Are you suffering from domestic abuse? If you’re not sure, then you should know these signs of abuse and treat them as warnings before they take the ugly form of domestic violence.
I’ve presented them in question form so you can answer them in “yes” or “no”.
If you come up with having many “yes”, then you probably need to talk to someone close to you, who can be your family member, friend, or you can even consult a counselor.
- Has your partner ever destroyed anything that is special to you like any objects, books, and any clothes?
- Have you been ever forced to have sex against your wish or in ways that you don’t approve of?
- Do you fear your partner in any form or for any reason? Do you fear going home?
- Do you blame yourself for the violence?
- Are you subject to frequent criticism and blame from your partner including being called names?
- Have you ever been threatened verbally or by using a weapon?
- Are you denied education and restricted access to sources of information like books and the Internet?
- Does your partner or spouse often touch you in intimidating ways?
- Are you often humiliated or insulted in public, besides in private?
- Does your partner often criticize your family or friends?
- Does your partner make you feel too lowly or unworthy or even makes you feel that you’re crazy?
- Are you treated like a servant?
- Are you often made to feel guilty of things directly or indirectly related to you – whether you’ve done them or not?
- Are you never allowed to take big decisions about the family or even yourself?
- Have you been denied to lead a life of your own and take up a job?
- Is your dignity being questioned? Are you suspected of infidelity to the extent that all your moves and talks are monitored, even if you remain faithful?
- Are you totally under control of your partner and can’t do anything without your partner’s permission?
- Are your children being used against you, or are you threatened that they’ll be taken away from you?
- Is your pet being abused just to create a scare in you so that you obey your partner?
- Does your partner make you do illegal things, blackmail you, or even threaten to leave you or commit suicide?
- Are you deprived of access to family income and not allowed to have your say in important financial matters?
- Have you been troubled by your partner to arrange for money?
- Does your partner take away all your money to make you dependent on him financially?
Many of you might feel that some of these questions don’t quite relate to domestic violence.
However, you need to remember that domestic abuse is not only physical abuse, but also psychological, emotional, mental abuse. Even violation of your basic human rights is an act of violence.
I’m sorry to say that if you have any of these signs, then it’s an indication that your partner doesn’t truly love you.
Why? That’s because somebody who really loves you will give you all the freedom and never restrict you to be yourself and develop yourself.
If you’re not given your place in the family and society, then you’re being deprived of your rights, and that’s a violation.
If you feel that many of these warning signs are part of your life, then you may be in an abusive relationship or in any of the stages of domestic abuse.
Abuse is not about a single isolated incident or behavior, but frequently acting behaviors that form a pattern that becomes severe with time.
Never ignore these behaviors or patterns. These may be the signs that you’ve a controlling partner. You need to raise a strong voice against it.
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” ~ Mark Caine
What Should You Do in Domestic Abuse
It’s only YOU who can and who should do something about your condition and situation.
What you should do depends on the type and level of domestic abuse that you are suffering.
I’d write a full-fledged post about how to deal with domestic violence sometime later as this post is already very long, but till then here are some general suggestions.
First, take the initiative and courage to break the silence.
Talk to someone close to you. If you can’t then try any online help resources for women suffering from domestic abuse, or call their toll free helpline numbers.
Second, if you think communication with your partner makes sense, then convey your thoughts and feelings. You will be surprised to see the things that can be resolved when you talk!
Third, if mutual dialogue doesn’t help or isn’t possible and things turn pretty bad, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help and visit a certified counselor, or even call the police if need be.
Fourth, if nothing works – walk out! Don’t stay with a domestic abuser, nor try to make-do with a person when there is nothing left between both of you.
It may happen that your partner will deny that any abuse ever happened; instead, he might only blame you.
Your partner can even go to the extent of crying and begging for forgiveness. But then you might realize that the apologies made are conditional, and he indirectly holds you responsible for the abuse.
He might say that if you hadn’t said this or acted like that, then the abuse might never have happened. Or, maybe his apology is genuine – you’ve to decide on that based on the past record of your partner.
Remember that the abuser is always in control, and his aim is to train the partner to be what and how he wants.
Call to ACTION
Abusers are people who like to abuse, and there’s no other cause to it. Don’t fall for sweet talks if you’re in a serious abusive relationship.
You need to avoid this trap and cycle of abuse.
Never allow yourself to be abused or mistreated. The choice always lies in your hands.
Before your abuser attempts to break down your sense of self-worth and make you feel helpless, you need to seek help and take important decisions of your life.
Always remember that if your partner loves you, he or she will never be abusive or violent. This should be an indication whether you want to move away or stay in a relationship.
Only an abuser will adopt the strategy and tactics of control and domination, and such behaviors are the root cause of abusive and violent behavior.
On the other hand, remember that since domestic violence is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned too.
You need to decide if you want to make amends and give your partner a second chance. But if nothing seems to be working, you should walk away from such an abusive relationship.
Don’t think twice because YOUR life is precious!
I know of my family and friends who are leading very happy lives after leaving their partners due to domestic violence. Some of them remarried to people who truly love them and are very happy now.
It’s YOUR life and you have ALL the right to live it the way YOU want to. Go live your life, and break free if you have to because you live ONLY once.