Defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
So when do you say enough is enough? At what point in life do you decide that being taken for granted has run its last lap and you are ready to reclaim ownership? Abuse comes in many different ways.
No individual, whether it is a man, woman nor child should be subject to abuse. There are times when you may witness firsthand someone getting the shit beat out of them but you stand back out of fear. In today’s times, people are more prone to capturing your death on camera, than they are to stepping in to save you. I will admit, back in the days people would step in to help but it isn’t quite as easy to coming across the same rescue today.
It is never okay nor is it acceptable to display or inflict any type of abuse on any individual regardless of what has taken place. Sometimes, you could actually be a victim of domestic abuse but due to the multiple excuses you make for the abuser, you don’t recognize it. Just because someone doesn’t hit you does not mean that you were not physically abused.
According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline site, signs of domestic abuse are described as follows:
- Telling you that you can never do anything right
- Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
- Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
- Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
- Controlling every penny spent in the household
- Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
- Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
- Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
- Preventing you from making your own decisions
- Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
- Preventing you from working or attending school
- Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
- Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
- Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
- Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
You may be wondering, “Why do you stay in an abusive relationship if you know that this isn’t right?” Well, it’s always easier to be on the outside looking in, than on the inside looking out. You never know that the behavior you’re experiencing isn’t the actual way you should be treated. You begin making excuses for the abuser which leads to you rationalizing why they’re acting a particular way.
“It must have been something I said.”
“He/She was just having a bad day.”
“They love me and this is the only way they know how to express it.”
“His/Her parents weren’t around to show them how to really love, so it’s okay.”
I have no degree or license to back up how I feel but rather, experience. I’ve been in relationships where I felt like it was something that I said or did that caused them to react this way. I began making excuses for their behavior and soon became desensitized to my own feelings. It was always, “what can I do to make them not feel this way,” instead of figuring out my exit plan.
I was abused more emotionally, verbally and mentally than any other way. I always felt as though it was my fault. I did something to trigger this behavior. After a while, it got tiring. Not only that, but it got old when I started to realize that these “moods” and “attitudes” only occurred during certain periods of time, without me triggering anything on my end. This was when I got fed up. I threw in my victim towel and went to war – but not by myself. During these specific relationships, both men had intervened with my relationship with God. Why am I going through this when I believe?
I questioned Him time and time again. What I failed to realize was that God had been giving me the signs and opening the doors for me through various messages and people but I shut them out. When I came to the end of those roads, I was given the strength to not only overcome these failed relationships but also regain the identity of self that I had given up on. And after a few weeks, I found myself happier than life itself.
There is always help available to you – it’s just a matter of you wanting it before things turn deadly. And don’t forget, men too can be victims of domestic abuse as well. Just because he’s a man, does not mean he should be someone’s punching bag even if they are smaller than he.
Facts & Figures (from The National Domestic Abuse Hotline site)
Anyone who hurts you, cannot love you more than you loving yourself. You can find resources below for additional support.
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i-ii] http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/ipv_factsheet2012-a.pdf [iii-iv] http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/consequences.html [v-vii] http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf [viii-x] http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ipv9310.pdf