Domestic Violence: More than just physical!
As we have entered the month of Domestic Violence Awareness, it is important to truly understand what Domestic Violence is and what forms it can take. Domestic Violence is also called IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) and it pertains to one partner demonstrating a pattern of behaviors used to maintain power and control (National Domestic Violence Hotline).
Over the years, we have focused on the physical aspect of domestic violence and have neglected other forms such as emotional abuse, digital abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse & coercion and more. We have forgotten of how much our childhood and personal experiences can bring confusion and frustration to the present. We have forgotten about how not dealing with our inner issues can result to unreasonable arguments, fights or attitudes. Self-development is important and necessary for the victim and the abuser. Therefore, in this article we focus on emotional abuse.
Many of us do not recognize or distinguish the signs of emotional domestic violence because society has convinced us that a number of toxic and irrational traits are normal within a relationship. We often see quotes that indicate that “love hurts” or refer to partners as “ride or die”, which inevitably invites for malicious patterns and core values. These notions also make it extremely difficulty for a victim to move on and away from a toxic individual.
Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to identify signs of abuse in the early stages of a relationship. It takes a trigger or an uncomfortable circumstance for it to be revealed. This is why it is important to attempt experiencing your partner in different environments. It is also important that attendance or participation in activities reflects the interests of both sides. See how your partner behaves, when they are exposed to something new or unfamiliar or simply something only you like (part of compromising).
If you are the victim, it is never your fault. However, it is your responsibility to dig in within yourself and find the strength to walk away. You are strong enough to move on and you are worthy of a healthy home. Take the time to work on your mental and self-growth, build your confidence and trust that you are capable of overcoming any circumstance you are in. You can do it! If there is a will, there is a way!
If you are unsure of whether you are experiencing emotional abuse, please check out the signs written below. The following signs were taken from the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Emotional Abuse Signs:
- Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
- Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
- Trying to isolate you from family or friends
- Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
- Demanding to know where you are every minute
- Trapping you in your home or preventing you from leaving
- Using weapons to threaten to hurt you
- Punishing you by withholding affection
- Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
- Damaging your property when they’re angry (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)
- Humiliating you in any way
- Blaming you for the abuse
- Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
- Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
- Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
- Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
- Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
- Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them
Remember, if you are a victim, it is never your fault. Please reach out to National Domestic Violence Hotline for help. You can also message our Facebook page, if you need mental support or need to vent.
1. Personal Experiences