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Domestic abuse is something that can have a huge impact on a victim. It leaves one traumatised and struggling to heal from physical wounds inflicted by someone you love.
Once someone experiences abuse for the first time, trust is broken. It’s hard to accept and believe that someone you married or dated is the very same person responsible for the abuse.
When children are involved, they get affected by the abuse as well. Physical and verbal fights going on in the home end up being witnessed and absorbed by the kids. From such experiences, they can pick these traits and treat their future spouses the same way.
The first step to avoid spiralling into a relationship that’s not working is recognising and accepting that you are being mistreated. Without this acceptance, it becomes hard to recover or leave.
Below are some of the signs that you could be a victim of abuse in a relationship or marriage.
i. Physical assault
This is one of the most direct signs of abuse. The fact is that, someone doesn’t have to show extreme forms of violence in order to recognize the person as an abuser. Assault can range from slapping to more extreme forms like stabbing. If your spouse has ever inflicted harm on you, that is considered abusive. Take matters seriously and call it what it is. Once you come to the realization and accept things for what they are, you need to make a decision fast.
ii. Obsessive monitoring
This is also a huge sign that you are being abused in a relationship. At the beginning of the relationship, victims often think that it’s cute when their partner constantly asks them where they are and who they are talking to. It might come off as protective and caring. As time goes by, their partner begins to demand their passwords and tracking their every move. They develop stalking habits and supervise their partner’s every move. It’s okay for a partner to want to know where you are for genuine reasons. But if the line is crossed and they begin to stalk and monitor you, the relationship becomes an abusive one.
iii. Put downs
In abusive relationships, the victim is often put down, criticized, humiliated and insulted. This is considered unhealthy whether it’s done in public or private. They often use your emotional weaknesses to manipulate you and criticize you every chance they get. This form of abuse usually hits your esteem which is just as damaging as physical abuse. Beware when you spot such traits in your relationship.
One common trait among abusers is control and narcissism. They use whatever means to isolate you from friends, family, neighbours and other people close to you. Once they isolate, it becomes easier to control and manipulate their partner. They often defend their actions and use the term ‘protective’ to mask what the true situation is. This type of unhealthy possessiveness is very harmful.
In many cases of abusive relationships and marriages, the victim is generally fearful of their abuser. This is due to the fact that they have been intimidated by their spouse over a period of time. Abusers use threats and convince their victims that consequences for not doing what they expect them to are very dire. They can threaten to assault them or even cut them off financially if they don’t get what they want. If you are in a situation where your partner is constantly coercing you with threats and intimidation, it’s a huge red flag.
vi. Constant control
If you are constantly forced to seek your spouse’s approval on everything, you might be in an abusive relationship. Abusers generally want dominion and control in order to feel good about themselves. If you’re not allowed to step out of the house in an outfit that your partner hasn’t approved of, it’s alarming. Understand that they want to have dominion over all aspects of your life by force. If you start to spot these signs, ensure that you set boundaries and protect yourself from the abusive partner.
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke