Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,What Happens When You Press Charges For Domestic Violence 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 News . 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 Abuse Lawyers Near Me .
What Happens When You Press Charges For Domestic Violence in 2018 ?
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.
Child Abuse - What Are The Causes and Effects?
Good self-esteem or positive identity is an asset to any person. It helps improve relationships, confidence, job performance and makes it easier to enjoy and embrace life to the fullest. When a person has been abused, their good self-esteem is threatened and often lost. Understanding how this happens and knowing practical ways to deal with it can be valuable tools in our self-help toolbox!
Each of us is born with the gift of individual person-hood. Our unique genetic make-up and DNA set us apart from all others. We have boundaries that help us to know where we stop and where others start. Inside of these boundaries and within the context of our individual person-hood, we are free to grow, to question, to risk, to explore and to experience life in our own unique way! If allowed to continue and encouraged from those closest to us, we become comfortable in our own skin (within our own boundaries) and a positive identity develops.
Abuse is an invasion of those boundaries; an attack on our individual person-hood. Abuse happens when someone stronger than ourselves overpowers us, either emotionally, physically, verbally or sexually. Even if the abuse is not "severe" in comparison to what others have experienced, the impact on our self-esteem can be severe. The boundaries between us and the perpetrator are blurred. We tend to own some or all of the blame for the abuse and thus take on what rightfully belongs to the invader. With our boundaries destroyed and our person-hood invaded, we are left vulnerable to the world around us and confused about who we really are.
A common reaction to the invasion of abuse is withdrawal. Sometimes the victim will withdraw so far that they actually dissociate from the event completely. This may be good in the long run except for the fact that the dissociation almost always involves other emotions, longings, fears and identity markers that can no longer be accessed. People who are extremely shy and introverted, people who are emotionally shut down and people who lack in social graces are often (not always) reacting to some kind of abuse. The invasion has left them afraid to feel, afraid to connect and afraid to make a mistake.
Another reaction to the invasion of abuse is an attempt to build a wall of defense. The feeling of vulnerability is countered by erecting some kind of wall that we believe will protect us. We can become very angry and keep others at arms length by our temper. We can become very controlling and thus minimize the possibility of future hurt. We can become very sarcastic or funny to deflect our real feelings. We can become an overachiever so that others will identify us by our accomplishments and not by our fears. These walls feel protective but are actually putting us in bondage. We cannot do life without our anger, control, sarcasm, humor or achievements so we are not free to be who we really are... we are forced to keep up the act... and that is exhausting.
This second reaction was my own way of dealing with childhood sexual abuse. I kept the walls firmly in place from age 11 until age 35. At that point, exhausted from trying to keep myself safe, I attempted suicide, not out of despair as much as out of exhaustion!
When we react in either of these ways to abuse, we end up losing ourselves, our true identity, our positive identity or self-esteem. There is another way. From my own experience I have learned the power of these positive and practical steps that can lead us out of brokenness and into confidence in who we really are. Consider the following:
1) Be honest about our abuse.
We cannot properly deal with all of the feelings and reactions associated with our abuse if we refuse to face what actually happened. As with any recovery program, admitting the problem is the beginning of healing.
2) Forgive those who hurt us.
Holding on to the anger, hatred, malice or even ambivalence toward our abuser only keeps us tied to them and to the abuse and its consequences. Forgiveness does not mean that you are saying it was no big deal. It is not saying that you would let them hurt you again. It is not saying that it did not happen. Forgiveness is simply a choice to release them after coming to the conclusion that there is nothing they could do that would take away what happened to us.
3) Surrender our coping mechanisms.
Just as we have to be honest about our abuse, we have to be honest about all of the ways that we have developed to try to help ourselves cope with the abuse. What walls have we erected? What masks have we put on to hide from others? What self-medicating habits have we picked up? Name these coping mechanisms and then willingly lay them down. We may need to invite a few people who are close to us into this process since we often have blind spots related to coping.
4) Embrace the truth about who we really are.
Learn to look beyond what happened to us to the person we really are on the inside. At this point, having a relationship with God is a key factor. If we have become connected with our Creator through the sacrifice of His Son Christ Jesus, we get our true identity from Him. We are His sons and daughter, regardless of our abuse, achievements, failures or coping mechanisms.
5) Join a safe community.
At this point, with walls torn down and feelings exposed, belonging to a community where we feel safe is vital. A support group, home group, counselor or accountability group can provide a place for us to grow in our new positive identity. People who know our need for healing and encouragement will be a great help in this process of rebuilding.
Commit with me not to allow past abuse in our lives to rob us of our positive identity. Choose life!