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 History . 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 Emotional Abuse .
What Happens When You Call The Police For Domestic Violence in South Africa ?
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.
5 Warning Signs to Recognize Senior Abuse
Have you ever experienced sexual abuse? Do you know that the negative experience you had may still be affecting you in the present?
In my practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I discovered that many women, and even some men, experienced sexual abuse. As I counseled the clients, they became aware of the negative decisions they had made from their sexual exploitation. In fact, many years later those painful thoughts were still affecting their lives in negative ways.
Some of the symptoms that it still influenced their lives were low self-esteem, avoiding dating, struggling in their relationships, not enjoying their sexuality, hiding their physical beauty, shyness, and doing everything to please others.
I included 14 hurtful thoughts that caused the above symptoms that I heard from many of the clients of all ages. Can you relate to any of them?
14 Negative decisions based on sexual abuse include:
1) I feel shame.
2) I am bad and dirty.
3) I am not safe in the world.
4) I can't trust men not to hurt me.
5) My parent or parents betrayed me because they did not protect me.
6) I can't trust people I love to be there for me.
7) I should have stopped it.
8) Sex is painful, dirty and wrong.
9) Men want me only for my body.
10) I feel guilty because it felt good.
11) I feel different than others; I am an outsider.
12) I have to hide my secret so people do not judge me.
13) I have to do what others want me to or I am not safe or loved.
14) It is not safe for me to get attention from men.
For example, Susan was molested by her father. As a result, she hated men and that affected all her relationships with the opposite sex. She also was very cute, free- spirited and loving as a child and that is when her father started to molest her. Her decision was many of the above negative beliefs, as well as it is not safe to be free, happy and shine. She just did what people wanted to stay safe. Her self-esteem was very low and that affected her social interactions and professional success. To stuff her pain, she overate and was obese.
Her mother knew but did nothing to protect Susan. (Mothers often cannot deal with the rejection so they deny it, and may also be afraid of their partners.) To help Susan, I suggested that she imagine her mother in front of her and say, "You did the best you could with the information you had, I forgive you."
Then I helped Susan release the other negative thoughts based on her negative experiences, and she felt much better, began speaking up for herself, and her relationship improved.
By the way, sexual abuse is one major cause of weight issues. Nancy told me that whenever she was thin, men made sexual comments and she did not feel safe. The weight is her wall of protection. "Helene, she said, "I have to make myself unattractive with my unattractive hairstyle, baggy clothes, and fat, for the men to leave me alone!"
Can you relate to Susan or Nancy? If you do, it would be very beneficial to release those hurtful decisions, so that you can enjoy a healthy and happy life.