Many people may ignore this question right away and may choose not to read this blog. They may feel this is not applicable over me or I would have known it by now!
And these are exactly the reasons that I choose to write this blog by presenting the research-oriented information at this forum. These facts are collected by the psychologists and researchers after spending years in the observation of abusive relationships and working with the victims of all kind of abuses.
Today I thought of presenting POWER AND CONTROL WHEEL in abusive relationships to spread awareness about all kind of abuses in a relationship. Most of the people are only aware of the verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. But the truth discovered by the researchers is, there are 12 kinds of abuses:
Pets and property abuse
The prime motive of the abuser is to create, force and maintain their Power and Control over the other person (s). Some of the abusive behaviors are so prevalent in some cultures and families that it is not even considered as “abuse” but named as “that’s what ….do in our culture”, “his/her habit” or “his/her personality”. Some people may believe that only sexual and physical abuses are the worst ones and should be considered objectionable and not acceptable. Some people will teach the victim that “every relationship have some problems, this is regular fight/argument among all couples” OR “you are just overreacting” OR “you are oversensitive”. Such kind of unscientific and discouraging comments keep victims stuck in an abusive relationship for years and sometimes a lifetime. A wonderful human being spends his/her valuable years in pain and never-ending struggle which keeps growing as time goes by.
That’s why I thought of briefing about 12 kinds of abuses:
Physical abuse: Blocking exits, Driving too fast, Locking me out of the house, Intimidating me, Punching me, Kicking me, Spitting me, Choking me, Hitting me, Restraining me.
Verbal abuse: Name calling, Swearing, Yelling, Insulting, Being condescending, Being sarcastic.
Psychological abuse: Intimidating gestures or actions, Threatening suicide, Threatening to kill another person, Displaying weapons, Denying he/she said things, Minimizing own abusive behavior towards me.
Sexual abuse: Threatening to or having an affair, Forcing or manipulating sex, Sexual put-downs, Criticizing how I dress, Withholding sex, Comparing me to others, Using pornography, Demanding sex as payment.
Spiritual abuse: Putting down my faith, Cutting me off from my religious place, Using religion to his/her advantage, Soul-destroying behavior, Using scripture against me.
Financial abuse: Calling welfare, Limiting access to money, Making me account for every penny, Controlling the money, Closing bank accounts, Wasting, Creating debt, Not paying child support, Using money only for personal needs but another person is not allowed to do same.
Pets and property abuse: Killing or threatening pets, Punching walls and doors, Throwing things, Damaging vehicles, Smashing or breaking things.
Intellectual abuse: Making me prove things to him/her, Mind games, Demanding perfection, Making me feel stupid, Attacking my ideas and opinions, Manipulation of information, Telling me that I am crazy.
Emotional abuse: Teasing, Invalidating my feelings, Using guilt, Blaming me for everything, Being jealous, Threatening, Withholding affection, Waking me up during my rest hours, Silent treatment, Stalking.
Using culture: Using his/her culture as an excuse for abuse, Putting down my culture, Forcing me to adapt to his/her cultural practices and language, Not allowing me to participate in mainstream culture.
Social abuse: Isolating me from my family and friends, Monitoring phone calls or mileage, Dictating who I can see, Preventing me from working or doing group activities which I enjoy.
Using children: Abusing children, Threatening to harm or take children away, Refusing to make support payments, Belittling me in front of children, Using visitation (as per custody order) as leverage.
Depending on several internal and external factors everyone tries to deal/cope with abuse differently. Everyone gets affected by abuse differently and you are the only one who knows how much destruction or hurt is being caused by the abuser. It might be a normal everyday issue for someone but it might have severely affected and traumatized you. You are your own judge and your verdict matters most.
This is a well-known fact that abusive relationships have a close connection with trauma, addiction and eruption of mental health disorders including stress disorder. Knowledge is the first step on the ladder of success. If you feel that you are in any type of abusive relationship currently or have lived with an abuser in past which is affecting and has affected your personality, perspective and trust in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You and I will discuss your abusive relationship at your comfort level, process your experiences/memories and create a treatment plan to help you be a stronger and happier person!
(Ref: When Love Hurts, book written by Jill Cory and Karen McAndless-Davis)
– By Rhea Jacobs