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 Essay Pdf . 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 How To Report Domestic Violence .
What Happens When You Call The Police For Domestic Violence in South Africa ?
It can be difficult to describe what abuse is and this is because the word 'Abuse' can mean different things to different people. For one person it might relate to emotional pain, for another it might involve physical pain. With there being different degrees of pain and hurt within these two forms of violence.
As a general guideline: this could be behaviour that occurs here and there, without it happening often enough to cause too many problems. Or it could be experienced to such an extreme that one's life becomes unbearable.
In this analysis I am going to be looking at what I currently believe causes abusive behaviour and the type of individual that commits abusive behaviour on a regular basis.
The Dictionary.com Definition
Here, it is described as the following:
• To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.
• To treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse.
• To abuse one's eyesight; to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
• To commit sexual assault upon: Obsolete - to deceive or mislead.
What comes to mind when I think of abusive, is compromise. When one is abused they are not being respected or treated in a humane way, they are being treated as objects. The abused person's feelings do not register to the abuser and if they are recognised, it is not enough to end the behaviour.
Empathy And Compassion
If one can't feel their own feelings, it is then a lot easier to do destructive things to another. The question is: why wouldn't the abuser have the ability to empathise or to be compassionate with another person?
It is said that the ability to empathise and to be compassionate is developed through caregivers that display the same behaviours to their children. This is also known as healthy mirroring and validation. What also happens through this process is that the child feels noticed and acknowledged, which are of paramount importance for the development of a healthy sense of self.
It could be said that because of their past, the person that displays abusive behaviour is abusing themselves just as much, if not more than they are abusing others. This is because the original abuser has been internalised. And even if the original abuser is not longer alive or around; they still have the potential to exist in the mind of the abuser or abused.
Here the voice exists like a parasite in the mind, merging with the mind and this makes it hard to notice and eliminate.
This shows that it is typically a two way relationship. With people who have been abused being more likely to be attracted to an abuser. If one has been abused in their younger years and it has not been looked at processed, the mind will then continue to associate this as what familiar and safe.
It will also mean that the abused will put up with this behaviour later in life. If this is what they have experienced as a child, one will then think that it is normal and all they deserve.
If one was abused by their own caregivers, it is only normal for them to assume that this is how people are that that the world is therefore unsafe and dangerous. And also that people can't be trusted.
To experience abuse can be extremely traumatising; with the consequences of abuse having the potential to last a life time. Time is said to be one of the greatest healers. Being around supportive people that one can feel safe around and who can listen without judgement is equally important.
This could be in the form of friends, family or a therapist. Here they will listen and acknowledge what is being said without judgement or blame. This is a process that cannot be rushed, and will happen in its own time and when one is ready to face what has happened. There is not a right or wrong time, only the time when one feels ready to undertake such an important step.
Abuse and Its Effects on Self-Esteem and Positive Identity
Why do domestic abuse victims assume responsibility for the battering behavior in abusive relationships? Easy answer...because it is their "Job."
Now, I'm not being flipped here; I'm being honest and direct. Domestic abuse victims know that it is their role in the relationship to shoulder the blame for the relationship discord, and that includes the batterer's physical, verbal and emotional abuse toward them. It's part of the territory of what keeps the abuse dynamic intact.
The victim's assuming responsibility for the battering is both expected by the abuser and by the abused. The only people stunned by this action are the individuals looking in who are unfamiliar with the dynamics of abusive relationships.
Responsibility and Domestic Violence Victims
It can be anything from becoming accountable for their own injuries in a domestic assault, to sucking up ownership for something they themselves were not even a party to...or even paying the penalty for a crime they did not commit.
When engaged in the dynamics of an abusive relationship, it's not a matter of right or wrong, or even who did what. Instead, it has to do with keeping peace.
The abused may very well believe in their own innocence, yet they know from experience that owning fault buys "promise" for a reprieve of peace. The abuser declares continuous battering until victim ownership is "properly" assumed. And this is what keeps the abuse dynamic going.
Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Abuse
Conversely, the key to breaking the cycle of abuse is the abused forfeiting responsibility for the battering behavior. The moment she/he stops becoming accountable for the perpetrator's actions, feelings and beliefs, the relationship dynamics shift. A window opens up wherein the abused is then free to be responsible for their own experience.
This one shift is a major cornerstone in breaking the cycle of domestic violence. Given this, do you see the power that the victim has in maintaining and/or breaking the cycle of abuse?
If you are in an abusive relationship and find yourself at the mercy of your partner demanding your accountability for the abuse, ask yourself if your ownership of the blame beings true peace or continues the war.
Going back to our opening question titling this article: "Who is responsible for the domestic abuse in battering relationships?"...Both of the parties are responsible for maintaining the abuse dynamic. And, most importantly, each party is only responsible for their own individual actions, feelings and beliefs.