Whenever I have spoken to a clilent who has experienced domestic violence, there have always been specific patterns at the beginning (by the perpetrator of the abuse) that lead to the abuse. There are definite signs of domestic abuse that you can look out for.
Domestic abuse can sometimes be hard to recognise. This is because the abuser is very charming in the beginning. They are on best behaviour and are often very romantic. It’s all part of their plan. Their goal is to get you emotionally hooked on them. They shower you with love, and often gifts, and make you feel special, so much so that you fall for them. Once you are emotionally hooked, they have more control over you and this is how they like it.
You fall in love with their best version, the one that only constitutes about 10% of their real personality. When the abuse starts, the victim begins to question themselves. They believe that they must somehow be responsible for the awful behaviour as their partner used to treat them well.
Here are the definite signs of abuse in a relationship:
The perpetrator starts to criticise the victim and break down their confidence. Someone who is in love and has no confidence will be far easier to manipulate. A domestic abuser is often very insecure and lacks control over their emotions. Little things can set them off and their partner often ends up at the receiving end of their temper tantrums.
Jealousy and possessiveness
An abuser often controls what their partner does, where they go and who they socialise with. They will cut their partners off from friends and family who threaten their influence. It’s all about manipulation and control. The more in control thet feel, the more secure they are in the relationship. Their behaviour is damaging and destructive.
Never their fault
Everything is always the victim’s fault. Things get twisted around and the victim may even end up thinking they are going crazy, not able to trust their own perceptions anymore. When someone has little empathy for another’s feelings and version of events on a regular and consistent basis, this is a major warning sign that there is abuse going on.
Emotional abuse covers criticism, being insulted and being made to feel inadequate. Over time this can lead a victim to become a ‘shell’ of their former selves. they lose their identity and become even more dependent on their abusive partner.
It’s not as easy to leave as people think. This is the most common question that victims get asked – “Why didn’t you just leave?”. Emotional manipulation can leave even the most confident and forthright person grappling for what is real and wondering what to believe. They often blame themselves and feel a sense of shame and guilt. Many victims stay silent and don’t tell anyone.
Trust your gut instincts, when someone loves and cherished you, they don’t want to hurt or upset you. They care about your quality of life and would never try to limit who you can see or talk to. When someone loves you, they support and champion you, they don’t play emotional games.
If you suspect that you are a victim of domestic abuse, find a counsellor or contact a charity for support. Don’t wait as abuse tends to get worse, not better.
Links for help:
USA: National Domestic Violence hotline: 800-799-SAFE(7233) Click link below for website: