YOU ARE NOT ALONE
It is believed that one in five family units in Ireland today, live in a domestic violence situation. This includes physical, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual abuse. Abuse is not limited to any one group. It occurs in families from every financial, religious, cultural and educational background.
Effects of Domestic Violence on Women
· Physical injuries, including broken bones.
· Trying to find ways of hiding the violence from family and friends.
· May be embarrassed because of recurring injuries
· Confidence depleted
· Ability to cope affected
· No self worth /low self-esteem
· Health effect
· May become isolated
· May overcompensate with children
· May become abusive towards children
· May become dependent on alcohol/ drugs/ medication.
· Psychosomatic problems
· Trust and judgment effected
· Difficulty forming appropriate relationships with others
· May become abusive towards self/self-harm
· Suicide/ suicidal thoughts
Above are listed some effects of domestic violence on women, it is not however a complete list which would list many more effects.
Below are some of the tactic’s used by abusers
Intimidation –Making you afraid by using looks, actions, gestures, smashing objects, destroying your property, abusing pets, displaying weapons.
Isolation– Controlling what you do, who you see and talk to, what you read, where you go, limiting your outside involvement, using jealousy to justify his actions.
Minimizing, Denying & Blaming— Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns seriously, saying the abuse did not happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behaviour, saying that you caused it.
Manipulation– Making threats to do something to hurt you, your family or friends, threatening to leave you, to commit suicide, threatening to get your children taken off you, making you do illegal things.
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
· You do not deserve to be abused.
· You are not the cause of someone else’s violent behavior.
· You have the right to expect respect.
· You have the right to make your own choices.
Healthy Relationships V Abusive Relationships.
Characteristics of Safe and Health Relationships. Partnership Joint decision-making. Shared responsibilities Economic Equality Freedom to decide issues about work, school and money. Physical Safety Respect partners physical space Express self non violently Emotional Honesty Feel safe to admit and share fears and insecurities Sexual Respect Accept that “no” means “no” Support, Trusting Listen and understanding Value partner’s opinion
Characteristics of Abusive Relationships. Domination. Abuser decides. Servant/ Master. Economic Control. Deny job freedom. Withhold money. Physical Abuse. Hit, choke, kick, punch, pull hair, bite, restrain, use weapons. Emotional . Manipulation. Use jealousy, passion, stress to justify actions. Sexual Abuse. Force partner to do things against her will. Controlling. Name calling, mind games. Isolate partner from friends, loved ones. Charming in public, menacing in private. Making light of abuse “You’re too sensitive”.
SEPARATION — how it will feel.
A separation is a big change in your life. It will bring many good things even if it sometimes may seem frightening or strange at first. It might take a few months for you to get used to the new routine—perhaps a couple of years before you feel settled and established. Once away from the abusive situation, you might feel your emotions more strongly than ever—betrayal, grief, anger, joy and freedom, often all at the same time.
Grief can be a large part of the process of letting go of a relationship. It might be hard for you to understand or explain why you are sad. You might think “Why am I upset when he was so horrible to me”. “Why am I crying at being away after all the abuse he’s put me through” It is quite normal to feel like this, if you feel like this, you could look on it as mourning. When you feel grief, let yourself cry. There were probably some good things that you miss but remember you shouldn’t have had to put up with the abuse in return.