Is it abuse? What is domestic violence?
Recognizing abuse is the first step to get help
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and insults to violence. And while physical damage may be the most obvious danger, emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self esteem, can lead to anxiety and depression, and can make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain. The first step towards freedom is the recognition that the situation you’re in is abusive. Once you have recognized the reality of the situation, you can get the help you need.
We are here to guide you step by step!
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behaviors in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.
Abuse can occur by physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats which influence another person. This includes any behavior that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, or humiliate someone.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of their race, age, sexual orientation, religion or sex. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or in relationships of any kind.
Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and all levels of education.
The Istanbul Convention states:
“Domestic violence” means any act of physical, psychological, sexual, psychological or economic abuse occurring within the family or domestic unit, between spouses, former or current partners, even if they share the same residence with the victim or not;
“Violence against women” is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender violence resulting, or likely to result in, the physical, sexual, psychological or economic damage caused to women, including threats involving such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life; (art. 3 a)
You could be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:
- Always wears at you, insults you or criticizes you
- He does not trust you and is jealous or very possessive
- Tries to isolate you from family and/or friends
- Monitors your outgoings, calls and the people you meet
- Doesn’t let you work or get a job
- Controls the couple finances and refuses to share the money with you
- Punishes you by withdrawing his affection
- Expects you to ask permission for everything you want to do
- Threatens that will hurt you, your children, your relatives or pets (if any)
- Humiliates you in any way
You might be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner:
- Destroys things when angry (throws objects, hits walls, slams doors, etc.)
- Pushes you, slaps, bites, hits or tries to suffocate you
- Drops you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place and lets you get back home on your own
- Scares you by driving aggressively and/or imprudently
- Uses a weapon to threaten or hurt you
- Forces you to leave home
- Locks you in the house or prevents you from going out through home confinement
- Prevents you from calling the police or asking for medical care
- Hurts your children in any way
- Uses physical force in sexual situations (forces you to have sex with him)
You might be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:
- Sees women as objects and he’s rigid in his thinking concerning the roles of each sex
- Often accuses you of being wrong and/or is often jealous of people you speak with
- He wants you to always dress in a sexually provocative way
- Insults you by calling you names or behaviors of a sexual nature
- Forces or manipulates you to have sex with him
- Immobilizes you during sex
- Asks you to have sex with him when you’re sick, tired or after you were hit/hurt in any way
- Wounds you with weapons or objects during sex
- Involves other people in your sexual activities against your will
- Ignores your feelings about sex
You might be in a financially abusive relationship if your partner:
- Refuses to let you get a job
- Always says that he is looking out for you and you don’t need to work
- Gives you a limited amount of money every month and gets mad when you need money for justifiable emergencies
- He makes you degrade yourself in order to receive a small amount of money
- Humiliates you in front of his friends
- Holds you accountable for every amount of money spent, sometimes becoming physically violent
You might be in a spiritually abusive relationship if your partner:
- Doesn’t allow you to follow your preferred spiritual or religious tradition;
- Is forcing a spiritual or religious path or practice on you;
- Is belittling or making fun of your spiritual or religious tradition, beliefs or practices;
- Is using your spiritual or religious rituals or practices to manipulate, dominate or to control you;
- Is forcing you to act in a way that your religion forbids.
If you answered YES to any of the above, you might be in an abusive relationship.
Please call the emergency number 112 or the national non-stop helpline 0800 500 333 and ask for help.
See Useful contacts for help.