Generally witnessed in intimate relationships/marriage; domestic abuse or spousal abuse occurs when one of the partners tries to subjugate the other partner in the relationship by using tactics like fear, intimidation, humiliation, blames or threats. The abuser may use any of these tricks, in order to gain absolute command over the relationship, and manipulate it to suit his/ her needs. Thus, it gives birth to a dysfunctional relationship; with one partner acting as the ‘master’ and the other playing the part of a helpless ‘victim’. Majority of the victims of this malpractice have always been women.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
- He criticizes you and shouts at you most of the time
- He constantly tries to monitor your activities
- He always blames / find faults with you or your behavior
- He is very unpredictable and hot-headed at times
- He forces you to have unwanted sex
- He hurts you or threatens to do the same
- He completely ignores your views and opinions
- He controls all the financial assets and pays you a meager allowance
Types of Abusive Relationship
Emotional Abuse / Psychological Abuse
Emotional abuse may be verbal or non-verbal. Your abusive partner might yell, shout or criticize you or even call you names, to hurt your self-esteem and sense of worth. Sometimes, he might even throw threats of physical violence. Such an abuse is generally targeted at controlling your behavior by isolating or intimidating you; without any direct physical assault.
When your partner tries to control your behavior by using physical force, with a view of physically harming you, it is physical abuse. It includes hitting, choking, grabbing, throwing things or assaulting you with any weapons. Physical abuse is a legal offence, and the law provides various measures to protect victims from physical assaults and battery in/ outside the domestic realm.
You are a victim of sexual abuse; when you are forced to participate or indulge in unwanted, unsafe or humiliating sexual activities without your consent. Forced sex in any form; whether by your husband or partner, falls under this category. Majority of the women who are victims of physical assaults, are generally the silent victims of sexual abuse as well.
Economic / Financial Abuse
Sometimes, the abuser might abuse you financially and undermine your position in the relationship; by gaining complete control over the financial matters himself, and by providing you a meager allowance. He might also misuse your finances; prohibit you from choosing a career or even deny you the basic amenities like food, clothing and shelter.
Whatever be the form of domestic abuse, remember that the behavior of an abuser is not because of the victim. It is related to his own personality and the other person should never ever feel guilty about the same. At the same time, he/she should stand up for your rights and never ever let the other person take undue advantage.