Comprehensive Domestic Abuse Help

One of the reasons why two people decide to be together is their need for comfort and security. However, the feeling of security cannot be guaranteed 100%. Sometimes one partner (usually, men) is not ready to provide safety for the other partner or doesn’t know how to do that. For some people, their spouse’s comfort is of no value. Domestic abuse victims can be men, women, or children. The most frequent pattern, though, is the one that involves violence against women. This article deals with the specific type of domestic abuse, the so-called intimate partner violence. Read to find out more about this topical issue and learn the ways of preventing and eradicating it.

type of domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

Before delving into the causes and types of intimate partner violence, let’s define domestic abuse. It is a repetitive series of physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse that causes psychological trauma and/or does physical harm to the victim. The aim of the abuser is to intimidate, inspire terror, and gain control over the victim.

Very often, the abused partner doesn’t recognize the actions of their abuser as domestic violence, as they were brought up in the environment in which such behavior was considered to be a norm. Suffering from the abusive partner, many women (in most cases) tend to think that they “deserved” such treatment. And it makes them suffer even more. Many of them don’t even think of reaching out for help.

Most of the abusers are men. They may come across as tender, playful, loud or timid, jocular or gloomy. There are numerous studies suggesting that boys growing up in the families in which domestic abuse is practiced often become dictators in their adulthood. Yet, there are a lot of cruel men that come from problem-free families, and men who have no inclination to violence even though their childhood and adolescence passed in the atmosphere of domestic terror. In terms of domestic abuse where violence comes from a man and is directed at a woman, the man can be a current spouse/partner or an ex-spouse/partner.

Not every man is capable of raising his hand against a woman. Some men have a predisposition to this. There are several types of such men.

The psychopathic man. He is high-strung but calms down very quickly. However, during the fit of anger, he is extremely aggressive. Even the most insignificant trifle can cause his “explosion”. Such a man has no moral taboos: he can hit a cat or easily kill a bird without having any pangs of conscience or experiencing any remorse. He prefers to assert himself at the expense of those who are weaker than him – women fall under this category.

The despotic man. Men that belong to this type are impossible to please; they find fault with everyone. He keeps his woman in tone, or rather in awe. He will not lose a chance to point out at the dust that wasn’t fully removed from furniture or that his woman came home from work 5 minutes later than usual. This is a good excuse for him to start a scandal.

The normal but prone to aggression man. This kind of man is not dangerous himself, but a certain factor may provoke his aggression. The desire to raise his hand against a woman arises when the woman – usually unconsciously – provokes him. Women with a victim mentality or low-self esteem are his “detonators”.

The main and the most dangerous misconception about domestic abuse that exists in a society is that the reason for violence lies in the behavior of the victim, and the abuser was induced to it. Hence the tendency to look for justification for the abuser’s actions. What should be emphasized is that the victim’s behavior is not and cannot be the reason for systematic abuse. domestic verbal abuseThe one and only reason for this is the abuser’s propensity for aggression and demonstration of his superiority over his partner. This propensity depends on a person’s background (family, social circle). The probability of violence at home increases if a woman and her environment never touch upon the topic of abuse in relationships and don’t turn for domestic abuse help, while a man and his friends don’t condemn physical violence.

The core of the problem may lie in the patriarchal culture of a society. In many CIS countries, especially in their rural areas, women undergo domestic violence but keep silent about it just because they don’t realize it’s wrong (it’s a usual thing for their community) or are afraid they won’t be understood. Women also feel the pressure of societal stereotypes that prevent them from quitting the unhealthy relationships: “children need a father”, “I shouldn’t ruin the family”.

Types of domestic abuse

Basically, domestic abuse can be divided into two categories: physical and psychological. The first one is quite obvious, while the second one can remain unnoticed for the victim for a long time. Yet, the harm caused by psychological abuse is always much bigger than physical violence. Let’s review the classification of domestic abuse. Physical abuse. The result of this type of domestic violence is bruises, wounds, and other injuries. Threats of violence; deprivation of food, water, and care; isolation; damage to personal items – all this also belongs to physical abuse.

Emotional abuse. It’s a sophisticated type of abuse, as the abuser should be a good manipulator to perform it. His partner gradually becomes a puppet in his hands. All his efforts are aimed at making his victim dependent on him. Male victims of domestic abuse of this type are not a rarity, as women mostly resort to verbal abuse (reproaches, humiliation, emotional blackmail).

Sexual abuse. In a toxic relationship, where a man doesn’t care about his partner, violence or negligence during sexual intercourse is quite widespread. It may manifest through a man’s reluctance to use a condom when his woman is worried about an unwanted pregnancy; continuing the sexual act even when a woman asks him to stop because it causes discomfort. It may also be some humiliating positions or methods.

Financial abuse. Very often, an abusive partner, wanting to have a financial control over his woman, forces her to quit her job. He also limits her access to the family budget, even doesn’t give money for some necessary purchases such as medicines or food.

Signs of domestic abuse

Usually, domestic violence is characterized by the following:

  • If it happened once, the next episodes will be more brutal and take place more frequently.
  • Violence and insulting behavior alternate with the promises to change and apologies.
  • If the victim attempts a breakup, she escalates potential hazard.
  • Domestic violence happens in different families, despite any cultural, religious, or social aspects.

Signs of domestic abuse checklist:

  • Constant criticism
  • Overall control
  • Disdaining the victim’s flaws
  • Despotism
  • Humiliation in front of other people
  • Domestic verbal abuse (verbal intimidation)
  • Groundless jealousy
  • Spying
  • Demanding admiration
  • Limiting the victim’s contact with other people
  • Ignoring the victim’s opinion and interests
  • Blaming the victim for own failures
  • Shaming
  • Devaluation
  • Gaslighting
  • Isolation
  • Forced sex
  • Blackmail
  • Threats to use physical violence
  • Systematic slaps, battering, attempts to suffocate

type of domestic abuseDomestic abuse facts and statistics

According to the domestic abuse statistics of the WHO, every third woman in the world has experienced intimate partner violence. Myths and misconceptions about domestic abuse prevent people from realizing that it is actually a crime, as it infringes on women’s rights. Is domestic abuse a felony? It can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. Everything depends on the severity of the consequences. If a woman suffered injuries due to her partner’s abusive behavior, if there were the recurring episodes of sexual abuse in a couple, if a deadly weapon was used against a woman, all this can be classified as a felony. Now, learn more facts about domestic violence.

Abuse is not a way of solving a conflict. Men have no right to treat women brutally no matter what she said or how she behaved.

Women who stay with the abuser are not masochistic. There are many reasons that prevent women from leaving their abuser. They may consider it shameful to tell other people, they may be afraid that it will enrage the abuser even more and he will attack them more often. There may be financial dependency, lack of trustworthy friends, emotional attachment to the abuser.

Abuse is rooted in gender stereotypes. Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The myth is based on the belief that a man defines the nature of the relationship, and if something goes wrong, he has the right to use violence.

Any family, irrespective of their social class, may face domestic abuse. Operators of domestic abuse hotline say that abusers can be businessmen, scientists, working people, both poor and well-to-do men.

Abusers can play the role of loving men in order to keep their partners near them. They can be loving, caring, and complaisant in between the outbursts of aggression. However, they understand love as a means of power and control over the other partner whom they treat as their possession or item, not a personality.

If a man is the victim of his abusive spouse, he will conceal this fact even longer than even the most long-suffering woman.

How to report domestic abuse

This issue can’t be solved on your own. You need to gather your courage and report domestic abuse, the unlawful actions of your partner towards you, to the police. Don’t keep silent – tell your close friends or parents about your situation. If you’re worried about your safety, ask your neighbors to call the police once they’ve heard your screams and calls for help.

If a woman decides to escape from her abuser, she should call a hotline for domestic abuse help and advice. It’s good to have a place where she can go and won’t be found by her partner. There are domestic violence crisis centers or some organizations that help the domestic abuse victims in every developed country. Their contact information can be found on the Internet.

Domestic abuse therapy

Recovering from a psychological trauma caused by domestic violence may take a while. You’ll have to get rid of the fear and regain confidence in yourself. It is not done overnight. Support of your family and friends as well as professional help of psychologists should be the main components of your recovery program.

  • Increase your legal knowledge, know your rights.
  • Learn to stand up for yourself dealing with people of different ages and social status.
  • Boost your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Learn to be happy. Love yourself in the first place.
  • Visit seminars on personality growth.
  • Enhance your self-respect.
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