Abuse

abus1Girls watch out!

Signs that you’re in an abusive relationship    

 

There are many signs of an abusive relationship.  The most telling sign is fear of your partner / mate.  If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner/mate-constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.  Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

 To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below.  The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.

abuse2Do you: ( Your inner thoughts and feelings)

  •   Feel afraid of your partner/ mate much of the time?                            
  •   Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner/mate?
  •   Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner/mate?
  •   Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  •   Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  •   Feel emotionally numb or helpless?

abuse3Does your partner/mate: (violent behaviour or threats)

  •   Have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  •   Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  •   Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  •   Threat to commit suicide if you leave?
  •   Force you to have sex?
  •   Destroy your belongings?

abuse11Does your partner/mate: (belittling behaviour)

  •   Humiliate or yell at you?
  •  Criticize you and put you down?
  •  Threat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • Blame you for his own abusive behaviour?
  •  See you as property or sex object, rather than as a person?

abu15Does your partner/mate: (controlling behaviour)

  •  Act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Control where you go or what you do?
  • Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • Constantly check up on you?

 The first step to ending the abusive relationship is noticing and acknowledging the warning signs and symptoms of the violence and abuse. 

An abuser doesn’t “play fair.”  Abusers use fear, guilt, shame and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb. Your abuser may also threaten, hurt you or hurt those around you.

It can happen to anybody and while girls and women are more commonly victimized, boys and men also suffer from verbal and emotional abuse and may be even more ashamed to seek help.

Psychological, emotional and sexual abuses are less obvious than physical abuse.

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming, isolation, intimidation, and controlling behaviour with threat of physical violence. It’s the weapons to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.

The scars if emotional abuses are very real and they run deep.  If you let it happen once and twice, you’ll see it worsens over time, often escalating to physical battery.  The abuser very often escalates form pushing and shoving to hitting in places where the bruises and marks will not show.

Sexual abuse is any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity.

Economic or financial abuse

Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and he/she will frequently use money to do so.

Economic or financial abuse includes:abu16

  • Rigidly controlling your finances.
  • Withholding money or credit cards.
  • Making you account for every penny you spend.
  • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
  • Restricting you to an allowance.
  • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
  • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly)
  • Stealing from you or taking your money.

 

Abusive behaviour and violence is deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to control you and it’s not loss of control.

Abusers use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their power:

  • Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his possession.
  • You abuser may isolate you in order to increase your dependence on him. In the end, you have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.
  • Intimidate you to scare you into submission.
  • Abusers are very good at making excuses for acts. They will blame it on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse.  They may say it was only small thing, deny that happened and blame that it was your fault for his abusive behaviour.

 

Common pattern / cycle of violence:

abuse7 abuse16 abuse10 abu8

  • Abuse – Hits her with aggressive, belittling, or violent behaviour to show “who is the boss.”
  • Guilt – After he hits her, he experience self-directed guilt.  He says, “I’m sorry for hitting you.”  “I lost my temper.” What he doesn’t say is, “Because I might get caught.”
  • Excuses –he rationalizes his behaviour by saying, you are having an affair with someone.
  • “Normal” behaviour – In order to keep the victim, he become sweet and reassuring her that he will not hurt her again, to give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
  • Fantasy and planning – Fantasizing how to abuse, he spends time thinking what you’ve done wrong and how he’ll make you pay.  Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse to reality.
  • Set-up – He create a situation where he can justify abusing you.  For example, he tells her to go to the store to get something.  What he withholds from her is that she has a certain amount of time to do the shopping.  When she is held up in traffic and is a few minutes’ late, he feels completely justified in assaulting her because “you’re having an affair with the store clerk.”

                                                      Get Out!

                                        You Deserve Better!

Abused and battered women/girls have low self-esteem and are withdrawn, anxious, depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, confused or suicidal.

Speak up if you suspect violence or abuse:

Do: ask, Expressing your concern, Listen and validate, Offer help, Support her decisions.

Don’t: wait for her to come to you, judge or blame, pressure her, give advice, place conditions on your support.

Expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save her life.

 


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