YesterdayÂ’s topic was about abused children, but we know that men and women are abused as well. TodayÂ’s topic is about abused women. What can we do about it and most importantly how can we prevent it.
The Earlier Signs: Sometimes abuse is not there staring you in the face, sometimes relationships seem to start out normal and that is why so many women get hooked into the relationship before realizing what is happening.
Sometimes your guy acts loving one minute and totally indifferent the next. He may stop talking to you for any dumb reason, or maybe you donÂ’t even know why he has stopped talking to you. Then out of the blue he just starts talking to you again. Based on that premise alone a woman would not necessarily think this was abuse.
The man might buy you flowers out of the blue but if you ask him for a glass of water he may make you wait for an hour or so; when he is good and ready to give it to you.
You may be dating him and he does not call you for days or weeks on end and then expects you to be so very happy to see him. He may demand sex and take it whenever he wants it. (Yes ladies this is a sign of abuse).
Jealousy - If you partner is jealous do not mistake that for love. Jealousy is a controlling manipulation meant to keep in you in your place. It is meant to keep you Â“all to himself.Â” When you exercise your independence, the abuse begins such as name-calling, total confinement, and physical aggression.
Abusers usually show a telltale pattern of abuse before women realize that they are actually being abused. These earlier signs can be very subtle or they can be confused for being normal, scoffed off as a couplesÂ’ inability to communicate with each other. Or excuses such as Â“he is too busy or he has a lot on his mind, he is going through a bad time right now, he has issues, he only does this sometimes, he is actually very good to me are used to defend this kind of behaviour. Women defend these men and by doing so they defend bad behaviour.
Furthermore until the hitting starts many women do not realize that although they are not being physically abused they may very well be emotionally abused. Emotional abuse is a good forerunner into physical abuse, because these women are already vulnerable and is not sure anymore about what is right and what is wrong.
The more obvious signs of abuse
- Striking or hitting Â– If he hits you once chances are he will hit you again.
- Believing him when he says, Â“I love you, I am sorry and I wonÂ’t ever do it again.Â” This is the trap that abused women fall into. They do believe him and the result is that most of these men do do it again. Now look at the words Â“I love you,Â” how can anyone including the abused female rationalize I love you with beating hit and constantly being hurt 24 hours a day? The occasional hit is still not justified. Where does love and hurt compliment each other? The answer is, it does not. To hurt someone is a cruel act and is no way associated with love. Hitting people to get them to do their bidding is simply an act of control. It is also an act of punishment for crimes the abused one has not committed.
LetÂ’s explore that further Â– Crimes the abused one has not committed what does that mean?
- Being punished for crimes never committed Â– Question these alleged crimes for yourself. Is looking at the person you are talking to a crime? Is burning the toast a crime? If you donÂ’t jump up fast enough to do his bidding is that a crime? Think about it; does a woman need to be beaten because she did not come to him the exact moment she was called, perhaps it took her two minutes to get there. How about being accused of sleeping around when the poor woman is afraid to even look at another man?
- Subservience - Forced to do his bidding at any day or night for fear of being beaten. These women are usually confined to the house, never allowed to socialize or have any friends (friends can help them realize something is wrong), never allowed to fix themselves up and look pretty, and the worst kind of abuse and control in this category as far as I am concerned is never being allowed to raise your eyes to look at the person you are talking to - that is if you are allowed to talk at all, often times these abusers have the strict rule of Â“speak only when you are spoken to.Â”
Verbal abuse Â– Even though your man may not hit you that does not mean you are not being abused. Controlling you as we have already discussed is abuse. Calling you names, swearing at you, telling you you are not good enough, and constantly saying you are too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too stupid, or anything to put you down in order to make you feel bad about yourself is ABUSE.
- Emotional Abuse Â– Any act that can make you feel unloved, unwanted, unappreciated or undeserving. Under this rubric, you would also have the most lethal of all emotional abuse, and that is why you begin to agree with your abuser!
- It is all my fault - He wouldnÂ’t have hit me if only I didnÂ’t speak out of term, I shouldnÂ’t have worn a dress I know he only wants me to wear pants, I burnt his dinner, I am dirty, I am bad, I am evil, he is only doing this to teach me the right way to be, any of these statements along with many others are self defeating and a strong sign that you are in serious trouble. You need to get out of that situation fast, to save yourself and any kids you may have.
Why do women stay in abusive relationships?
- You love the man and cannot imagine what it would be like to be without him.
Â· You are afraid to leave. Oftentimes these men hold power on these women by threatening to kill them if they leave.
- You feel you have nowhere to go and do not know how you can survive on you own or with your children. The fear of the unknown is our worst enemy.
- You donÂ’t know where to turn to get help Â– There are women shelters and many websites that can help you through this transitional period please take advantage of the wonderful services available to you. Reach out - donÂ’t be afraid there are people who are standing by to help you. Your first major step may be to simply tell a family member, friend, pastor, teacher, doctor, anybody you feel comfortable with.
Â· You are afraid of what people will think of you Â– My friendÂ’s mother was abused for years, she took it in stride. When my friend was in her 40Â’s and her father came home and beat her mother because he didnÂ’t like the taste of the spaghetti sauce, my friend asked her why she was taking this abuse all these years. Her motherÂ’s answer was, Â“he is my husband, I cannot leave, what will the neighbours think?Â”
- He is my husband I married for better or for worse. Sorry but you didnÂ’t get married to be abused or even killed. Get out! That is the only logical thing to do to stay alive.
- I donÂ’t believe in divorce Â– Okay so donÂ’t believe in it donÂ’t get divorced but donÂ’t live in the same house with this abuser who is hurting you.
- I stay because of the kids Â– You are not helping the kids by living in a house where they see abuse going on all the time. Both you and your partner are powerful role models for these kids. These children are seeing someone they love being hurt and someone they love doing the hurting They will either learn to hate women and abuse them if they are boys, or be afraid of men or accept abuse if they are girls. Fore the most part, they will be traumatized in someway. Yes, you can argue that some children will grow up to be nothing like the abuser, but do you know for a fact your children will be among them? Is it a chance you really want to take? The bottom line is that you are not doing it for the children because it is the worst thing you can do for the children.
- The children need their father Â– The children need a good loving home and a good father who will show them the right things to do in life, they do not need a father that is abusive to their mother and may even turn his anger towards them.
- He loves me Â– Really?
- He canÂ’t help himself Â– Maybe not be he and you can get professional help. Just get out first and then let him get the help.
- I am the one at fault. If only I was a different person Â– Well you are not, and that is a fact of life.
- I can help him change Â– How long have you been living with him? Have you helped him change in any way so far? No you havenÂ’t and you canÂ’t. He has to change on his own and he may need professional help to do it.
- I donÂ’t want him to go to jail. He may or may not go to jail that is a legal decision, but either way why are you so concerned about him when he is not the least bit concerned about you or your welfare.
Â“In the USA, Â“In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims.Â”
These statistics were provided by the American Bar Association.
Rich or poor, poorly educated to highly educated, woman all over the world are victims of abuse on a daily basis.
Some of the well-known women who have been victims of abuse:
- Tina Turner Â– Â“Fearful of Tina's growing independence after years of what she described as imprisoned torture at his hands, IkeÂ—high on cocaine and prescription pillsÂ—abused Tina in order to keep her within his control.Â”
- Robin Givens Â– Robin was briefly married to Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson, "He shakes, he pushes, he swings," Givens replied to an interview with Barbara Walters. "He, sometimes I think he's trying to scare me. And just recently I've become afraid. I mean, very, very much afraid." He also raped her.
Â· Rihanna Â– It has been all over the news how Rihanna was abused by her 19 year old celebrity boyfriend Chris brown who punched and choked her. She pressed charges and he was released on bail.
- Halle Berry Â– Halle took years of abuse from her father.
- Christina Aguilera Â– She revealed to USA Weekend magazine that her father abused her. Â“"We lived on Army bases when I was little, and it (domestic violence) was happening a lot. The MPs (military police) would come, but a lot of them were doing the same things (to their wives and kids). I was surrounded with domestic violence, not only in my home but my friends'."
- Jessica Simpson - America's Elle magazine interviewed Simpson and asked if she had ever been physically abused, she answered, "I don't want to talk about it, but I have definitely experienced abuse in a way that I would tell people to take their heart and run."
- Mindy McCready Â– Mindy was burglarized and savagely attacked by her by her on and off boyfriend, Billy Knight, who broke into her house and when he finished beating her, left her for dead. He was arrested and charged with burglary and attempted murder.