Many people are going through or have witnessed abuse once in their life time. Sometimes people are aware and acknowledge their experience by admitting they have been the victim or the perpetrator of abuse and violence. However, unfortunately in some cases, the abuse is ignored, denied, or kept a secret.
There is a general perception that usually men are the perpetrators and women are always the victims; however, men can also be the victims of verbal, emotional, and even physical abuse. They often do not report or disclose their experience to other people. There are many factors determining why and one of them is feelings of shame. In addition, there is stigma and stereotype about men which prevent them from disclosing the experience, for example the common beliefs such as “you are the man here” or “don’t cry like a woman.”
Experts distinguish between the word abuse and violence. Abuse often stems from the idea to control another person through the use of different means while violence involves causing bodily pain, harm, or damage to someone including death. Victims suffer for long periods of time and in some cases the emotional and psychological effects remain for rest of their lives.
“Why didn’t you just leave?” Unfortunately, sometimes it is challenging for victims to identify and admit the abuse being a problem because perpetrators often control and manipulate their emotions and thoughts. For example, keeping the victim in doubt, shame, or extreme fear can make it difficult to leave the relationship or report to the authorities. A victim is in doubt when the perpetrator says that he is sorry and that he is going to change his behaviour. Other times, the perpetrators use blame to induce shame or guilt in the victim’s mind by accusing the victim of “causing” the violent response. For example, a perpetrator might say that her partner “pushed” her to the edge and therefore she behaved violently. Sometimes, the perpetrator also uses threats to control the victim by keeping her away from people and pets they love by threatening to cause them harm.
Therefore, it is important that the victim or someone close to him or her identify the signs. Some of the types of abuse are as follows:
When spiritual and religious sources are intentionally misused, modified, or misinterpreted for the benefit of perpetrator’s desires. The victim might be prohibited from practicing or controlled when engaging in and practicing their faith. They might be controlled in some ways that violate their basic rights as human.
This type of abuse is often associated with bodily pain, injury, or in some cases permanent damage to someone’s health. In most cases, perpetrators forcibly perform unwanted sexual acts which can be humiliating, degrading, and disrespectful to person’s body and mind.
The victim is often afraid of using money towards their wants and needs, or they are placed on small restricted allowance that limits their choices. In extreme cases, their necessities of life such as food and clothing are compromised.
Emotional and Psychological Abuse:
This is perhaps the most problematic type because of its long-lasting psychological effects. Perpetrators often target victims’ self-worth through shaming, name calling, labeling, yelling and screaming, intimidating, verbally abusing, etc. At this stage, the victim might think that such conflicts are normal part of his relationship but deep inside he might be feeling sad, depressed, and in despair.
If you have been the victim or perpetrator of abuse and violence and you would like to gain control of your life by making new choices, book your appointment with your therapist today.
Khobi Attai, MA, specializes the areas of abuse and domestic violence, as well as a variety of other subjects. For more information on Khobi and her work, click here to link to her full bio page