So what is intimate partner violence or domestic violence? Is it a kick, punch or a slap? Does it happen to folks like us? Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive control, a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by one partner to maintain control over the other. Any action, behavior and or threat that causes one to fear for his/ her life, be concerned about the safety and well being of their children, family, friends and even pets is domestic violence. It can take many forms like emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, social abuse and verbal abuse.
It cuts across all sections of society and any one can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of their gender, economic, educational status and or sexual orientation.
In the United stated it is reported that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Men can be victim too. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline one in seven men have been victims of physical violence.
Early in the relationships often there are warning signs, which many do not notice or chose to ignore. In the beginning most people confuse control with protective care, jealousy as dependence, isolation with a partner being possessive. Thankfully most relationships are not abuse and there is mutual respect, care and sharing. However there are fine lines that are crossed, power are subtly and insidiously taken from one partner without him or her even noticing just like we saw in the case of Sarah. There are many reasons why individuals stay and or cannot extricate self from abusive relationships. Many unresolved issues from one’s family of origin, circumstances there were raised in and even the societal messages about relationships can contribute to their decision making.
Domestic Violence is an epidemic that slowly eats away at one’s self esteem, destroying their sense of self and integrity.
If you or anyone you know is living with a partner where s/he feels uncomfortable, fearful and or threatened to live life freely please call for help.
It does not hurt to get a relationship check up to see how you are doing as a couple from time to time. Even if you feel you have a great relationship there is always room for betterment. Call us, make an appointment and see how you too can improve your relationship and live life to its fullest.