Let’s first make clear that abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening or violent behavior by intimate partners, family members, work colleagues and any other person of power; and it includes, but isn’t limited to physical, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. I also want to point out that abuse doesn’t care what gender or sexuality you are…it’s a misuse of power to keep you small, and is happening everywhere, all the time. In England and Wales alone, a total of 2.2 million male victims and 4.3 million female victims have reported being domestically abused; that’s 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men whom suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime. Shocking, but sadly true, and that’s just reported domestic abuse…how many more continue to suffer in silence?
Signs Of Abuse
Abuse isn’t always obvious and can often be so subtle that you aren’t even aware it’s happening until it’s too late. I’ve listed some of the main signs of abuse to help you get clear on what it looks like in real life and not just in black in white.
- Excessive jealousy, possessiveness, and control of your personal choices.
- Mood swings akin to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
- Isolation from family and friends.
- Constant criticism, public embarrassment, or humiliation.
- Financial isolation – you are no longer in control of your own money.
- Fear of causing conflict, walking on eggshells, heightened anxiety.
- Feeling of complete dependency on another person.
- Altering your behavior in fear of an adverse reaction.
- Intimidation through violent language or behavior.
- Pressure to perform sexually when you don’t want to.
- Blamed for another’s behavior, e.g. they say you were “asking for it” or “deserved it”
Where To Get Help
Remember, abuse is a crime and you need to treat it as such, so if you or someone you know is being abused, take the first step and seek help.
Share this today to raise awareness of abuse and help those that are unable to help themselves.