abuse is defined as a pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading, and/or violent behaviour by a partner or ex-partner. this can include sexual violence.
on the whole, domestic abuse is generally much more commonly experience by women and carried out by men. this doesn’t mean that men don’t experience it, but the stats show that women are much more at risk - although the figures suggest that the number of men suffering/reporting domestic abuse is on the rise.
people tend to think of abuse as involving physical violence - but this isn’t always the case. domestic abuse is much more complex than that. for many victims of abuse, there will be no physical signs of it whatsoever.
some types of abuse are as follows:
- emotional/verbal abuse
- physical abuse
- financial abuse
- sexual abuse & coercion
- digital abuse
over the coming days, i’ll break each one of the above experiences down, and explain what is meant by each, and different behaviours associated with them. the whole point of this month is to raise awareness - the stigma surrounding abuse means that, for many, they don’t know that what they’re experiencing is not normal. this is especially true of people who are in their first serious relationship or who are experiencing a form of abuse which is not as obvious as physical violence. the more we talk about these things, the more people have the opportunity to understand their own situation better. the goal is not to convince people that they’re being abused, nor is it to convince people to expose their abusers, I simply want to arm people with knowledge that will allow them to make well-informed choices about their wellbeing. sometimes we just can’t compute how badly we’ve been treated until we see it framed in a different context, or hear someone else talk about it. love doesn’t hurt.
see you tomorrow