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National Anti-Violence Helpline1800-777-0000
Spousal abuse occurs when your spouse uses aggression, or verbal put-downs– including threats of violence – to control you and put you in fear. This can include physical acts, like slapping, shoving, and punching, as well as emotional acts, like verbal insults and put-downs as well as neglect.
This can sometimes start with threats of violence that then lead to the victim being pushed or shoved and eventually to more frequent and serious attacks such as slapping, pinching, punching, kicking, biting, choking, use of weapons or throwing of objects, all of which may be life threatening.
SIGNS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE
Doing something on purpose to make the victim feel weak or vulnerable; threatening behaviour including insults, mind games, shouting and being overly critical. It also includes constant supervision, jealousy, possessiveness, humiliation and isolation.
SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE
Forcing the victim to do something they don’t want to do or refusing to have safe sex. It includes unwanted touching, fondling or groping, forced sexual activities, pressure to have sex, or even threats of sexual violence.
SIGNS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
Research shows that in many cases of spousal abuse, abusive behaviour was already being exhibited before marriage (i.e. when said couple was still only dating). Many victims enter into marriage believing that the situation would improve, but that may not always be the case, and marriage may in fact make it harder for victims to extract themselves from the abusive relationship.
Dating violence is when one partner uses control to gain power over the other. It is usually a pattern – with a series of abusive behaviours over a course of time.
Using physical force to scare or cause injury. It can include pinching, shoving, hitting, slapping, grabbing, kicking, throwing, shaking and choking.
People who are abused by a spouse may develop
In homes where spousal violence occurs, fear and insecurity replace the love and care that children need. The children are also affected, even if they are not abused themselves. When there is violence in the home, the children may live in constant fear that a loved one is going to be harmed
When children see their parents being shouted at, pushed or hit, they:
There Are Three Definite Stages In The Cycle Of Abuse And These Continue To Be Repeated Until The Victim Seeks Help to Stop It.
The tension steadily builds as the abuser starts to get angry. Communication breaks down and the victim feels the need to listen to the abuser. As the tension increases, the victim feels uncomfortable and walks around in fear, watching their every move so they don’t make the abuser angrier. There might be some physical abuse such as slapping.
This is where the worst abuse takes place and can take the form of physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. The victim will usually try to cover up the signs of abuse..
The abuser apologises for the abuse or may even beg for forgiveness. There is very often a show of love – perhaps an offering of gifts and the promise that it will never happen again. On the other hand, the abuser may simply blame the victim for the abuse, or try to claim that the abuse was not so bad. The abuser may even deny that it ever happened. The victim – in this stage – is hopeful for change, and desperately wants to believe the promises.
… And Then ... It Starts All Over Again.