What do you think of when you hear the words, domestic abuse and domestic violence? The terms are frequently in the news; they’re often a part of the plot in movies, television shows or books. When a spouse hits a spouse in anger, domestic violence is clear. But what about events that don’t include a husband hitting his wife?
First of all: domestic abuse and domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic lines.
All ages, all income brackets, all races and all genders may be victims or perpetrators; it may occur in any sort of relationship – married or not, gay or straight, adolescent couples dating or elderly married couples. Do not assume that domestic violence isn’t involved because of the people involved.
Are you wondering if your relationship is abusive or violent?
If you have to ask, it’s a good chance that it is. Safe, healthy relationships would not generally raise this concern. A good start in answering this question is the list provided on the excellent Domestic Violence and Abuse page of the non-profit HELPGUIDE.org: ttp://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm. The following lists and more are provided on their site. The more “yes” answers you have, the more likely your relationship is abusive:
SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings - Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior
feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Does your partner:
humiliate or yell at you?
criticize you and put you down?
treat 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 their own abusive behavior?
see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:
have a bad and unpredictable temper? \act excessively jealous and possessive?
hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
control where you go or what you do?
threaten to take your children away or harm them?
keep you from seeing your friends or family?
threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
force you to have sex?
destroy your belongings?
constantly check up on you?
If you see yourself and your relationship in these questions, seek assistance now! Organizations like the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, http://www.mcadv.org/, can offer you guidance.