When you hear the term women abuse,you picture images of women with black eyes, broken or bruised bodies. You think of women being slapped around by a drunk or angry partner. The truth is there are so many circumstances that can be categorised as abuse, that you, yourself may even be a victim. There are also many warning signs that can indicate a build up to becoming a victim of abuse. Here are some of those warning signs, and types of situations that you may not even realise are abusive.
- Sexual abuse.
Many women feel that because they are in a sexual relationship with a man, sexual abuse isn't something that can happen. On the contrary, many women endure this, and it can be considered a form of rape. Sexual abuse does not always mean there needs to be physical contact with you partner. Derogatory or demeaning comments about your sexual performance o sexuality, as well as threats insinuating that if you don't comply with you partners sexual needs, that they will seek it elsewhere, is a form of sexual abuse.
When it comes to physical aspects of sexual abuse, these include making you do certain sex acts that you are uncomfortable with, insisting on intercourse when you don't want to, and having sex with you after you have repeatedly insisted that you don't want to. Remember, saying no means no, whether you are in a relationship or not.
- Emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse may be the most difficult form of abuse to identify, as the abuser often convinces the abused that what they imply and say are true. They start to experience feelings of guilt, insecurity and shame. In fact, in many cases, emotional abuse can be more damaging than physical abuse-physical scars fade-emotional scars linger. Ask yourself some of the following questions and see if you can identify with them...
Does your partner:
Use sarcasm to put you down?
Embarrass you in front of friends or family?
Make you feel like a child, or inferior to them?
Control who you see, who you talk to, o isolate you from friends and family?
Do you feel the need to ask permission before going somewhere, or even making small decisions?
Make snide remarks or comments?
Make excuses for their behaviour when you put your foot down, or have difficulty in apologizing?
Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness?
While all relationships have their problems, and you may have agreed with one or two minor issues, be very aware of the fine line between abuse and normal niggles that couples experience.
She's such an idiot-why doesn't she just leave?
I have heard this so many times from women who do not know what it is like to be abused, whether it be physical, sexual or emotional. To be frank, I find this both ignorant and nasty. There are many reasons why an abused woman can't just up and leave. Some are afraid for their lives. Some may be afraid of losing their children. Some may not have the means to leave-they may have no money, and no friends or family to go to. One of the biggest reasons, however, is the fact that after a significant amount of time, the victim begins to feel she doesn't deserve better, that she deserves the way she is being treated, and falls for the grand gestures of flowers and never do it again apologies. Don't be so quick to judge.
Written and Researched by Body and Mind's Lisa Lee