Abusive relationships: know the signs
Christmas is on its way and for some its not going to be a time of peace in the home and good will to all. For some it will be just another day of surviving a relationship that feels difficult, or even abusive.
In NZ, the police attend a domestic violence incident every 5 minutes, and they believe around 76% of abuse isn’t reported. Statistics show that 26% of women who lived in a home with a household income over $100,000 a year experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner; 1 in 4 women who have a university degree or higher had experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. You can see this effects all aspects of our community. And at Christmas the levels rise.
Psychological abuse attacks our spirit and self-esteem and its effects last the longest. I can’t find statistics on this type of abuse – I suspect it is far more prevalent than we imagine.
You don’t have to be bruised to be hurt.
The nature of abusive relationships and domestic violence is such that we are not always certain that we are a victim. Sometimes the abuse is subtle. And for this reason, men and women who are emotionally abused find it hard to ‘justify’ feeling unhappy, tell someone about what’s happening or taking the huge step of leaving their relationship. The huge, brave, scary step.
For some of you reading this, be aware that it may bring up some difficult feelings. Please know that there is support available.
Some of the warning signs that you are being abused (and that it might escalate, because sadly, it usually does)
- Shouts or Criticises at you
- Mocks you overtly or subtly in public
- Threatens (if you don’t X then I will X)
- Blames you for his/her mood or violent behaviour
- Coerces you into doing things you don’t want
- Physically hurts
- Threatens to or hurts your child or pet
- Withholds affection or money from you
- Controls/monitors your social life, social media, phone, friends
This is a year round problem. One of which many of us are blissfully unaware – because abuse does not survive without secrecy. It is likely that whoever you are reading this, whatever your age or background, that you will have a friend who is in an abusive relationship.
If you believe you are at risk or have an uneasy awareness of a friend’s situation, please feel OK about telling someone: call a friend or one of the support networks. Feel OK about getting help and getting out.
Nobody deserves abuse.
Book an appointment or call for help