Do you know someone living with an abusive partner, male or female? Recognize the signs. And do something. Do all you can to help them find a way out.
Domestic violence occurs in every culture, country, and age group. It affects people from all socioeconomic walks of life. It affects both males and females. Most of the time domestic violence incidents are never even reported to the authorities. Domestic abuse may not be so easy to identify because many victims are unwilling to admit that their situation has crossed the line or even admit they live with an out of control individual. Often a serious threat can escalate over seemingly nothing.
To those who have a loved one in this type of environment, know how to recognize the signs when your son or daughter, your cousin or aunt and uncle, is enduring abuse at the hands of another — and help them get out. No one, whether male or female, young or old, should have to live with an abusive partner. No one.
The article below is from the Mayo Clinic. The title of the article is directed at domestic violence against men but this advice should be heeded by anyone suffering from abuse, no matter the gender of the victim. As family members, you should do everything you can to recognize the signs of stress from a loved one and encourage that person to seek help to remove themselves from the situation. If you know someone who is struggling in this type of living arrangement, your actions could be the difference in whether or not they stay safe.
The Mayo Clinic defines domestic violence as: Intimate partner violence — occurs between people in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. It can happen in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
It might be harder to recognize the potential ugly behavior as domestic violence issue because in the early stages of a relationship, a partner might seem attentive, generous and protective in ways that later turn out to be controlling and scary. Initially, the abuse may appear as isolated incidents. The partner may apologize over and over and promise not to ever do it again.
But that apology never lasts for long. The behavior escalates and continues to build. Controlling behavior returns twofold. This is still damaging to you, whether male or female, and the children in the household.
From the website, A Safe Place: People who abuse often use the children to try to control their partners. For example, abusers often threaten to harm the children to stop their partners from leaving them.
Below is the list of signs directly from the Mayo Clinic that you should NEVER ignore.
You might be experiencing domestic violence if your partner:
- Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
- Prevents you from going to work or school
- Stops you from seeing family members or friends
- Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear
- Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
- Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Threatens you with violence or a weapon
- Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets
- Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
- Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it
From HelpGuide.Org: Women rarely inflict physical abuse in the same way as men. However, it can still happen. Examples of the ways women perpetrate physical abuse include:
- Harming pets
- Destroying possessions
- Striking out with fists or feet, pushing
- Using weapons, such as guns or knives, poison to make you ill
An abusive wife or partner may hit, kick, bite, punch, spit, throw things, or destroy your possessions. To make up for any difference in strength, she may attack you while you’re asleep or otherwise catch you by surprise. She may also use a weapon, such as a gun or knife, or strike you with an object, abuse or threaten your children, or harm your pets. Of course, domestic abuse is not limited to violence. Your spouse or partner may also:
- Verbally abuse you, belittle you, or humiliate you in front of friends, colleagues, or family, or on social media sites.
- Be possessive, act jealous, or harass you with accusations of being unfaithful.
- Take away your car keys or medications, try to control where you go and who you see.
- Try to control how you spend money or deliberately default on joint financial obligations.
- Make false allegations about you to your friends, employer, or the police, or find other ways to manipulate and isolate you.
- Threaten to leave you and prevent you from seeing your kids if you report the abuse.
Children and abuse
Domestic violence affects children, even if they’re just witnesses. If you have children, remember that exposure to domestic violence puts them at risk of developmental problems, psychiatric disorders, problems at school, aggressive behavior and low self-esteem. You might worry that seeking help could further endanger you and your children, or that it might break up your family. Fathers and mothers might fear that their abusive partners will threaten to take their children away from them. However, getting help is the best way to protect your children — and yourself.
Break the cycle
If you’re in an abusive situation, you might recognize this pattern:
- Your abuser threatens violence.
- Your abuser strikes you.
- Your abuser apologizes, promises to change and offers gifts.
- The cycle repeats itself.
Typically the violence becomes more frequent and severe over time. Do NOT ignore it. They won’t change no matter how many times they promise. The abuser will try to haggle and make amends but they do little to actually change. Behavior won’t change.
Domestic violence can leave you depressed and anxious. You might be more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs or engage in unprotected sex. Remember, if you’re being abused, you aren’t to blame — and help is available. Start by telling someone about the abuse, whether it’s a friend, relative, health care provider or other close contact. At first, you might find it hard to talk about the situation. However, you’ll also likely feel relief and receive much-needed support. Bottom line is to seek help. Getting yourself out of the situation is the first step to helping your children.
As you can tell, this subject is near and dear to me . I hope all of you will do everything you can to put an end to any form of domestic violence in your community. All we can do is try to encourage a loved one to see the light and leave behind an abusive home life, once and for all, for a better existence that doesn’t include violent, abusive outbursts. If you have any advice as to how to get the victim to listen, I’d love to hear from you.