Domestic violence is act that is domestic abuse or relationship abuse that is a pattern of detrimental behavior used by an individual to control or manipulate their partner in a romantic or intimate relationship. Domestic violence can be seen across all socioeconomic backgrounds and it does not discriminate. Anyone can be a victim – or perpetrator – in the cycle of domestic violence. No one is exempt.
Domestic violence behaviors include behaviors that incite fear, cause physical harm, or enforce restrictive behavior that is at the control of the abuser. This control is used to force the victim to obey and behave in ways that are against their will. Most domestic abuse is a combination of physical and sexual violence, threats, fear tactics, emotional abuse, or deprivation. There is no specific incident that may trigger a domestic violence situation and there is no way to determine how long the abuse may last. Regardless, the abuse can be mentally, emotionally, and physically detrimental for the victim and the impact can last for a lifetime.
Warning Signs of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence relationships are not always recognizable, and the abuser is usually excellent at manipulating and grooming their victims. Most abusers began the relationship wining and dining their victims and will often be described as the ideal partner in the beginning. However, possessive and controlling tendencies tend to reveal themselves as the relationship progresses.
Every relationship is different so, domestic violence can be different in every situation. However, every abuser does their best to make sure that they are in control of their victim and depending on the abuser it can create a deadly outcome for those who do not find a way out.
Signs of an abusive relationship:
- Damaging self-esteem of their victim, put-downs
- Extreme jealousy of relationship with family or friends or any time spent away from them
- Isolation from friends or family
- Demeaning conversation or insults
- Controls finances
- Verbal intimidation
- Controls comings and goings of their victims as well as who they can interact with
- Controls their victim’s decision making
- Renders punishment for disobedience
- Controls employment or stalks victims while at work or school
- Destroys property
- Intimidation with weapons
- Sexual force or rape
- Forced drug or alcohol use
Please make note of the physical abuse signs and seek help if you can identify one or more of these acts of abuse:
- Force that includes choking, punching, slapping, kicking, and even biting
- Restrictive control over diet or sleep
- Harm using weapons such as knives or belts
- Isolation that keeps you from friends, family, or medical professionals when help is needed to seek attention
- Bodily harm to family members or children
- Recklessly driving while in the car with them
- Forced substance abuse
Domestic violence has become a serious epidemic. It can be extremely difficult for a victim to escape the grasp of their abuser. Support is needed if the victim seeks to leave an abusive relationship. If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these signs, please seek help right away. Doing so can save your life or the life of someone you love.