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Domestic violence or domestic abuse typically occurs between

people who are in an intimate relationship. Most often the abusers ,;[llb[uiojkmmmjjgfvhbhhvhvhvcbh vh
are husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends or intimate partners.
Domestic violence includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
Both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse, but
females are most often the victims. Domestic violence is one of the
most common forms of violence and happens in most societies all
over the world. It happens to women of all backgrounds.

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Knowing the signs of abuse

You may not be able to identify abuse in the early stages as it usually begins in a subtle way. It can begin as an
occasional unkind comment, can turn more vicious later on and over a period of time the abuser begins controlling
your behavior and your life. As the situation worsens the abuse can become more frequent, severe and violent
putting your safety and that of your children at a dangerous risk. Here are some signs that will help you know if you
are in a relationship with a person who abuses you.

Signs of domestic abuse

• You have to constantly keep asking the person money for
your everyday expenses.
• The person often commits deliberate acts to scare you.
• The person is very possessive of you and questions your
actions everytime, often accusing you of being unfaithful.
• The person tries to control you in everyway—what you
do, what you wear, where you go, whom you talk to, etc.
• Gets violent when intoxicated with alcohol or drugs
• Threatens to kill you or threatens suicide
• Beats you up often or threatens you with a weapon
• Forces you to have sex without your consent
• Prevents you from seeing family members and friends

Dangers of domestic abuse

Domestic violence can be especially dangerous if you are pregnant
or have children. The health of your unborn baby and that of your
children are at extreme risk.
Besides, being witness to abuse can have a psychologically
negative impact on children. Most men who abuse their wives
abuse their children too.
If you feel you or your children are victims of abuse, seek help
immediately. It is the best way to save your children and yourself.
Its not about anger, it is about power and control
There is a common misconception that domestic violence is a
result of pent up frustration and anger. This is far from true. The
truth is that the person who abuses you tries to instill fear and gets
a kick out of exercising control over you. In order to exert power
over you, the abuser may employ different strategies to make you
buckle to his pressure. Here are some of the methods used by
abusers to gain control over you.
• Calls you insulting names or engages in criticizing you.
• Blames you for his abusive behavior. Makes you feel that
you deserve it.
• Scares you by breaking things in the house or hurting
your children or pets.
• Threatens to hurt you, your children or your family
• Takes all the household decisions by himself and treats
you like a slave.
• Does not allow you to meet friends, family members or to
• Calls you frequently when you are at work and portrays a
bad image about you amongst your friends, relatives and
office coworkers.

Ending the abuse

Domestic violence can take a toll on your life and that of your
children. Overtime the abuse usually worsens and the frequency
only increases, unless you take preventive action at the earliest.
Remember, domestic violence can break you down and rob you of
your self-esteem and confidence. The irony is that over a period of
time you may begin to doubt your own abilities and integrity.
Worse, you may actually begin to feel that you are at fault for the
torture that you suffer and even begin to feel that you probably
deserve it.

This is the most dangerous part of the entire situation. Putting up with the abuse is the worst thing you can do to
yourself and your children. Your decision to continue staying with your tormentor will only embolden him and
encourage him to abuse you further.
If you feel you are a victim of domestic violence, talk about it to someone you trust—a friend, relative, parent or
colleague. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor will be able to help you cope with it. He or
she may also recommend you to an expert who specializes in cases related to domestic abuse.
Being confused as you may be, you may not be in a position to make a rational and intelligent decision on your own.
Therefore it is vital that you seek external help—the sooner the better.