Are You in An Abusive Relationship?
Regardless of age or gender, relationships are one of the most pivotal and influential experiences we will have. No relationship will be perfect, but sometimes a relationship will be worse than imperfect. It will be abusive. Most people equate abuse in a relationship with physical violence. This is untrue. There are other forms of abuse that occur without physical violence. Here, we will cover the types of abuse and signs that you may be in one of these abusive relationships.
Physical abuse is when your partner uses physical force or violence against you in a way that would cause injuries or put your health in danger. Physical abuse is a crime and should be reported to the police.
Sexual abuse is also a form of physical abuse. If your partner has forced you to participate in unsafe, unwanted, or degrading sexual activities then you have experienced sexual abuse. Being in a relationship with a combination of physical and sexual abuse puts you at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.
Your partner acting physically or sexually violent against you just once constitutes as a physically abusive relationship. You should begin making plans to leave for your own safety. If you need help taking these steps, you can go here.
Psychological abuse is the umbrella term for other more commonly used terms such as emotional/mental abuse and economic abuse. Psychological abuse is more invisible than physical abuse but is just as destructive. Psychological abuse can be minimized or even dismissed by those being abused because psychological abuse is a subtle, long-term form of oppression and control that can go unnoticed for months or years.
The purpose of psychological abuse is to destroy a person’s sense of self and independence, leaving them completely dependent on the abuser. This ensures the abused won’t leave the relationship for fear of having nothing without the abuser. The way the abuser can achieve this goal can be with emotional/mental abuse or economic abuse.
Emotional abuse is when the abuser will use yelling, name-calling, blaming, shaming, belittling, or intimidating the person to gain and retain control over their actions and emotions.
Economic abuse is when the abuser will control the money and resources the person has access to. This can occur by withholding money/credit cards, making them account for every penny they spend, sabotaging their job, stealing their money, restricting them to an allowance, etc.
If you are currently experiencing any of these scenarios with your partner, you may consider leaving the relationship for your own well-being. Resources for recognizing and leaving an abusive relationship can be found here.