What Is Abuse? How Does It Happen?

This guide helps you understand abuse and its impact on victims.You’re a victim of abuse. Or maybe you’re not. Sounds tricky?!

Well, there’s a reason behind that statement. Many people who’re being abused, don’t even recognize it.

Lack of awareness can be blamed here. Apart from that, there are many factors that contribute to this situation.

Almost 1 in every 3 women faces some form of abuse in their life. But, how many cases do you see? Not as much, right?!

Well, to report domestic violence, one needs to understand the concept. There’s a serious underreporting issue when it comes to domestic abuse. You can change that, by educating yourself.

What is Abuse? How does it work?

Abuse, which is also known as domestic violence, is a pattern of intentionally hurtful behavior. Here, the abuser tries to get hold of victim through offense.

The perpetrator can resort to any type of mischievous activity. Don’t think that only physical violence comes under this category.

Each year, approximately 3 million cases are reported in the United States. And, there’s a catch. The actual number of incidents is much more than that.

According to this report, only 56% of the abuse cases are reported to the police. This tells us, DV is a serious problem to be defeated.

The different faces of abuse

There’s a misconception among the masses, that abuse is only limited to physical violence. One couldn’t be more wrong.

Abuse comes in different forms. And, this makes it much more complicated to fight this epidemic. So, here are the key domestic violence categories you should know:

  • Physical Violence: Have your partner ever hit you? What about kicking or biting? Maybe they pulled your hair out of rage…No?!

If you have ever experienced such things or anything similar to that, you were abused. If you don’t take action, things might get severe. After all, you don’t want to live the rest of your life without a limb. Do you?!

  • Emotional Abuse: This is one of the most prevalent DV issues out there. And also, emotional violence is very subtle, that most people fail to even acknowledge it.

Here, the abusers will either abuse, threaten, accuse, or humiliate the victims. If you’re facing this, seek help. Or else, you may even develop Stockholm syndrome as well.

  • Sexual Violence: Does your partner frequently forces you to have intercourse?! Well, what about the sexual insults that they make about your body?!

Sexual abuse is quite a common type of DV that plagues millions of victims all around the globe. When you don’t do something about it, it might even lead to rape. You don’t want that, right?!

  • Control: Some abusers are obsessed with controlling their partners. Like spying on your phone calls and texts and not allowing the victims to go somewhere.

And, when you’re a victim of this behavior, it feels strangled and trapped. Doesn’t it?! Well, what are you waiting for?! Seek help and get rid of this.

  • Isolation: There are some weird freaks out there. And they like to torture someone by completely isolating them from the world.

If your partner doesn’t allow you to go somewhere or meet someone, you’re a victim of this behavior. When you don’t do anything about this, you will get yourself into a bigger threat.

What if your mate is planning on killing you and dumping your body?! People wouldn’t even know about it, since you didn’t come out of the house for so long.

  • Verbal Abuse: Gosh, this feels so bad. When the person you love humiliates or abuses you often, there’s nothing worse.

The perpetrator may also threaten to hurt you or kill your pets. They may also resort to name-calling or insults. Not talking to you without any reason also comes under verbal abuse.

  • Economic Abuse: You may not even know that you’re being a victim of economic violence. Your partner may block your access to bank accounts or credit cards.

And they might give you some classic excuses like safety and security. No, that’s not the issue here. They are exploiting you.

If your spouse stops you from going to a job, that also is considered as economic abuse.

  • Stalking: Who likes being stalked?! But, there are crazies out there that may be secretly stalking you.

When you know that someone’s stalking you, don’t you get scared?! They may physically assault you or even commit rape. To avoid such fuss, you better report it before it’s too late.

  • Gender Discrimination: Here, most of the victims are women. The reason is the good old toxic masculinity.

No one deserves to be treated differently because of their gender. Many abusers take advantage of their male privilege to get control of their partners or spouses. And, that needs to stop.

The rise of feminism is fighting this issue to some extent. To combat this fully, victims need to come out and report the incidents.

The Effects of Physical and Emotional Abuse

Abuse can cause both short-term and long-term effects on the victim. When they don’t get help, things become worse.

Prolonged abuse can have a deep and long-lasting impact on the victim, which is why they need to get help as soon as they can.

Physical abuse and its impact

Well, the short term effects of physical violence are quite obvious. You may get bruises, cuts, or even broken bones. It depends on how intense the attack is.

If not treated in time, these injuries may turn into infections. Here it becomes adverse. Infections may sound simple, but in reality, they’re far more dangerous.

The long-term effects of physical abuse may include but not limited to:

  • Arthritis
  • Heart diseases
  • Hypertension
  • HIV or STDs
  • Chronic pain syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Weakened immune system

About 35% of women and 28% of men in America reported experiencing physical violence. Every minute there are 20 people being physically abused.

In a year, as many as 10 million people become victims of physical violence in the states. Intimate partner violence contributes to 15% of all violent offenses.

In as many as 15 states, 40% of homicides involved women being attacked by their partners.

Women with disabilities are at higher risk. They’re 40% more likely to be physically attacked by their partners. A whopping 63% of homeless females are victims of this violence.

We can talk all day long, discussing these statistics. But, you may have already understood how bad physical violence is.

Emotional abuse and its impact

You may think that physical violence is the absolute worst. Well, that’s only partially true. Because, emotional violence is far worse.

It may not be evidently brutal, but psychological torture damages a person more than a physical attack.

DV victims are highly prone to depression, anxiety, and even suicidal tendencies. Victims of emotional abuse also tend to avoid reporting the crime. This is due to their broken souls.

Psychological abuse tears apart a person’s life inside out. They need help! If you know someone who’s going through this issue, kindly support them.

Some typical facts about abuse

If you struggle to recognize any form of abuse, you might fail to acknowledge your own situation. Every now and then, it’s better to assess your relationship with the people around you.

If you ever feel that you’re being abused, look for the signs. Well, what are those obvious signs?! Here they are:

  • Most violent incidents happen behind closed doors.
  • Abusers deny their wrongdoings.
  • They play the victim game. They might try to manipulate you into thinking that you’re the real problem.
  • In most of the cases, verbal abuse precedes violence.
  • Abusers usually are entitled, jealous, and possessive.
  • They may also abuse drugs and alcohol frequently. Substance abuse can cause a person to go insane.
  • They’re very sensitive and sometimes act in aggression for no good reason.

How to handle abuse?

When you realize that you’re a victim of this cruel act, wait no more and take action. Below are some of the best steps you can take.

Get away

Don’t stay with your abusers after you realize your condition. Get out and go away from them. Staying with them only assures them that nothing’s going to happen.

They might also assume that whatever they’re doing to you is nothing bad. Don’t hand over the power to them.

Call 911

You can’t anticipate what kind of things your violent partner can do to you. So, don’t take any chances. As soon as you experience abuse, report it to the authorities.

They’re here to help you and save you from danger. So, why not take their assistance and stay safe?!

Seek help

If you’re not sure what to do, approach someone that’s close to you. Ask them for their advice.

Reach out to your family or friends. Tell them what you’re going through. Or, you can seek the assistance of a counselor.

Whatever you do, make sure that you take action as soon as you can. Don’t drag down your misery. Enough is enough! Know your worth. You don’t deserve to be abused.

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