What is Domestic Abuse?
We use the term Domestic Abuse rather than Domestic Violence because the word violence is often interpreted as physical abuse. Domestic abuse can be in many forms and includes a range of abusive tactics.
It is important to note that ALL abusers, whichever way they display their abuse, do it out of the need for control and power. Some of these traits can be present in non-abusive relationships but when a relationship is founded by one forcing control and the other fearing their partner in some way this is not healthy.
The 9 ways these types of abuse may be shown, many abusers will fit into more than one of these categories:
The King treats his partner like a servant and controls the household. They expect the partner to do all the cleaning, cooking and childcare and in the way he likes. He controls the money and makes all major decisions on his own.
The Sexual Controller
The sexual controller uses sex to gain control. They may refuse sex, they may demand sex, this also includes rape. The result is it makes the victim feel dirty, used, broken and unworthy of anything better or anyone else.
The Bad Dad
The bad dad uses the children to gain control. They might deny paternity. They may say we are bad mothers. They could use visitations to control us. As a result the mother may lose their children or doubt their ability which takes away the joy of parenthood. The children are emotionally scarred in the process.
The liar denies any abuse has taken place or waters it down by using the ‘only’ word. For example: It was ‘only’ a slap. They might blame you for the abuse. They may also lie about you to others to give you a bad name and make people think he is great for staying with you. The result is we wind up believing the lies or at least enough of them to be hugely detrimental to our lives.
The Mind Gamer
The mind gamer uses emotional and/ or psychological abuse to gain control. They convince the victim that they are ugly, stupid, fat, thin…insignificant. They may put the victim down in front of others, often using humour. The result is that the victim loses self-confidence and develops a warped self-perception which stops them having any quality of life.
The Prison Keeper
The prison keeper isolates their partner. This may be by moving them away from friends and family or it could be by distancing the time they spend with them. For example they may sulk or become threatening if you want to have friends round, refuse to look after the children at the last minute if you have arranged to go out. They may charm your friends and family which makes it harder to tell them. The result is the victim becomes isolated and dependent on the abuser.
The bully uses intimidation to gain control. They may shout, glare, sulk, fire questions without giving you time to answer. They may use threats and/or physical abuse. The result is the victim believes they must do whatever it takes to calm the partner down.
The Scripture Manipulator
The scripture manipulator uses verses in religious scripture to gain control and justify their behaviour and demands. For example, stating verses to claim that: ‘the women must obey her husband’, ‘women should be silent’. It also teaches the wrong doctrine to the younger generations.
The perpetrator uses this technique once the victim has escaped the situation or has reported and exposed the abuse to a friend or the police. The abuser uses coercion or threats to try and regain control. They try and manipulate their way back into the relationship by crying, threatening suicide, saying they have nowhere else to go etc. They may even threaten to hurt the children or the pets. This often results in an individual dropping the charges and giving him another chance.
The Abuse Cycle
Not all perpetrators of domestic abuse use the same tactics. Although they do all follow the same cycle and the amount of time spent in each part of the cycle varies from person to person, the order is typical of abusers.