Sunday, April 1, 2012

What constitutes domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is more common than you think. Abuse in relationships is at an all time  high. If any of the following pertains to your individual situation or you know someone who is involved in a violent relationship, please seek help with the appropriate authorities. Regardless of where the violence is coming from, a man or a woman, in a marriage or not, there is no room for violence in a relationship.

Making excuses for the perpetrator only prolongs and exacerbates the situation making for a miserable existence and changing outside relationships.

The following are situations you should be asking yourself to learn if you are in a abusive relationship. If you answer yes and can identify to any of the following, you are in a abusive relationship.

Does your partner: smash things, destroy property, make threats, steal, act like a "master", act like everything is OK even while living in a tense atmosphere, make you feel unsafe when asleep, shift responsibility and make it seem like "you must.....or else", control what you do, who you talk to, where you go and demand to know what your talking about, limit your outside involvement with friends, create arguments/confrontations when friends come by to visit, keep you apart from family or friends, basically cutting you off from the outside world and just "allowing you" to work to make money for him or her.

Does your partner: put you down privately or publicly, make you feel bad about yourself, call you names, humiliate you in front of others, use children to make you feel guilty, place demands and have high expectations from you.

Physical abuse and emotional abuse will pull the victim down to the point where they feel they must stay in the relationship because there is nothing else for him or her. They stay in the abusive relationship out of fear or intimidation and convince themselves this is what "love" is about. The confusion the victim lives in day to day takes over the rationale and logical side of thought unable to make clear rational decisions. He or she begins to believe that it is "everyone else" who has the problem and they fail to make the distinction that the problem is coming for their partner. The very same person who claims to "love" him or her.

The victim must remember that their life is important and that a relationship is not based upon lies, threats, confrontation and just plain ugliness. The perpetrator can say a million "sorries" and make it up by trying to work on their issues and make things better. But the bottom line is they have the problem. He or she is suffering from a psychological disorder that must be professionally diagnosed and treated.

If you answered yes to any of the above and you believe you a victim in a abusive relationship, take the appropriate steps to safe guard yourself. Seek help from the authorities, family, friends. Remove yourself from the sickly situation. Work on getting your emotional strength back and regain control of  your life.

Contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline:

1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or (206) 787-3224 (Video Phone Only for Deaf Callers).

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti, RN,BSN