I will include the physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, spiritual abuse, economic abuse, social abuse, and emotional abuse. I will also describe the “cycle”, teen dating violence, and why women stay with an abusive partner. Physical abuse takes many forms including hitting, punching, pulling hair, slapping, grabbing, biting, kicking, breaking bones, bruising, burning, twisting arms, throwing victims against walls and furniture, throwing objects and using weapons. It also includes damaging household goods, killing pets, and denial of human needs, like sleep and nutrition.
Assault can be of a life-threatening nature resulting in broken bones, miscarriages and other serious injuries. A substantial proportion of victims are threatened or assaulted with weapons such as knives, firearms and axes. Physical violence can result in murder and often leads to serious physical injury. The injuries are not always obvious as abusers often make sure the signs of their attacks are hidden under clothing.
For many women there is a real and constant threat of death because of the seriousness of the abuse. Sexual abuse in the home is domestic violence. Sexual intercourse without consent is sexual assault. Sexual assault may or may not involve physical force. Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact.
Many men still believe that they have the right to unlimited sexual access to their wives. Verbal abuse consists of derogatory comments, insults and constant put-downs. Lack of physical attractiveness, inferiority, inability to cope and succeed on her own and being told that she is not a good mother/wife/housekeeper. Over time this constant humiliation will destroy a women’s belief in herself and severely affect her self-esteem. She begins to take on the abusive descriptions as if they are real and therefore may start to believe that she’s worthless, that the violence is her fault.
It must be kept in mind that responsibility for the violence lies solely with the perpetrator, not the victim. Threats are very common form of verbal abuse, aimed at terrorizing the woman to such and extent that the abuser is in total control. Threats by a man to kill a woman if she leaves him are often reported by victims of domestic violence. Emotional abuse closely linked to verbal abuse, these behaviors are also aimed at terrorizing the victim and stripping her of her self-confidence.
Behaviors include destroying household/personal property deliberately hurting/injuring/killing domestic pets, deprivation of essential personal needs such as food, sleep, sanitary items ect. The power which they give in order to manipulate and intimidate the other partner. A range of behavior is involved, including verbal abuse intended to destroy the other persons self-esteem. For example, a perpetrator’s behavior may lead to his partner to believe she is insane, stupid or useless.
The effect is often cumulative, occurring over a long period of time with damaging consequences for the abused person’s sense of self. Spiritual abuse describes the damage violence does to the spirit of those who have been abused. For some women this cannot be equated with psychological or emotional abuse. Spiritual violence is deeper than an individuals experience of betrayal: it involves the shame experienced when everyone in the community is aware of the violence, and when they too are implicated as victims of the violence. Victimization may be based on race, color, or other forms of identification with that community , and it includes the abuse suffered from a history of genocide or persecution.
Economic abuse this occurs where the man has total control over all financial resources. For example, he may forbid the woman to work or if she does he may insist that she hands over her pay check to him unopened. She may have to beg for money to buy necessities and when it is given it may often be insufficient. She is then criticized for being stupid or incompetent in failing to provide adequately with this sum. Social abuse includes delivering verbal abuse in front of other people, such as put-down, jokes, criticisms about the woman’s weight, appearance, sexuality, intelligence ect.
Controlling behaviors such as following her to work, controlling access to friends, constant phone calls at work or accusations of imagined ‘affairs’ ect. Isolating a woman by denigrating her friends and family, thus leading her to cut herself off because she fears enraging her husband, locking the women in or out of the house, cutting off the telephone, never letting her use the car ect. Social abuse is the constant monitoring and control of a women’s activities, outings, and friendships. She may be forced to account herself for her every movement, and my be denied the right to leave the home and see her friends. The result for the abused woman can be public humiliation and isolation from friends and other members of her family.
The Cycle Of ViolencePHASE 1: TENSION BUILDINGPoor communication / series of minor incidents / decreased controlCompliant / good behavior/ experiences/ increased tension/ minimizes problems/ increases threats/ denies anger/ takes more control/ withdraws/ controls more/ tension intolerablePHASE 2: ACUTE BATTERINGIncreased stress and injury/ loss of controlUnpredictable, claims loss of control / is helpless, feels trapped / highly abusive/ traumatizedPHASE 3: KINDNESS AND LOVING BEHAVIORTension drops / Renewed love / Increased TensionOften apologetic, attentive / mixed feelings / is manipulative / feels guilty and responsible / promises changes / considers reconciliationAfter the abuser has gone through all of the phases, it starts over again with phase one and continues until the victim either gets help or is killed. TEEN DATING VIOLENCE FACTS & MYTHSMyth: It can’t happen to meFact: More than 1 in 10 teenagers experience physical violence in their relationshipsMyth: Jealousy and possessiveness are a sign of true loveFact: Jealousy and possessiveness are a sign that the person sees you as a possession. It is the most common early warning sign of abuse. Myth: Teen dating violence isn’t really that serious.
Fact: Thirty percent of all women who are murdered in this country are killed by their husband or boyfriend. According to a Massachusetts study, that same high percentage applied to teen woman, aged 15-19, as well. Also, 60% of all rapes reported to rape crisis centers are committed by acquaintances, and the majority of victims are aged 16-24. Myth: Men are battered by women just as often as women are battered by men. Fact: The U. S.
Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 95% of the reported incidents of assaults in relationships are committed by males. Myth: Alcohol causes a man to batterFact: Many men who batter do not drink heavily , and many alcoholics do not beat their partners. Further, batterers who do drink don’t necessarily give up battering when they give up drinking. While they are drunk, the alcohol acts as their excuse.
Myth: Victims bring on the abuse themselves. They ask for itFact: Perpetrators believe they have the right to use abuse to control their partner, and they see the victim as less than equal to themselves. The victim has no control over the abuser. Myth: If a person stays in an abusive relationship, it must not really be that bad. Fact: People stay in abusive relationships for a number of reasons: fear, economic dependence, confusion, loss of self-confidence, not recognizing that what’s happening is abusive, belief that the abuser needs their help or will change. Myth: Most batterers are bums or crazy people.
Fact: Batterers are found in all classes and types of people: rich, poor, professional, unemployed, black, white, urban, and rural.