Abused, Misused and Bruised

We shed the light on one of the darkest moments in some relationships – domestic violence - By Edeline Anne Goh

It is often misunderstood that victims of domestic violence have a dark past such as being raised in a broken family.

However, that is merely a stereotypical image painted. The hard truth is that, victims of domestic violence are just like the women you know around you.

About a third of women in the world have become victims of domestic violence. Despite the high numbers and awareness created, there are still many women that have overlooked domestic violence or even denied it.

We, at 1Twenty80 care about the wellbeing of the community, which includes you and the people you care about. Although this can be a rather uncomfortable topic for some people, we find it extremely important that awareness is created on this issue whereby its victims often suffer in silence.

As a community, we can put a stop to domestic violence and the first step is to be aware about what exactly is domestic violence, its signs and what to do if you know a victim.

Read on and equip yourself with essential knowledge on domestic violence.

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Domestic violence can affect anyone and at any age. It occurs when a partner feels entitled to be in control and hence, chooses to manipulate or abuse the other partner physically and/or psychologically.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. It can occur at any age range, within all races, religions and economic backgrounds.

This type of abuse occurs only for one reason and that is to dominate and take total control of a person whom the abuser is in an intimate relationship with.

In cases of domestic violence, an abuser will use tactics that will manipulate the victim’s thoughts such as using aggression, guilt, fear and intimidation. As a matter of fact, some abusers do not limit their attacks to just their partner but might also threaten the victim’s family members and friends too.

The effects of domestic violence can cause severe psychological and physical damage. It can destroy your self-esteem, cause depression and make you feel like you’re all alone in a dark and lonely world. Nobody deserves to be a victim of domestic violence and the most important step for victims to take, is to acknowledge it if you are a victim of domestic violence.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHECKLIST

Recognising that the situation you’re in is abusive, is the first step to breaking free. The biggest red flag that shows you’re in an abusive relationship is that you’re afraid of your partner.

Besides that, there are also other signs and mind you, it is not just bruises from a violent relationship. There’s more to it and to help you identify if you’re in a victim of domestic violence, here’s a checklist that can help you:

 PHYSICALLY

  • Forces you to have sex.
  • Forces you to take birth control against your will.
  • Refuses to use birth control and/or protection during sex.
  • Attacks you with weapons or uses force.
  • Pushes, bites, kicks, punches and/or pulls your hair.
  • Doesn’t allow you to receive medical care.
  • Keeps you from eating and sleeping.
  • Locks you in a room or in the house.
  • Throws things at you.
  • Abandons you at a foreign place.

 PSYCHOLOGICALLY

  • Controls the way you look including your hairstyle and your clothing choices. Blames you for being abusive.
  • Makes you feel small and not important.
  • Keeps your credit cards and gives you allowance instead.
  • Controls the way you spend your money.
  • Doesn’t allow you to meet your friends and family unless you ask permission and receives a green light.
  • Convinces you to avoid your family and friends.
  • Takes your money without your consent.
  • Yells at you and criticises you.
  • Doesn’t allow you to make your own decisions.

Ask yourself, have you been in any of these situations when you’re with your partner? If the answer is yes, give yourself a pat on your shoulder because you’ve taken the first step by acknowledging that you’re a victim of domestic violence. It is important to know that there is much needed help available to get you out of the situation and lead a more positive life.

Organisations such as Women’s Aid Organisation will be able to provide the help you need. If you’re afraid that your partner might find out and get you into trouble, you can conveniently drop a private message or whatsapp to 018-988 8058, a 24 hour line managed by the organisation.

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