Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,What Happens When You Call The Police For Domestic Violence in South Africa . 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 On Children . 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 Groups .
What Happens When You Call The Police For Domestic Violence in South Africa ?
Domestic violence has so many different facets. Everyone is familiar with the classic physical abuse situation. Honestly, when I was younger, these scenarios would irritate me to no end. I never could understand why a woman would stay with a man that hit her. In my mind, it was just as much her fault for staying as it was his for hitting. I've come to understand that everything happens for a reason. The older I get, the more obvious the events are in the scheme of things. I have not been in a physically abusive relationship, but I'm exiting an emotionally abusive one. Now, I find it hard to believe that anyone gets out of any abusive relationship at all. I understand it all now. I have no bruises, and no broken bones, but make no mistake - I am broken.
These are 4 of the eight defining characteristics of emotional abuse.
- Using Isolation
- Minimizing, denying and blaming
- Using Children
- Using Male Privilege
These might just be four of the classic signs, but let me tell you - when you are in the thick of it, you might not recognize even one as being an issue. Seriously, when I got married, I just came to the conclusion that I had to put up with whatever he dished out because that's how marriages stay together. We all have our faults and I want someone to accept me for mine, so I will accept him for his. This is a flawed way of justifying everything I had to put up with.
Using isolation seems pretty cut and dry, but it's really hard to tell when you are the one isolated. The classic explanation uses the word "control" because that's what it is. But this makes it seem so obvious, and it's not. If your partner is constantly curious as to where you have been and who you have been talking to, then you might be "controlled". Or maybe they love you so much that just the thought of you talking to anyone else, especially of the opposite gender, makes them insanely jealous. You, then, decrease the amount of time you spend out in public, and restrict your activities and conversations just to avoid drama at home. If this sounds familiar, then you have one of eight signs already.
Minimizing, denying and blaming are where we question if this is even really an issue. To bring up a concern in a relationship is just part of the growing process. If the person you express this to seems unwilling to talk about it at that moment, then give it a while and try again. If they never want to talk about any issue you have, then pay close attention. My favorite is acting like it never happened at all. It's like living in a time warp. You bring up an issue, say, the "jealousy" problem. Then, since the other person has "no idea" what you are talking about, you start to question if you imagined the whole thing! Mind games, people!
To use a child in any way, shape or form is bad enough; but when the child is being used as a tool in abuse, it's reprehensible! If you are a mother, then you have one weakness and that is your children. If you come from a divorced family, then you probably want to avoid that for your own children. This person will ask you if you really want your child to come from a broken home like you did. If you want the kids to see their parents fighting - and the answer will be "no" and you will drop it. No one wants to put their kids through hell, so making you question your parenting skills is an easy way for you to "stay in your place".
Using male privilege is what most of us would view as archaic. The thing is, it isn't as cut and dry now days. If you have noticed that he wants to "help you" out by paying all the bills himself, or making that decision to buy a new car alone, then you are experiencing a form of male privilege. Having "your" chores be focused around the home, and his responsibilities are outside of the home is a way to control you. If he flat out treats you like a maid and tells you what your "job" is and what his "job" is, then he's putting you in your place. My favorite saying is, "It wouldn't hurt you to get off your ass and do something."
These are four of the eight signs of emotional abuse. If you read this and find it eerily familiar, then you need to pay attention to your situation. Most likely though, if you read this and find that it hits home, you will try to justify every single one. The control this person has over you is the hardest type to identify and prove because it's them using your emotions and mind against you. They are using you as a weapon of control. There is no harm in asking a few questions. The Domestic Violence Hotline is there to help you. Take the first step and just see if what you think is true has any merit.
Victims of Narcissistic Abuse - Ways to Rebuild Your Self-Esteem
Domestic/family abuse can have many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation, and threats of violence. Abuse is typically progressive; oftentimes emotional and psychological abuse is a precursor for violent and criminal forms. According to the US Department of Justice's 2005 Family Violence Statistics report, family violence accounted for 11% of all reported and unreported violence between 1998 and 2002, totaling a staggering 3.5 million violent crimes. The report indicates 49% were crimes against spouses, 11% were sons or daughters victimized by a parent, and 41% were crimes against other family members.
Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate, it occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexes and classes can be perpetrators or victims of this violence. Yet, research indicates that certain demographics and subgroups are more prominent as victims and as offenders. For example, according to the American Medical Association, as many as 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime as compared to 15% of victims being men.
With family violence also comes the intergenerational cycle of violence. In 1 in 3 domestic violence incidents, the victims had children in common with the offender, and in 1 in 4 incidents, there were multiple victims. Children and youth exposed to violence are likely to develop behavioral problems, such as regressing, exhibiting out of control behavior, and other behaviors that mirror those which they were exposed. Unfortunately, this cycle produces children who may think that violence is an acceptable behavior of intimate relationships and thus, become either the abused or the abuser. An estimated 1/5 to 1/3 of teen-aged youth subject to viewing domestic violence situations experience teen dating and intimate partner violence, regularly abusing or being abused by their partners verbally, mentally, emotionally, sexually and/or physically. Hence, the average age of the abused and the abuser as it relates to juvenile domestic violence is 16. Family violence research indicates that juvenile domestic violence offenders are more likely to be male; approximately 90% of this violence is targeted towards women. If not prevented or addressed, youth continue the cycle into adulthood; 30-50% of dating relationships can exhibit the same cycle of escalating violence in their marital relationships.
This cycle must be broken. One solution is to address the significant need for family violence abuse prevention and intervention treatment specifically targeting violence and abuse saturated areas. Thankfully there are several organizations with this mission in mind as well as funding available to aid this undertaking, giving hope for domestic violence reduction in our future.