DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SPOUSAL SEXUAL ABUSE, PARTNER ABUSE, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE
Many names exist for abuse against another person in a relationship. These titles include: domestic violence, spousal sexual abuse, partner abuse, intimate partner violence, dating violence, and others. Recently several people have brought domestic violence to my attention. I will use domestic violence (DV) as my main label in this article; but, please know that that covers a wide range of abuses – sexual and not. Domestic violence or partner abuse does not have to contain sexual or physical abuse. It can be emotional, mental, and/or spiritual in nature. Power and control is what the abuser seeks.
First, a friend forwarded me to a link of Dear Abby’s. She responds to a woman who writes of sexual abuse in her marriage.
Marital or spousal rape is a subject that is not frequently addressed.
Next, I shared my thoughts on domestic abuse (partner abuse) from my own life with someone in a letter. Below is part of what I wrote:
“When I was in the abusive situations – both my home of origin and my marriage – I did not have enough time to clear my head – to figure out that, hey, I could live on my own. I could go to a shelter. I could ask for help. I could eventually be financially independent. Before I could feel my head clear, more abuse occurred (whether it was physical, sexual, or manipulation or the honeymoon phase of isn’t life good again). That is what happens in domestic violence, partner abuse. Everything is so good. You get closer and closer. Most people see friends less or only in couples or where it is monitored somehow. Isolation slowly occurs. The person’s life revolves mainly or only around the abuser. Comments, negative remarks. Manipulation by compliments and disparaging remarks. Maybe then a hit happens, a slap, or sex that is rougher than you want, or some one thing. The partner may apologize profusely. Flowers may be given. The person abused (in any manner) may start to feel she caused the hit, the comment, the rough sex …. Then thoughts that she deserved it somehow start entering her mind. The relationship seems good for a while again. Then, boom, a slap, negative comments, manipulation performed so well you do not even know you are being manipulated, etc. …. Maybe another apology … maybe candy … maybe life is okay for a while again. Meanwhile, your self-esteem gets lower and lower. You don’t even notice it. You start wondering if you can do anything right. You may do well at work; but, not at home. Your self-worth (in your mind) becomes less and less. Maybe apathy appears. Maybe you decide you don’t care where you go or what you do. It is all okay with you. Maybe joy disappears (except when alcohol/drugs are used). Alcohol helps for a while; but, then doesn’t. It eventually makes it all worse. Fear is inside of you; but, you cannot let that show. A robot-like persona becomes normal. The world is gray.
That is what happened to me … That is what happens to many, many people. That is what happens frequently to adults who are survivors of childhood abuse or witnesses of their parent’s domestic violence relationships. Many who never were abused ever end up in domestic violence relationships. Statistically though, those who have been abused are more likely to end up in a DV relationship.”
Finally, a friend and reader just sent me this link:
It contains the short (five minute) video by CARE Norway called, “#Dear Daddy”. It is poignant. Please take the time to watch it.
This link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g64LWQMJuzI, explains how “#Dear Daddy” went viral.
As a survivor, life coach, and a human being on this earth – words cannot convey the deep connection and compassion I feel for individuals who are abused in any way, shape, or form. My wish for each of you is to be safe now — emotionally, sexually, physically, mentally, and spiritually — and to begin your journey of healing. Life can get better. Survivors heal enough. Freedom brings opportunities for peace and joy. Survivors of domestic violence can thrive in their new lives of freedom.
Below are some links and resources for teenagers, college students, and those of all ages. Whether you are a survivor of trauma or a friend of a survivor or an interested person, the links below may help you. We, as a society, as a culture, as a world, need to be aware so we can begin to change …..
http://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/dating-violence-statistics/ great info on types of abuse, plus stats on teenagers and college students. Please read the first page as well as rel. 101, etc.)
https://www.breakthecycle.org/sites/default/files/pdf/lina-curriculum-college.pdf (Good info especially about the cycle of domestic violence)
A friend of mine recommended these two sites that have been helpful to her.