Relationship issues: The four areas of domestic abuse
Many people are unaware there are four areas of domestic abuse. The first one most widely recognised is physical assault, this can consist of hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, pinching, biting, burning with hot objects, hair pulling. Often people fail to realise the aggressor may be female and the victim may be male. All too often it is assumed a male in the relationship is the aggressor. Victims can end up with injuries from cuts and bruises to broken bones, internal injuries or death. Even physical injuries can go unnoticed, hidden by the victim, or the abuser only targeting areas of the body out of view. Clearly in these cases the abuser knows what they are doing and that their behaviour is not socially acceptable.
The second area of abuse is psychological/mental abuse. The abuser makes their family member feel useless, worthless, stupid - everything they do is wrong. The victim may feel fear, controlled, trapped, not able to get away or cope alone. The abuser may control what their victim says, does and does not do, who they see, what they wear, even what they eat. The third area is financial, the abuser controls all the money in the relationship, even if the victim earns their own money. This keeps the victim controlled and dependent.
The fourth area is sexually, the abuser forces themselves onto their victim (this is rape) or the abuser may refuse to have sex, over a period of time this makes the victim feel unattractive and worthless.
If you recognise any of these areas of abuse, it is important to reach out for support. Many people find counselling a helpful tool to regain confidence and recover emotionally from abuse.
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