When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in a marriage or intimate relationship to dominate and control the other. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” An abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb. 

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone; it does not discriminate. Abuse happens within heterosexual relationships and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more often victimized, men also experience abuse—especially verbal and emotional. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe. Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal assault to violence. And while physical injury may pose the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your relationship is abusive.

Signs of domestic abuse

They’re not always as obvious as you might think. That’s because domestic abuse is about controlling someone’s mind and emotions as much as hurting their body. Being abused can leave you scared and confused. It can be hard for you to see your partner’s actions for what they really are. If you’re afraid of your partner, that’s a big red flag. You may be scared to say what you think, to bring up certain topics, or to say no to sex. No matter the reason, fear has no place in a healthy relationship.

The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a "shadow pandemic" alongside Covid-19. It’s thought cases have increased by 20% during the lockdown, as many people are trapped at home with their abuser. If there is no situation of acute violence but you live in a relationship in which you feel limited in your freedoms, if you do not feel suitable to measure yourself against your partner or if you conflicts arise, talk about it! If you feel like you’re being abused, there’s a good chance you may be, and it’s worth getting help.

Domestic violence has consequences for the health of the people involved, their social integration, their financial capacity, their right of residence, not to mention all the economic consequences for the whole of society. In victims of systematic and prolonged violence, physical or psychological damage often appears which is accompanied by self-destructive behaviour, such as drug abuse.

Sometimes there is social isolation linked to shame, problems of forced financial dependence (and material difficulties in the event of separation). The work of the police prioritizes the protection of victims, before dealing with the perpetrator. So feel free to contact organization and the most important : talk about it.

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