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 Help . 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 History .
What Happens When You Press Charges For Domestic Violence in 2018 ?
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
Emotional Abuse Is Domestic Violence
When the economy dips, domestic violence often increases, affecting your workplace. This is the first of two articles on preventing DV from hitting your office.
A proactive approach to domestic violence should include designing and implementing a specific domestic violence in the workplace policy. This will not only protect your organization from liability, it will protect your employees, and help victims of domestic abuse feel supported.
Your policy should, at a minimum:
- Mitigate the effects of domestic violence in the workplace by providing victims with a link to community resources that offer counseling and advocacy. (Your organization is not required to do this itself.)
- Heighten awareness about domestic violence among all employees.
- Address issues related to the need for time off and security.
- Design an appropriate workplace safety plan, including resources, materials, and training or educational programs, as needed or as funds and time permit.
- Establish links between your organization and the local domestic violence advocacy community.
- Review existing employment policies and manuals to ensure that the domestic violence policy and program make sense in the organization's culture and environment.
- Review your EAP's policies and identify those providers who possess the requisite knowledge and experience to identify and respond appropriately to domestic violence.
- Establish and train an internal Domestic Violence Response Team, composed of designated managers, supervisors, and employees identified as the "go-to-team". Ensuring that your policy complies with the applicable laws in every jurisdiction in which it conducts business.
There are a number of security measures you can take to protect both the victim of domestic violence and all your employees. These procedures will also add protection in the case of a disgruntled former employee seeking to harm the past employer.
Imperative for the Targeted Individual:
- Consider adjusting parking and office situations (is she in an office with a window on the street; or is her office far from the main cluster?)
- Arrange for a security escort to and from buildings.
- Give temporary assignments if possible, so employees can leave on short notice if necessary.
- Be sure she knows what she can and should do if the abuser comes to work.
- Attempt to prevent gossip about an abused individual's situation
- If she has a protection order, be sure security guards and the front desk have a copy, as well as a photo of the individual.
- Help her develop a safety plan (Legal Momentum Organization website has some examples.)
- Minimal security against unauthorized persons (check-in or badges help.)
- Provide informational pamphlets in private places, like restrooms.
- Establish staggered, flexible work hours.
- Raise awareness: Use posters during October (Domestic Violence Awareness Month); organize clothes or toy drives for battered women's shelters; or otherwise connect with the anti-DV community to let employees know you care.
- Increase sensitivity: Provide training for managers, and for the DV contact team-- about how to recognize the signs of domestic violence in their staff and how to discuss the workplace policies around the issue.
- Educate: Employee training, brown bag seminars, newsletter articles, and brochures on domestic violence all create an environment where it is safe to talk about domestic violence.