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 Emotional Abuse . 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 How To Stop Domestic Violence .
What Happens When You Get A Domestic Violence Charge in South Africa ?
Why do domestic abuse victims assume responsibility for the battering behavior in abusive relationships? Easy answer...because it is their "Job."
Now, I'm not being flipped here; I'm being honest and direct. Domestic abuse victims know that it is their role in the relationship to shoulder the blame for the relationship discord, and that includes the batterer's physical, verbal and emotional abuse toward them. It's part of the territory of what keeps the abuse dynamic intact.
The victim's assuming responsibility for the battering is both expected by the abuser and by the abused. The only people stunned by this action are the individuals looking in who are unfamiliar with the dynamics of abusive relationships.
Responsibility and Domestic Violence Victims
It can be anything from becoming accountable for their own injuries in a domestic assault, to sucking up ownership for something they themselves were not even a party to...or even paying the penalty for a crime they did not commit.
When engaged in the dynamics of an abusive relationship, it's not a matter of right or wrong, or even who did what. Instead, it has to do with keeping peace.
The abused may very well believe in their own innocence, yet they know from experience that owning fault buys "promise" for a reprieve of peace. The abuser declares continuous battering until victim ownership is "properly" assumed. And this is what keeps the abuse dynamic going.
Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Abuse
Conversely, the key to breaking the cycle of abuse is the abused forfeiting responsibility for the battering behavior. The moment she/he stops becoming accountable for the perpetrator's actions, feelings and beliefs, the relationship dynamics shift. A window opens up wherein the abused is then free to be responsible for their own experience.
This one shift is a major cornerstone in breaking the cycle of domestic violence. Given this, do you see the power that the victim has in maintaining and/or breaking the cycle of abuse?
If you are in an abusive relationship and find yourself at the mercy of your partner demanding your accountability for the abuse, ask yourself if your ownership of the blame beings true peace or continues the war.
Going back to our opening question titling this article: "Who is responsible for the domestic abuse in battering relationships?"...Both of the parties are responsible for maintaining the abuse dynamic. And, most importantly, each party is only responsible for their own individual actions, feelings and beliefs.
Mental Abuse - The 7 Most Important Things To Know
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.