Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,How Domestic Violence Can Be Prevented in 2018 . Although physical abuse is terrifying and needs to be addressed immediately there are other forms of abuse that can cause significant damage. One type of abuse that is very difficult for outsiders to detect is financial abuse. Marriage should be a partnership but when one spouse completely dominates the finances to the point that the other spouse has no control and no options financial abuse may be occurring.
What Are Signs of Potential Financial Abuse?
Every married couple handles their finances differently. In some cases one spouse handles the majority of the finances. They manage the accounts, pay the bills and deal with creditors. That does not by itself equal financial abuse.
Financial abuse occurs when one spouse is treated like an irresponsible child and Domestic Violence Hotline . They are cut off from funds and their knowledge about the couple’s finances is severely limited. Some signs of financial abuse include:
•Strict Allowances. This isn’t an amount that the spouses have agreed to limit themselves to but is instead a set amount that is grudgingly handed out from one spouse to the other and is all that will be given.
Documents, documents, documents. Written evidence is incredibly strong and can range from credit card bills showing that there is a credit card but that you aren’t named on it to emails from your spouse that show the financial abuse.
Other witnesses can be incredibly powerful on your behalf. Financial abuse is hard for people outside the relationship to detect. So when someone credible comes in and tells the judge that it is happening and they can see it the judge will listen and Domestic Violence Network .
How Domestic Violence Can Be Prevented in 2018 ?
We're all capable of abuse when we're frustrated or hurt. We may be guilty of criticizing, judging, withholding, and controlling, but some abusers, including narcissists, take abuse to a different level. Narcissistic Abuse can be physical, mental, emotional, sexual, financial, and/or spiritual. Some types of emotional abuse are not easy to spot, including manipulation. It can include emotional blackmail, using threats and intimidation to exercise control. Narcissists are masters of verbal abuse and manipulation. They can go so far as to make you doubt your own perceptions, called gaslighting.
The Motivation for Narcissistic Abuse
Remember that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and abuse exist on a continuum, ranging from silence to violence. Rarely will a narcissist take responsibility for his or her behavior. Generally, they deny their actions, and augment the abuse by blaming the victim. Particularly, malignant narcissists aren't bothered by guilt. They can be sadistic and take pleasure in inflicting pain. They can be so competitive and unprincipled that they engage in anti-social behavior. Don't confuse narcissism with anti-social personality disorder.
The objective of narcissistic abuse is power. They act with the intent to diminish or even hurt other people. The most important thing to remember about intentional abuse is that it's designed to dominate you. Abusers' goals are to increase their control and authority, while creating doubt, shame, and dependency in their victims. They want to feel superior to avoid hidden feelings of inferiority. Understanding this can empower you. Like all bullies, despite their defenses of rage, arrogance, and self-inflation, they suffer from shame. Appearing weak and humiliated is their biggest fear. Knowing this, it's essential not to take personally the words and actions of an abuser. This enables you to confront narcissistic abuse.
Mistakes in Dealing with Abuse
When you forget an abuser's motives, you may naturally react in some of these ineffective ways:
1. Appeasement. If you placate to avoid conflict and anger, it empowers the abuser, who sees it as weakness and an opportunity to exert more control.
4. Set Boundaries. Boundaries are rules that govern the way you want to be treated. People will treat you the way you allow them to. You must know what your boundaries are before you can communicate them. This means getting in touch with your feelings, listening to your body, knowing your rights, and learning assertiveness. They must be explicit.
Don't hint or expect people to read your mind.
5. Have Consequences. After setting boundaries, if they're ignored, it's important to communicate and invoke consequences. These are not threats, but actions you take to protect yourself or meet your needs.
6. Be Educative. Research shows that narcissists have neurological deficits that affect their interpersonal reactions. You're best approach is to educate a narcissist like a child. Explain the impact of their behavior and provide incentives and encouragement for different behavior. This may involve communicating consequences. It requires planning what you're going to say without being emotional.
To respond effectively requires support. Without it, you may languish in self-doubt and succumb to abusive disinformation and denigration. It's challenging to change your reactions, let alone those of anyone else. Expect pushback when you stand up for yourself. This is another reason why support is essential. You will need courage and consistency. Whether or not the narcissist makes changes, you'll get tools to protect yourself and raise your self-worth that will improve how you feel whether you stay or leave. CoDA meetings and psychotherapy provide guidance and support.
Warning: If you're experiencing physical abuse, expect it to continue or escalate. Get help immediately.
© DarleneLancer 2018
How Do You Handle Narcissistic Abuse?
To effectively fight domestic violence one must know the causes of domestic violence. And the first step toward knowing that is knowing what they are not.
It is not love, beauty, romance or sexuality. The sexless Puritans are highly violent toward their wives; the unattractive women are just as subject to violence as the attractive ones; and in cultures, such as India and Middle East, that have forbidden romantic love and where marriages are arranged, the violence is worse.
It is not low self-esteem. There are plenty of self-confident football types who are brutal toward their wives and plenty of shy guys who aren't.
It is not personality disorders. Not only are there many cultures in the world where violence against wives is the social norm, but there are in fact cultures in the world that think there's something wrong with the man if he is not violent toward his wife.
It is not thinking oneself a victim. There are plenty of take-charge business and military types who are severely violent toward their wives.
So what are the causes of domestic violence? The best way to ascertain that is to look at cultures in which it is the norm and compare them to cultures in which it isn't. And again and again, the answer is this: The beliefs that encourage domestic violence.
Beliefs such as:
That women are evil;
That man must be head of the family;
That masculinity means controlling the woman;
That women are "sluts," "bitches" or "whores";
That women are exploiters of men;
That women are responsible for the world's suffering;
That women should be second-class citizens and put up and shut up.
Unlike what many in psychology believe, the way one treats the other person is based, not on what one thinks about oneself, but of what one thinks about the other person. So if one has good self-esteem and thinks well about oneself but thinks badly about the other person, then one would not be good to the other person, and no amount of raising one's own self-esteem will alter that. Men's treatment of women is a result, not of what they believe about themselves, but of what they believe about women - either women in general, or about the particular woman with which they share their lives.
Furthermore, unlike what many in psychology believe, it is people's conscious convictions that determine a vast chunk of their decisions. Looking historically we see the vast extent to which people's conscious convictions charted the course of history. And now, as ugly misogynistic beliefs have become more and more prevalent, surprise surprise - we are seeing a vast rise in violence against women, even though we have not seen noticeable changes in men's self-esteem or in the number of people with personality disorders.
And it is only by addressing and changing these ugly beliefs that actually do cause domestic violence, instead of wasting everyone's time on things that don't, that it will finally become possible to do something effective about domestic violence.