Domestic violence can be broad and some times confusing for some people. A lot of people suffering domestic violence are not even aware of it while some live in denial.
Here are the many faces of domestic violence to help you, your friend of family member or people you care for identity it and take action.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence – also called domestic abuse, battering or intimate partner violence – is a pattern of controlling and aggressive behaviours from one adult towards another within the context of an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is also abuse from a sibling to his/her sibling, parent to child or vice versa, spouse to in-law, parent to home-helper etc
· It can be physical, sexual, psychological or emotional abuse. Financial abuse and social isolation are also common features.
· The violence and abuse can be actual or threatened and can happen once every so often or on a regular basis.
· It can happen to anyone, and in all kinds of relationships – heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). People suffer domestic violence regardless of their gender, social group, class, age, race, disability, sexuality or lifestyle. The abuse can begin at any time – in new relationships or after many years spent together.
- Calls you names, insults you or puts you down
- Prevents you from going to work or school
- Stops you from seeing family members or friends
- Tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear
- Acts jealous or possessive or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
- Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Threatens you with violence or a weapon
- Hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, chokes or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets
- Forces you to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
- Blames you for his or her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it
- You may also be experiencing domestic violence if you’re in a lesbian relationship with someone who:
- Threatens to tell friends, family, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation or gender identity
- Tells you that authorities won’t help a homosexual, bisexual or transgender person
- Tells you that leaving the relationship means you’re admitting that homosexual relationships are deviant
- Tells you that abuse is a normal part of homosexual relationships or that domestic violence can’t occur in homosexual relationships
- Justifies abuse by telling you that you’re not “really” homosexual, bisexual or transgender
- Says women can’t be violent
- Portrays the violence as mutual and consensual
- Depicts the abuse as part of a sadomasochistic activity
· Children are affected by domestic violence both in the short and the long term.
· All forms of abuse – psychological, economic, emotional and physical – come from the abuser’s desire for POWER and CONTROL