When you look at domestic violence most people picture a physically bruised up woman but that isn’t the only form of domestic violence. According to Women Against Abuse there are at least 6 forms of abuse. I am going to focus on 5 forms for this post. Women are constantly being abused all over the world. In some countries, women aren’t allowed to get an education and they are forced to marry old men to pay off family debts. Some women are mutilated in the name of traditions and culture when they are circumcised. Abuse comes in many forms and so it is not always easy to see it but it is happening. I will add a few links at the end of this post to help those looking for a way out.
1. Physical Abuse- The most visible one is of course physical abuse but that too can be hard to notice if the abuser knows what areas to hit. Some abusers are methodical in how they inflict pain. They will intentionally hit in you places that cannot be seen by anyone else or in places that can be covered up by make up . There are also some women who feel so much shame that they will do anything they can to cover up for their abusers. No, I am not trying to blame the victim, I am simply saying that some victims fear that their abusers will be compelled to attack them again if they don’t do all they can to hide their wounds and bruises.
2. Emotional Abuse- This form of abuse is very hard to get away from because it stays with you years after the abuse has ended. Emotional/mental abuse can come in the form of name calling, insults and many other forms of put downs. The abuser will do all they can to make the victim feel inadequate in every aspect of your life. Some abusers will somehow convince the victim that they are going crazy and this is also know “gas lighting”. It is a sick and twisted way to gain total control over someone. If you have a friend who was once socially active but is now no longer able to hang out and do things they once did. Keep an eye on them, it could be that they are going through a phase or that they are dating someone who is emotionally controlling everything they do. Here are some more signs of emotional abuse to watch out for. Jealousy, unfounded accusations of infidelity, intimidation, shaming, spying and tracking everything you do. Some abusers go so far as to implant tracking devices on their mates without their knowledge. This can be done by men and women. If you sense something is wrong, I suggest that you take some time to look into it because our instincts are a God-given gift.
3. Sexual Abuse- this type of abuse is usually preceded by physical abuse. The victim is also weak and vulnerable right after a physical attack and are also emotional drained at that point. Some abusers will guilt their partners to be sexually active with them without protection from STDs or pregnancy. Some take place when the victim is intoxicated and not able to give consent. Another form of sexual abuse can be when the other party is being filmed without consent. In this day of technology, women and men are constantly being abused by their sexual partners. I will get to the use of technology in more details a little later. Sex without consent is wrong but some will have coerced their partners into sex to prove their love and that is abuse and it is unacceptable.
4. Technology Abuse- This is a new and tricky one because the legal system is behind in terms of how to protect victims from abuse. Abuse in this form can be very subtle and hard to detect. here are some ways a person can use technology to abuse a mate. hacking into a victim email and personal accounts. Placing tracking devices into a victim’s phone to ensure that they are fully aware of where they are at all times. Recording phone conversations without consent. Taking over social media accounts and manipulating those accounts. Another one that is fairly new, is when photographs are shared on adult websites after the victim decides that they no longer want to be in a relationship with the abuser. If you are doing any of this please think twice because that too is a form of abuse and it needs to stop.
5. Financial Abuse- This is one that I was not fully aware of for years until I saw it happening to someone I love. If you have a partner who goes to your job and harasses you until you get fired, then you might be in a financially abusive relationship. Another form of financial abuse is when your partner manipulates your home life so much that you are chronically late for work daily. Controlling your finances and setting limits on how much you spend and when you spend money. Sometimes it gets so bad that some victims are put on allowance. Some abusers will demand the victims credit score and bank statements just to see where they are spending their money. Some will intentionally find ways to destroy their partners credit to ensure that can’t financially take care of themselves if they ever grow emotionally strong enough to leave. Some women with children are made to believe that staying home and being a stay at home mom is the best thing to do for the family while in reality it isn’t. Some partners keep their victims jobless to make it harder for them to leave. Be mindful of these things not only for you but for your loved ones because this is one of the worse forms of abuse for women with children.
Check this movie out if you want to learn more about Gas Lighting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslight_%281944_film%29
** On a personal note, I decided to write this post because my mom was a victim and so was my aunt. They both grew up in a culture that doesn’t respect or value young girls. My aunt was mutilated when she was a little girl and that led to her not being able to conceive a child. My mom was physically abused for years until he broke her nose. She is still suffering from the side effects of the years of abuse she endured. I hope that this is going to help someone who needs the courage to leave and build a better life. It is never too late to start again, so please reach out to someone who you know needs your help.
Thank you for stopping by and for reading and I hope you do come back. If you have information on how to help those in need, please feel free to share in the comments section.