Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,How Domestic Violence Act Protects Citizens 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 Abuse Counseling Near Me .
How Domestic Violence Act Protects Citizens in South Africa ?
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.
Financial Abuse By A Spouse
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.