Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,What Happens When You File A Domestic Violence Report 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 Helpline . 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 Help .
What Happens When You File A Domestic Violence Report in South Africa ?
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
Victims of Narcissistic Abuse - Ways to Rebuild Your Self-Esteem
I stopped by the house; my friend was crying. Her tears not from pain. They were tears of bitterness, humiliation, disbelief. She rubbed her shoulder as she wept; she couldn't look at me. Her husband had hit her again.
She wouldn't call the police; there was no point. When she did there was little they could do without a court order or visible marks of assault. He was long gone anyway. The children had witnessed his rage against her as usual. Watching their father beat their mother cut the remnants of their innocence to shreds. The eldest teenage son was torn between wanting to protect her and knowing that in his anger his father would beat him senseless if he tried. The neighbors, when they finally heard of the problems believed her husband's story not hers; he was such a decent guy, he could never act like that.
There's a reply that follows many domestic violence incidents that has become a cliché, when the victim is asked why she is staying with her attacker; 'because I love him.'
As I explained to my friend, her husband did not love her. There were a hundred 'buts' in response but they fell on deaf ears. I could only advise, 'leave...today.' It was up to her. In the end she did leave him and never looked back. She had a happy-ever-after story but many don't.
Domestic violence can follow a predictable pattern and it's progressive. It can start with shouting, threats, broken objects, punched walls. It moves to a push, a blocked doorway. A punch, a twisted arm, a black eye. Sexual abuse. Right up to death. The progression is no guarantee, at times it starts with death - by choking, gunshot, being thrown out the window, pushed from a moving car.
Where it stops depends not on the abuser but on the person being abused. That ability to put an end to it implies a responsibility to face what is happening and to make it stop. All the more urgent when children are involved.
People look for a cause for the abusers actions, as if that will change it. Alcohol, drugs, poverty don't cause it - they exacerbate it. If you're a batterer, you're a psychopath in need of treatment or jail. Just not at the expense of using someone as a punching bag as a gateway to treatment. You know it already. You're also a coward. Post-battering remorse, pleading "I'm sorry," means nothing. Empty words.
A good rule of thumb. The first time he or she hits you, leave. It's better live in a car with your kids than to live for a moment with someone who can defile or hurt you. They will eventually kill you, emotionally if not physically.
Victims give batterers permission to hurt them. Not the first time of course; certainly the second time.
It's done by not leaving after the first time; by not blowing the batterers brains out when they raise a hand to you or your kids; by not calling the police and filing a complaint that leads to an arrest.
Change starts with the victim. Change starts with you.