When domestic abuse is the topic, people often think of domestic violence only. However, it is important to bear in mind that domestic abuse is any attempt by a person in a marriage or any intimate relationship to dominate the other.
Domestic abuse is used for a single person and that is to acquire and retain total control over the relationship or the person. An abuser uses intimidation, fear, shame, and guilt to keep the victim weak so that he/she cannot fight back.
Domestic Abuse Can Happen to Anyone
Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate; it can happen to anybody of any age, ethnicity, economic backgrounds, and social status, within heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Although the victims are often women, there are also men who experience this type of abuse. According to the 2019 data of Australia Institute of Health and Welfare, 1 woman is killed every 9 days and 1 man is killed every 29 days by a partner.
The point is that any abusive behavior is never justifiable, whether from your husband, wife, parent, or anybody.
Signs of Domestic Abuse
Abusive relationships have many tell-tale signs, but fear is the most dominant of them all. If you constantly have to be extra cautious around them to avoid a disagreement, you could be in an unhealthy relationship.
We’ve compiled the types of domestic abuse and their signs to serve as a guide for everyone.
It is when physical force is used to injure or endanger you. This includes slapping, punching, kicking, pushing, and strangulation. You should be on guard at the very first time physical force is used on you.
Denial of food and other essentials, throwing of objects, and destruction of your property are also signs of physical abuse.
Just because two people are in an intimate relationship doesn’t mean one person can force the other to engage in a sexual activity—it is a form of sexual abuse.
Other signs are:
- Being refused to access birth control methods
- The abuser refuses to practice safe sex behavior
- Being forced in perform degrading sexual activities
Emotional abuse is probably the most overlooked type of domestic abuse because of its abstract nature. But it is important to know that the absence of wounds and bruises doesn’t mean abuse isn’t happening.
Emotional abuse can be just as destructive as other types of abuse. It diminishes your self-worth and self-confidence, making you think that you have nothing but your abusive partner.
Some signs of emotional abuse being constantly:
- Blamed for anything that goes wrong
- Ignored when you express your needs or concerns
- Treated as inferior
- Questioned for your sense of reality
- Emotionally blackmailed by suicide threats
- Monitored by the abuser through GPS tracking and checking your emails, phone calls, and social media activities
Economic or Financial Abuse
Remember that the abuser wants total control over you and because of that they might use money to do it. Without financial capacity, you might find it hard to leave the relationship.
Economic or financial abuse are exhibited through:
- Rigidly limiting your access to bank accounts and pensions
- Withholding money, bank passbook, or credit cards
- Hiding assets from you
- Providing you with a small “allowance”
- Forcing you account every dollar you spend
- Forcing you to stop working
- Preventing you from choosing a career
- Sabotaging your work or job interviews
- Stealing your assets
- Withholding basic necessities from you
Shane Perry, a financial expert at Max Funding, says “Victims of abuse should know that there are organizations willing to help them get back on their fit. They may apply for small business loans from the established financial institutions to regain their financial independence.”
Sometimes you don’t recognize that it’s already verbal abuse because you think “he/she just talks like”.
However, one’s mental health can be languished by a constant flow of degrading words.
Verbal abuse can attack a person’s physical appearance, sexuality, intelligence, ethnicity, economic status, and ability as a parent.
You are experiencing verbal abuse if you are:
- Yelled at whenever you make a mistake or asks for anything
- Insulted for your weight, fashion choices, or anything that relates to your looks
- Given insulting names
- Cursed in public or even in private
- Threatened verbally
Some people who experience abuse are not aware of their real situation for certain reasons. It could be because they do not have a good perception of how a relationship should be due to past experiences or they’ve too broken to think clearly. None of us are in the position to judge them. The best thing we can do is to provide support as they heal from the experience.