Friday, January 2, 2015

Why Do Abused Partners Stay In Abusive Situations?

You feel bad about yourself-not all the time but it comes and goes and you can't figure out why. You find that you try to please everyone, especially your mate, but no matter what you do it is not enough. You have so many things to accomplish in a day with kids but again you always seem like a failure to him (or her). Maybe you have anxiety attacks and don't understand where they come are some questions to ask yourself:
To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.
Your Inner Thoughts and FeelingsYour Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Do you:
feel afraid of your partner's tirades much of the time?
Does your partner:
humiliate or yell at you? This is not always done with mean words but it is implied.
avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
criticize you and put you down?
feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
play-down, ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
blame you for their own abusive behavior?
feel emotionally numb or helpless?
see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or ThreatsYour Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:
have a bad and unpredictable temper?
Does your partner:
act excessively jealous and possessive?
hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
control where you go or what you do?
threaten to take your children away or harm them?
keep you from seeing your friends or family?
threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
force you to have sex by intimidation or tirade or night rape?
limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
destroy or hide your belongings?
constantly check up on you?

Physical abuse and domestic violence

When people talk about domestic violence, they are often referring to the physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner. Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family. The police have the power and authority to protect you from physical attack. But you have to learn to protect you from emotional abuse!

Sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse

Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Furthermore, people whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.

It Is Still Abuse If...

  • The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television or heard other women talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; you can be severely injured as a result of being pushed, for example.
  • The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely he will continue to physically assault you.
  • The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for not being assaulted!
  • There has not been any physical violence. Many women are emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be as equally frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand.
Source: Breaking the Silence Handbook
The one question our culture often asks of victims/survivors of domestic abuse is: “Why do/did you stay in an abusive relationship?” or “Why doesn’t she just leave?”  Sometimes the question is meant as an honest inquiry.  However, often it is spoken with an undercurrent of hostility or disbelief (i.e. “It couldn’t have been that bad” or “You must have liked it” or “If you wanted to leave, you would have.”), sending a message that women who stay in abusive relationships are somehow to blame for their abuse. An abused partner will leave and return up to seven times before really leaving if they live through it. 
Our culture also sends equally powerful messages that women are expected to fill roles in their relationships that keep them dependent on their partners.  This combination of messages sets women up to feel ashamed, isolated and stuck.  Some may feel that they have no real choices.

A woman may fear her partner’s actions if she leaves.
  • My partner said he will hunt me down and kill me.
  • My partner will kidnap the children and disappear.
  • My partner will take my passport and immigration papers.
  • My partner will spread horrible rumors about me.
  • She will “out” me at work or to my family.
  • My partner will have me deported or report me to the INS.
  • My partner will stop the processing of my Green Card.

The effects of abuse may make it difficult to leave.
  • I’m nothing. I don’t deserve better.
  • I feel paralyzed.
  • I can’t face making decisions anymore.
  • I was brainwashed to believe that I couldn’t cope without my partner.
  • I am so used to life being this way.
  • I’m more comfortable with what I know, than the unknown out in the world.

A woman may have concerns about her children.
  • My children will blame me and resent me.
  • The kids need a father.
  • She will tell my ex-spouse or authorities that I am a lesbian so they will take the kids.
  • Children need a “real family”.
  • My partner will steal the children.
  • My partner will kill the children.
  • My partner will turn the children against me.
  • She is the biological mother; I have no legal rights.

A partner’s attempts to isolate a woman may make it difficult for her to leave or get help.
  • My partner doesn’t let me out of the house.
  • I have no friends to call for help anymore.
  • My partner doesn’t let me take English classes so I can’t communicate with anyone.
  • If I ever tell anyone about this, my partner will kill me.
  • My sister said I couldn’t come and stay with her anymore, after the last time…
  • My partner said he or she would teach my friend a lesson if I go over there again.
  • My partner hides my wheelchair so I cannot leave the house.

A woman’s personal history may have shaped her attitude toward abuse in relationships.
  • My father beat my mom – it just goes with being in a relationship.
  • Getting hit isn’t the worst thing that can happen in a family – I know of worse things.
  • I have seen a lot of violence in my country so violence has become normal for me.
  • My parents never gave up on one another.

A woman may be deeply attached to her partner and hope for change.
  • I believe my partner when he or she says that it will never happen again.
  • My partner promised to go to therapy.
  • I cherish the sex and intimacy.
  • My partner is really loving towards me most of the time.
  • My marriage vows.
  • My religion.
  • I love her or him.

Some women are taught that it is their job to maintain the relationship and support their partners, so they may feel guilty about leaving or feel they have “failed.”
  • I will ruin his or her life if I leave.
  • My partner will have nowhere to go.
  • My partner will lose her or his job if I report this.
  • My partner tells me the system does not support non-citizens.
  • My partner will start drinking again.
  • I will disappoint my family.  I can’t admit my relationship is a failure.
  • I am afraid the deaf community will reject me.
  • I have to take care of him or her.
  • She or he wouldn’t hurt me if I were better at keeping up the house.

Women may be economically dependent on their partners or their partners may be economically dependent on them.
  • My partner has all the money.
  • I’ve never had a good job.  How would I take care of my kids alone?
  • I have no work experience in this country.
  • It’s better to be beaten up at home than to be out on the streets.
  • My partner won’t let me send any money overseas.
  • My disability does not enable me to work.
  • I’d rather die than be on welfare.
  • My partner forces me to work and then takes all my money.
  • My partner charges up all my credit cards.
  • My partner can’t work – he depends on me to support him.

Our culture sends the message that a woman’s value depends on her being in a relationship.  Women without partners tend to be devalued.
  • My partner keeps me together.  I’ll fall apart if I leave.
  • I have to have a man by my side.
  • I would be disgraced in my community and bring shame to my family.
  • People will call me a whore, a whore, or sleazy.
  • I’ll be an old maid.
  • I’m afraid to be on my own.

God never intended for you to be abused by your partner! You put yourself in that situation by compromises! You saw little signs that your partner might be a little difficult to deal with but you believed the lie that you could change him or her-WRONG! You can't change anyone EVER! Never settle for less than real, genuine love, care, and concern.

See you next blog,

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