Domestic violence is a travesty in the home and usually a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself. For the most part, it doesn’t begin large with hitting and choking, it begins with little barbs to the self-confidence of the victim.
Many people that are not and have never been in an abusive relationship often wonder why the victim, mostly a woman, would stay with an abuser. They will say, “Well, if she won’t get out, she deserves it.” Or even, “How can someone let themselves be treated that way?” Unfortunately, predominately speaking, the ones that have never been a victim to such abuse have no idea of the effects that years of abuse will have on a person.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll look at the reasons women stay in abusive relationships. Men can and are the victims of abusive relationships as well.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics–facts-52.html
There are early warning signs, or red flags, that can indicate that a woman is in an abusive relationship.
- The abuser expects the victim to regularly “check in” with him so that he can monitor her whereabouts.
- The abuser might act unreasonably and extremely jealous and/or possessive of the victim. Often, the abuser will be very jealous when the victim even spends time with male relatives.
- The abuser might isolate the victim from all of her friends and family. He may also forbid her from leaving the house when he is not there or work outside the home.
- The abuser will treat the victim with disrespect and many times will expect the victim to serve him.
- The abuser most likely will put down the victim’s friends, family, and even her dreams or goals. He will make the victim feel stupid and worthless and will reinforce that belief in herself daily.
- The abuser might lose his temper often over small matters.
- The victim will feel as if she needs to walk on eggshells all the time to keep the peace and not anger the abuser.
- The abuser will make threats against the victim and her family, friends, even pets. He may also threaten repeatedly to commit suicide if the victim leaves.
- The abuser will play mind games with the victim and make the victim feel guilty for everything that occurs.
- The abuser will take responsibility for his own actions. Many times, the abuser will physically assault the victim and then cast the blame on her for angering him.
There are many reasons why a woman might stay in an abusive relationship. The brainwashing of an abused woman is usually done very gradually and slowly. Abusers will typically begin the abusive cycle early on in the relationship by insulting the woman and making her feel dependent on him. Then, it usually escalates into shoves and light hits when the woman “makes a mistake” which angers the abusers. By the time physical abuse is at full scale, many women have been brainwashed for such a long time that they actually believe that they are to blame for it and that they deserve it.
An abuser may also threaten thing which would make the woman hesitate to leave.
- He may threaten to kill her if she leaves. It has been shown that the most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she leaves.
- He may threaten to kidnap the children.
- He may threaten to tell people lies about her to ruin her credibility.
The effects of an abusive relationship may make it difficult for the woman to leave.
- She may feel like she is worthless and that she does not deserve any better.
- She may feel unable to leave.
- She may feel like she is incapable of making decisions anymore.
Domestic violence is a cancer on society and affects everyone, not just the abused. Children raised in abusive homes are at high risk of repeating the abusive cycle in their adult relationships. If you are the victim of abuse, or if you know a victim of abuse, don’t wait. Get help now. Call your local police department for assistance, call the local domestic violence shelther. You can even call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-723 or visit their website at http://www.thehotline.org/.