People being abused whether physically, emotionally, or psychologically, tend to ignore the facts about being in such relationships. There are many facts about bad relationships and the warning signs that may signal an abusive relationship.
People in an abusive relationship often ask themselves as to whether they are suffering from abuse. This is because not many of us understand the true meaning of abuse and the facts about abusive relationships. Most of them mistake the abuse for intense feelings of caring or concern. For example, it can even seem flattering to think of a friend whose boyfriend or girlfriend is insanely jealous, which might indicate that they really care. However, what people fail to understand is excessive jealousy and a controlling behavior are not signs of affection at all. Love in any healthy relationship involves respect and trust, and not constantly worrying about the possible end of the relationship.
It is difficult to define these relationships because they relate not just to your spouses and partners, but also extend to a colleague, a neighbor, an employee, an employer, a past or present spouse, or children. However, the basis of any relationship abuse lies in the means to extend power and control over a person. This can be any form, be it physical, verbal, or psychological. Here are some signs that tell you are in an abusive relationship.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
• Tries to exert control by being bossy or demanding.
• Makes decisions without consulting a partner. In such a case, the submissive partner is expected to obey without question and has no say in the matter.
• Isolating the person from friends and family.
• Public humiliation, name calling and insults.
• Criticism about actions, size, appearance, and abilities.
• Violent or loses his or her temper quickly.
• Physical abuse which may include hitting, choking, kicking, throwing things, or any unwanted physical contact, especially that which harms you.
• Sexual pressures and demands for sexual activities that the person is not comfortable with.
• Holding the submissive partner responsible for his or her emotional state.
• Placing the blames for mistreating the person.
• Worry about the reaction by the abuser to the things said.
• Leaving and then returning to the abusive partner repeatedly, against the advice of your friends, family, and loved ones.
• Use the children for control, for example, threatening to take them if the relationship ends.
Myths and Facts about Abusive Relationships
Myth: Abusive relationships are restricted to certain “problem” families, ethnic minorities, uneducated, or poorer areas.
Fact: Abuse, be it physical, emotional, or psychological pervades every ethnic, social strata with financially independent people being just as likely to suffer abuse as are people on low incomes. It is thus, not dependent on the social standing, but rather on an individual’s internal need for power, the belief that they have the right to control someone else.
Myth: Domestic abuse is a family matter.
Fact: Battering, assaulting, or raping another person is a criminal offense where the perpetrator should be punished.
Myth: Abusive relationships is not such a big problem. After all, only a few women are actually badly hurt.
Fact: According to CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, in 2009 an estimated 2-4 million women are battered each year in America, with battering being the single major cause of death to women, exceeding rapes, mugging, and auto accidents? And each year, 1 in 4 adolescents report verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.
Myth: Some people provoke it, want it, or even deserve it.
Fact: NOBODY wants or rather deserves to be abused. This Myth just does the job of shifting the blame from the abuser to the abused and avoids the stark reality that only the abuser is responsible for his/her own actions. In fact, people are beaten for reasons as ridiculous as the dinner being cold, the TV was turned to the wrong channel, the baby was crying, etc.
Myth: If it was that bad, she/he should leave.
Fact: Leaving a partner in an attempt to end the relationship is just not that easy. There are many emotional, social, spiritual, financial hurdles, and other relationship issues to overcome before someone who is being abused can leave. Sometimes, leaving or trying to leave an abuser can increase the violence or abuse.
Myth: Abusers are always coarse, nasty, violent men.
Fact: Anyone irrespective of looks or social standing can be an abuser. In fact, 80% of men who batter and abuse, commit no other crime. And also, sometimes even the men become victims of abusive relationships, mostly emotionally abusive relationships, if not physical violence.
Myth: Physical abuse is the only type of abusive relationship.
Fact: According to CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, United States, 2011,More women experience emotional abuse in relationships than physical violence. In contrast to 29% of women having suffered from physical abuse, nearly 31% of all women who are or have been in married or common-law relationships have experienced emotional abuse. It can have many negative effects.
If you are involved in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, then getting help is essential. This is because it is often impossible to leave an abusive relationship without any support. The best course of action for a breakup in such a case is to seek help from shelters, law enforcement officials, community groups, or friends and family who are willing to provide support. Although recovering from the emotional, physical, and financial costs of an abusive relationship takes time, it is still worth the effort to save your life and have the peace of mind.