Domestic Violence vs Domestic Abuse
Types of intimate partner violence or abuse
If you are in immediate danger:
If you are feeling threatened:
Lifeline 13 11 14 (24/7)
Lifeline has a computer nation wide data base listing all support services in your area.
Below are some of the forms that domestic violence may take:
Physical – If someone is hurting you, or threatening to hurt you, a loved one or a pet, then you will need to take some action.
Physical abuse can start slowly with an isolated incident then build up to:
driving dangerously, destroying property, locking someone out of or in their house, sleep deprivation, shaking, slapping, spitting or biting, pushing, punching or scratching, kicking, trying to strangle or choke, pinning against a wall or bed or using weapons.
Emotional – This form of abuse is often unrecognised and can be very hurtful.
Emotional abuse is very debilitating, because it is often hidden behind a facade of normalcy or gratitude from the abuser.
It includes telling you that you can’t do anything right, insults, demeans, putdowns, looking at you or acting in ways that scare you, controlling who you see, where you go or what you do, preventing your from making your own decisions, invalidating you as a parent, threatening or actually taking your children away, threatening to hurt or kill you or those close to you, intimidating you with weapons, pressuring you to have sex, or use drugs or alcohol.
This also includes “Gaslighting”, this is where the abuser tricks his victim into doubting themselves and not trusting their own reality.
Economic – Having money and being able to make decisions about it, is one means of being independent. If someone is controlling your money, keeping you financially dependent, refusing to give you money for necessary expenses or making you ask for money unreasonably, this is a form of abuse
Social – Social abuse occurs in relationships that often include other forms of violence or abuse. If someone is insulting you or teasing you in front of other people, keeping you isolated from family and friends, showing extreme jealousy of time you spend with or attention you give to others, preventing you from working or attending study, and otherwise controlling what you do and where you go, then they are being abusive and you need to take some action.
Spiritual – This type of abuse involves a situation where you are not allowed to have your own opinions about religion, cultural beliefs, and values in life. You are not allowed to practice your religion or spirituality, your religion or spirituality is misused to justify abuse or violence or your religion or spirituality is manipulated to keep you feeling powerless.
Staying in a dangerous situation
At times we underestimate the amount of danger we are in, either because we don’t realise or don’t understand how dangerous a situation is. It can be hard to realise we are being abused as we keep making excuses for the abuser, particularly if they show remorse about their acts.
Part of an abuser’s control can be minimising the seriousness of what they are doing or denying it has even happened, further confusing the victim and making them doubt their reality.
Alongside this lies the intense shame that comes from being involved in domestic abuse or violence, believing somehow (or being told) that it is your fault or that no one will believe you if you tell them, because the wounds are hard to see. Your situation can be made more difficult by the strings of attachment you have to this person who abuses you, for they are your partner, lover, friend and financial support in life, and/or the co-parent of your children.
Being safe is important and there are things you can do to ensure your safety.
Sometimes it is hard to work out the danger or risks yourself.
Police, and the state and territory support lines can help you work out risks and how to stay safe.
Lifeline 13 11 14
Steps to ensure your safety:
Is there immediate danger?
How likely is it that someone will hurt you?
If necessary, you may have to move to somewhere safe.
Do you have support?
Making a decision to leave a situation where you feel unsafe may be hard and scary. Never give up trying to leave, no matter how many times it takes to believe in yourself.
If possible, talk to someone you trust, like a friend, counsellor or youth worker.
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
Talk to the police:
If you feel unsafe the police are good people to talk to. If you or someone you know has been hurt, the police will be able to help
Believe in yourself: If someone is hurting you or threatening to, it can be hard to maintain your self-confidence. Remember it is never ok for someone to hurt or threaten to hurt you
Know your rights:
It may be a good idea to check out your legal rights. Laws vary from state to state.
To find out about your rights check out the lawstuff website.
There are a range of organisations in every state and territory that are available to help you.
Trust your instincts.
For those in our community who have been or are caught up in this cycle understand just how devastating and soul destroying this problem can be. There are no winners and it takes courage to stop and seek help, as there are many layers in this with the first step being prevention of any more aggressive acts.
This may require separation, or at the very least, timely intervention with very positive and proactive support.
If you don’t feel safe, remove yourself from the situation
With domestic violence it is quite obvious to see who is the perpetrator and who is the victim and in most cases, the anger and violence is open and out there in plain view. If the perpetrator is a woman, society has trouble seeing and accepting this.
Statistics clearly indicate that 40% of domestic violence is carried out by women, which comes as a shock to most people.
What is not seen and often missed is the covert anger that is behind the scenes.
The suppressed anger that is played out in manipulation, sexual disconnection, self righteousness and emotional blackmail.
Labeling this “domestic violence” is limiting for both people, with the physical abuser being seen as the problem, when in most cases, there is an emotional abuser in there as well.
Calling it “domestic violence” is limiting and a short term fix that potentially will only resolve half the problem.
If this is your reality in your relationship, this can be resolved, if you both choose.
Violence and abuse are indications of deeper emotional issues with both parties and are definitely resolvable, providing you act immediately.
If in doubt, give us a call on
0457 966 696
It is not unusual in these circumstances for the covert abuser to be often overlooked even though they may have even more significant anger issues.
Calling it “domestic abuse” sheds a different light on this devastating problem which would potentially enable seeing another side to domestic violence.
In some cases when help is sought sooner rather than later, say after an isolated incident, the relationship can develop into a deeper connection of emotional and physical healing for both people.
Otherwise, this major problem will continue to get worse.
Anger energy is very powerful, and when abused or incorrectly managed will manifest very quickly into unhealthy patterns and outcomes, and all too often with drastic consequences.
If this applies to you in your relationship, act NOW and seek help or safety.
Call us 0457 966 696 or