Abuse isn’t just about bruises. Not all forms of abuse leave bruises where we can see them,What Happens When You Call The Police For Domestic Violence 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 Hotline Number . 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 Network .
What Happens When You Call The Police For Domestic Violence 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
Financial Abuse By A Spouse
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.