There are different types of abuse, and in many cases victims and abusers may not even view themselves as being in an abusive situation. They become trapped in a cycle of abuse that could eventually progresses to become life threatening.
Domestic violence and abuse take many forms and can include physical, emotional, sexual, financial, verbal, social and institutional forms of abuse. Abuse could get progressively more intense and frequent resulting in a range of reactions and risks including fear, anxiety, trauma, physical and life threatening danger.
To discuss these factors in more detail, read the following articles relating to the nature of abuse in domestic violent situations. Domestic Violence and Abuse – Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships
Find a summary of the types of abuse and the signs / symptoms displayed by the victim of abuse.
Even though victims may experience similar types of abuse, the response to trauma may vary from person to person. Many factors can influence how a person responds to the short- and long-term effects of the abuse, such as the frequency of abusive incidents, degree of severity and the effects on physical health. The overall impact of domestic violence also depends on the individual’s natural reactions to stress and ways of coping with stressful situations.
We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in any society, a life free from violence and fear
People think that only uneducated, working class women are abused.
Women are abused in all cultures, regardless of educational level, class or religious belief.
People think that alcohol and drugs cause abuse.
There are abusers who are sober when they are abusive towards their partners, just as there are abusers who don’t alcohol or drugs. Alcohol and drugs may make the abuse worse, but they are not the cause of abuse and can not be used as an excuse for abuse. Many abusers may abuse while under the influence of alcohol or drugs but this by itself is not a cause of abuse.
People think that stress causes domestic violence.
Stress may spark off abusive behaviour, but it does not cause the abuse. If some people are so stressed that they have to abuse their partners, why don’t they abuse their friends, or their colleagues or boss at work? The relationship is a complex one and often one that is linked to power and control in a relationship.
People think that women who are abused ask for it or provoke it in some way.
Many people think that if a woman is abused, it is because she nags a lot, answers back or needs to be put in her place. But no one asks to be abused. Abusers must be responsible for their own behaviour. There is no excuse for abuse.
People think that women enjoy being abused.
No woman enjoys being abused. She may seem to accept the abuse, because she does not believe she can escape it. Or she has made a commitment to the marriage or relationship and wants to fulfil that commitment. Accepting abusive behaviour and enjoying it are two very different things.
People think that women who are abused are a bit mad.
Sometimes people think that a woman must be mentally ill to allow the abuse. Although some women may become depressed or suffer from anxiety attacks or some other mental disorder, this is because of the abuse. There are many abused women who are not mentally ill.
People think that if you were abused as a child, then you will become an abuser when you are an adult.
It is true that many abusers were themselves abused as children. But there are abusers who have never been abused, as well as people who were abused as children, who never become abusers. We are all responsible for our own behaviour.