Vs. Unhealthy Relationships
Even though you may personally not be suffering from relationship violence, chances are that you have known someone or will know someone who is. The best things we can do as responsible individuals are educate ourselves on the subject of domestic violence.
Domestic abuse is a systematic process of humiliating, demeaning and controlling another person through behaviors that cause fear and intimidation.Domestic abuse occurs between current or former intimate partners. Abuse often begins with verbally and/or emotionally and may escalate to include physical and/or sexual abuse. Abuse is about power and control.
Frightens you with looks, actions and gestures. Smashes things and destroys your property. Abuses pets. Displays weapons.
Prevents you getting or keeping a job. Gives you an allowance or makes you ask for money. Doesn't allow you to know about or have access to family income.
Coercion and Threats
Threatens to harm you. Threatens to leave, commit suicide or report you to welfare. Makes you drop charges or do illegal things.
Acts like the master and treats you like a servant. Makes all the big decisions. Defines and enforces men's and women's roles.
Uses the Children
Makes you feel guilty about the children and relays messages through them. Uses visitation to harass you. Threatens to take the children by charging you with neglect and abuse.
Calls you names privately or in public. Puts you down and make you feel bad about yourself. Tries to make you think you are crazy. Tries to make you feel guilty.
Controls what you do, who you see and talk to, what you read and where you go. Limits your outside involvement and uses jealousy as justification.
Denial and Blame
Makes light of the abuse and doesn't take your concern seriously. Denies abuse occurred. Shifts responsibility for the abuse by blaming you.
Between 25-33 percent of LGBT relationships include dating or domestic violence, a rate similar to heterosexual relationships.
Education allows us to know the signs, what to do and where to go for help when confronted with a domestic abuse situation. The knowledge we gain puts us into a position to empower ourselves, help others and put an end to domestic violence.
Source: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. Duluth, MN. http://www.acadv.org/pcwheel.html.