making up’ and ‘calm’ stages began to diminish, and disappear altogether.
Awareness is the key to prevention. A good safety plan and support system is essential to ensure a non-deadly or lethal way out of an abusive relationship. Knowing the warning signs of an abusive relationship can be key to survival. Never under estimate your abuser, and know that the first 24-48 hours of removing yourself from the grips of an abuser are the most crucial. If you or someone you know are involved in an abusive relationship, please Do Not Hesitate to reach out for help. You are not in this alone. There are 24 hour hot-lines, advocates, and other resources to help you get through your difficulties. Just know that know one deserves to be mistreated or abused, and no one has to suffer in silence anymore. The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.
My references come from experience, education, and domesticviolence.org web-site. Comments and questions are welcomed. Please feel free to like, share, and follow.
Survival of the Fittest