How many people really know what domestic abuse is? We hear about it, see TV shows about it, even see it in movies but do we really know the depth of it? And how do we know if we are in a domestically abusive relationship?
For starters, domestic abuse does not discriminate. It can happen to any race, age, sexual orientation, gender or religion. It doesn’t really depend on if you’re living with that person or not domestic abuse takes on many different shapes and forms.
There are multiple signs of a domestically abusive relationship so here’s a few to look out for…
1. Telling you that you can never do anything right
If anyone is in a relationship and their partner is saying that they can never do something right that is a form of abuse. In a relationship, it is you and your partner’s job to lift each other up. If you can’t depend on your partner to be your biggest supporter and cheerleader, it can definitely hurt or destroy your self-esteem. Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecy? When people plant seeds of negativity into your mind it’s easy to believe what they tell you, especially if you value that person and their opinion. This can, and likely will, lead to you not giving your all in the things you do.
2. Prevents you from working or excelling in school
Red flag alert! A relationship is supposed to be supportive, especially if you and/or your partner is working. They should be supportive and respectful of your time and responsibilities, this also includes school. Not to be that person, but relationships are never guaranteed but your education and your income are things that can be guaranteed. No partner should ever make you feel like you have to choose between them and school or work.
3. Money Control
This is something that I had to experience first-hand. My partner in times of hardship, while he was unemployed, would make me feel guilty if I spent money on things that I liked whether it be clothes, eating out, or getting a new book. He would try to control my money by using guilt and saying that it’s was interesting how I would spend my hard-earned money on things that I would want but not have money to “help him” when he needed it. Nothing about that is fair. Your money is your money. No one should ever make you feel guilty about indulging in something that you want especially if it’s not negative.
Say you tried a new makeup idea that you saw on Pinterest, or tried to cook a new recipe, if your partner doesn’t encourage you and puts you down about wanting to do it or the end result that is abuse. You’re not going to be as inspired to continue to see where things go or how good you’re going to get if your self-esteem is broken before you even had a chance to flourish and show your full potential.
These are just a few of the many signs of domestic abuse. I encourage you to do more research and evaluate your relationship. Speaking from personal experience, you don’t know until you’re educated about what to look for. So don’t be discouraged, don’t be afraid, and don’t think that just because things are seemingly perfect you shouldn’t learn about domestic abuse. Everything starts with you, whether it’s helping you, or someone you know, out of a situation, you can’t help if you don’t know the signs.
For additional info check out http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/