Types of Abuse
We tend to think of Domestic Abuse as physical violence or assault on a partner. In reality, however, domestic abuse is the summary of physically, sexually and psychologically abusive behaviours directed by one partner against another, regardless of their marital status or gender.
Domestic Abuse does not just affect people of a certain race, age, gender or background, but knows no ethnic, cultural or personal borders.Generally, when one type of abuse exists, it is coupled with other forms as well, they might just not be quite so noticable unless you are aware of the types of abuse and how the belief systems associated with abusive behaviour manifest themselves.
Abuse usually seems absent at the beginning of the relationship, and the majority of victims feel that they have found their perfect partner or soulmate, but gradually (it might take months or even years) the abusive behaviour increases and the perpetrator is likely to use various different types of abuse:
"The first few months were perfect and then I noticed small things were different. At first it was just arguments but it got worse and soon he would push and slap me when we were arguing, but he started to be excessively jealous of my male friends, and always be asking where I'd been, he would accuse me of cheating on him all the time. This progressed to him calling me names, finding faults, mocking me and throwing things at me." (Ingrid's Story)
The Function of Abuse
Domestic abuse may also be defined by identifying its function, that being the domination, punishment or control of one's partner. Abusers use physical and sexual violence, threats, money, emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse to control their partners and get their way. The different personas within the Dominator show very clearly how the different types of abuse are used to control and dominate the victim.
Sometimes Domestic Abuse is better understood by it's effect on the victim than by the specific actions of the abuser. Check out the characteristics of abuse victims which give an insight into the effect that ongoing abuse has on them.
"I had no self confidence and still struggle to have any, but I am slowly getting there. When someone tells you you are ugly or stupid every day of your life it is hard to find that you are no other than that." (Danna's Story)
Abuse in the home is not a rare problem, it is just rarely admitted as one.
Check out the Wheel of Power and Control, which provides a visual representation of the interconnection of the differing forms of abuse.
Next: Physical Abuse
In This Section:
Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven is the book to accompany the Freedom Programme in the UK. This book should be compulsory in schools - the information is so clear and so obvious and such an eye-opener! After studying domestic violence issues for years, this is the one book which finally enabled me to click it all into place and answer all my whys. Just read it:
To order in the US: Living With the Dominator (Kindle version only - and well worth buying a Kindle just to get this book!)
To order in the UK: Living with the Dominator: A Book About the Freedom Programme: 1
Lundy Bancroft has written what is probably the most comprehensive and readable book on domestic violence, the beliefs of the abuser and the dynamics of abuse. This truly is a MUST READ for anyone seriously trying to understand domestic abuse and how to cope with an abusive relationship:
To order in the US: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
To order in the UK: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
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