When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse occurs whenever one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person.
Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out?
Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you?
Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did?
Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you?
Has he ever shoved, poked, or grabbed you?
Has he ever threatened to hurt you?
Has he ever made you feel worthless?
Has he ever stopped you from seeing your friends or family?
Has he ever Forced you to have sex or do sexual acts that you are not comfortable with?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he’ll ever be violent; he already has been. If a man is abusive, it is because he wants to have power and control over his partner. He might believe that men have the right to control women, he may have learned that it is okay to use violence at home, he may feel powerless so he uses a weaker person to abuse.
One in five men living with woman admits to assaulting her.
If you are a woman who is being abused, it is not your fault. Nobody deserves to be abused.
- Talk to someone you trust
- Your doctor may be able to help
- Call any helpline – I recommend
This is run by trained women who can give you lots of practical support. By telling them a bit more, they can run you through your options and – crucially – they will believe you. They can put you in touch with an outreach worker who has an encyclopedic knowledge of services and legal aid.
- Police have a duty to help women who are being assaulted
- Lawyers. You have rights
WHY DO SOME WOMEN STAY WITH ABUSIVE PARTNERS?
Our society makes it very difficult for women to leave men who abuse them. A woman may feel that she has to stay for reasons such as:
- She fears for her life. Her partner threatens to hurt her or kill her if she tries to leave.
- She cannot afford to move out and support herself
- Relatives and in-laws want her to stay
- He makes her feel guilty and tells her the abuse is her fault anyway
- He takes away her confidence, so she doesn’t think that she can make it on her own
- He promises to never beat her again and he begs her to believe him
Talk with others about it. If you hear or see a woman being hurt, call the police. Let her know she is not alone. Listen to her and show her that you believe her. Help her get in touch with shelter.
We should all care about wife abuse – it is not a private family matter.
Wife assault is a crime! Break the silence.