What is domestic and family violence?
Symptom of abuse-misuse of power and control.
Abuse in a relationship is any act used to gain power and control over another person. Women who are abused physically are often isolated. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extend as well as verbally degrade them.
Using physical and sexual abuse.
Hair pulling, biting, shaking, pushing, pinching, choking, kicking, confinement, slapping, hitting, punching, using weapons, forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching in public or in private and depriving sleep or food.
Using emotional abuse.
Insults in public or private, putting down friends and family, making you feel bad about yourself, name calling, making you think you are crazy, playing mind games, humiliation, guilt, using male privilege-acting like "Master of the Castle", treating like a servant, not included in decision making, and being the one to define men's and women's roles.
Using economic abuse.
Preventing from getting or keeping a job, making one ask or beg for money, giving you an allowance, taking your money, not letting you know about or have access to family income, not allowing voice in important financial decision, and demanding exclusive control over household finances.
Using coercion and threats.
Making or carrying out threats that will do harm, threatening to leave or commit suicide, threatening to make reports to welfare or law enforcement, making you drop charges or do illegal things.
Making you afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions, throwing or smashing things or destroying property, abusing pets, dangerous driving, and displaying weapons.
Making you feel guilty about the children, using the children to relay messages, using visitation for harassment, and threatening to take the children away.
Controlling what you do, who you see, what you read, and where you go, limiting your outside involvement, refusing to let you learn to drive, go to school, or get a job, and not allowing freedom to use the car or phone.
Using jealousy and blame to justify actions.
Minimizing, denying, blaming, making light of the abuse and not taking concerns about it seriously, checking up on where you are going and who you are talking to, accusations of infidelity, saying the abuse didn't happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behavior, and saying you caused it.
Why get help? The danger is real.
If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous. If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.
Domestic and family violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs. Everyone has the right to feel safe in a relationship. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.
Learn the warning signs.
Disagreements develop from time to time in relationships. Domestic and family violence is not a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors using by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors can become more frequent and intense over time. The abusive person is responsible for these behaviors. That person is the only one who can change them. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt. you are not alone. Consider getting some help. Talk with friends about your situation.