Abuse takes many forms it is not just physical, it can be emotional, psychological, even verbal. Because psychological abuse shows no obvious marks or scars people don't realise it is happening and sometimes don't take it as seriously as violence. At the end of the day it is still abuse. It can damage people for a long time, taking some years to recover.

It can start as small comments, slowly controlling someone, almost stripping someone of their own values and breaking them down until they are weak that they cannot leave, no longer have a voice. Is that not abuse? It may not leave bruises or broken bones but it can scar their mind, leaving someone so damaged that they have no fight left in them. Comparing them to others, 'you should be more like that' ' why don't you dress like that' 'she's skinnier that you, I prefer that'. It is aiming to control an individual so that their behaviour changes into a pattern that benefits you, not them. That aids your ego, not theirs. Is this not abuse?

Controlling their money, 'you best give me your card this week, I don't want you spending', 'no you can't have your card, you don't need to go see those so called friends of yours'. This is financial abuse, taking away freedom of choice so they can't be social, that they are isolated and have to stay home as they have no money for fuel or the bus. Making them so alone, they can never leave you as you are the only one that provides as they can no longer provide for themselves. Is this not abuse?

Taking certain items of clothing away, hiding their shoes, they can't leave the house without shoes now can they. They will just have to wait at home until you return, you tell them they are silly, there shoes were here the whole time. Now they feel silly for thinking you were stopping them, they now have to apologise to you. Control. Is this not abuse?

You can post that photo to social media, you look slutty. You have too much makeup on, you revealing yourself to much, people will treat you like a tramp. Restricting their freedom, denting their self confidence. Taking control of their social media accounts to check their messages, approve their photos and posts. Is this not abuse?

Some may say this is not abuse, if it is a one off isolated incident I may agree, but if it occurs again and again, getting worse, building up to the point that the abuser has no control over themselves, then that is abuse. This is not just isolated to men, women can be abusers to, many do not suspect women, many judge men who are abused by women as if they should fight back. But isn't love blinding, you truly believe your other half is doing what is best for you. Breaking the stigma and being aware of what is right in a relationship compared to what is not is paramount. It is important as it can save psychological damage, it can save someone's life. It may not be as easy to say no, or not bowing down to their requests, just talking to someone and to hear them say 'that's abuse you know, you should talk to someone' can give people the strength to make a change, to feel safe that someone is supporting them.

If it is not physical, it is still abuse.

 

Published by Katy-Jane Pitt