5 Domestic Violence Facts You Must Know
Domestic violence is a common problem that affects almost every part of the globe. Despite being something so common place, it is very rarely that people speak openly about this kind of abuse.
Not only do people consider discussions about domestic violence as taboo, but most of the victims are quite confused as well.
What is Domestic Violence?
It is necessary to understand what exactly is meant by domestic violence, especially when there are so many misconceptions and much confusion about the exact nature of events that constitute domestic violence.
Most of the people think that domestic violence only means physical violence, but sadly that is far from true.
Domestic abuse can include varying amounts of verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. I am not saying that every case of domestic violence exhibits all of these four types of abuse simultaneously.
Some cases may have a predominance of one or two forms of abuse and other cases may have all four kinds of abuse in varying amounts and at different times during the entire relationship.
To summarize, domestic violence includes everything that is said, done and acted upon by a spouse or an intimate partner with an intention to gain control over the other. Oh and I forgot to mention that domestic violence (also known as spousal abuse) is NOT limited to the regular heterosexual marriages.
In fact, it is a glaring truth even in same sex marriages and of course even in live-in relationships as well.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
The fact that the level and types of abuse can vary a lot in all cases of domestic violence makes it all the more confusing to recognize an abusive relationship.
Most of the victims of relationship abuse tend to form an opinion about their own plight based on the things that they have heard or are depicted in books, movies, television shows about other women / men experiencing domestic abuse.
But this is a dangerous way to evaluate your relationships, because if you have seen only heavily battered or injured men and women on TV or in the movies, you might form an opinion that since your partner does not injure or batter you to THAT level, you are NOT in an abusive relationship yet.
Here are 5 tips to recognize an abusive relationship
# 1- Fear is the Dominating Emotion
You can know for sure that you are going through relationship abuse if the dominant emotion that floods your inner self is FEAR, when you think, interact or even mention anything about your spouse / partner.
This fear could have various levels and of course various reasons, but ultimately it is all about apprehension about your spouse/ partner’s reaction to whatever you do, say or act upon.
Maybe you have been battered, verbally abused, degraded, humiliated, embarrassed or criticized by your spouse / partner on numerous occasions during your relationship. Maybe you just want to avoid such situations from arising again, because you find it too difficult to handle (physically and emotionally).
Whatever is the reason behind your fear, if you are scared of your spouse you definitely are in an abusive relationship and domestic violence as well?
#2- Your Partner Controls You
Even healthy marriages and intimate relationships often include some amount of control, but when it is a case of domestic violence or abusive relationship, the control is ALWAYS in the hands of one partner and almost constant.
The dominating spouse / partner never lets go and maintains control over the other in almost all matters. The victim experiencing abuse is never given any freedom in making choices. He / she does not have the authority to take any decisions in their domestic life and they are answerable at all times for every matter.
Even silly matters like using the phone, buying grocery, spending money on essentials may require prior sanction and of course scrutiny from the abusive partner. Most of the victims are even prevented from meeting and interacting with friends, family or acquaintances.
# 3- You Experience Hostility
Your spouse may be hitting you, punching you, kicking you pushing you etc. This is a no-brainer, but as I mentioned in the earlier section, it is NOT always physical violence we are talking about here.
Your abusive spouse may be hostile towards you emotionally. He / she may be battering your emotions, your sense of self respect and confidence by humiliating you in front of others, by blaming you for everything and sometimes by threatening to kill you, or take away your children from you or harm or kill them too.
# 4- Your Partner Never Trusts You
I am not speaking of the lack of trust that develops in your marriage or intimate relationship, AFTER you have cheated on your wife or husband.
I am speaking of the constant scrutiny that you are subjected to in your abusive relationship. Your partner keeps questioning about each moment that you spent apart, each phone call that you made or received and of course about each of your acquaintances or colleagues that you interacted with.
# 5- You Are Held Guilty
Whatever abuses that your spouse hurls at you, in the end it is you who are held responsible for everything.
If your spouse punched you, it is because you did not heed the restrictions and rules. If your spouse humiliated you, it is because you did not do the right thing and if you would rectify your behavior and attitudes, then you would never have to put up with any domestic violence or abuse.
These 5 tips mentioned here are just pointers to recognize domestic violence and relationship abuse.
But there are many more signs and indications, depending upon the personality of your spouse and of course your life situations. In general, a safe way to recognize if you are in an abusive relationship is when you are always on guard and apprehensive when you are around your spouse.