Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,What Happens When You Get A Domestic Violence Charge 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 Organisations .
What Happens When You Get A Domestic Violence Charge 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.
Violence and Violent Crime - The Gender Consideration
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.