So here you are reading through this website. Looking for a way to understand what is going on around you. Are you tired of being run down? Are you frustrated having your things confiscated? Do you fear your partner? Is your partner belittling and controlling? Are there calls every few minutes when you need to run down to the supermarket for some groceries? Your partner may be picking fights with you over irrational things and you are just trying to keep them happy by trying harder. If you could just try harder, you could fix things. Perhaps you are being blamed for everything that goes wrong in their life. Isolated from your friends and family, you have no one left to talk to and even the ones you did talk to, would not believe you because your partner has been so charming and charismatic. Do you fear their reaction about anything? Is their response to “minor” things totally irrational, leaving you wondering about your own sanity? They may have harmed you physically and then broken down in tears, begging for your forgiveness, promising it would never happen again.
All the points mentioned are forms of abuse and we encourage you to read on and start to clarify what is really going on in your relationship.
Does your partner...
Does your partner...
Does your partner...
Perhaps the most easily identifiable form of abuse is physical, because SOMETIMES you can actually see and feel it taking place. It is important to note that this abusive behaviour does not always cause pain or leave a bruise. Too many people remain in physically abusive relationships by justifying the abuse, telling themselves, “It’s not that bad”, comparing the abuse to something that they have seen on the television, or in movies.
Physical abuse is any unwanted contact with you, or something close to your body!
Some examples of physical abuse include:
Emotional, mental and verbal abuse usually start off very subtly, but they can lead to or be the precursor of physical abuse. Emotional abuse really is abuse, it may not cause physical damage, but the scars run deep and are sometimes harder to heal because it’s more difficult to acknowledge. It’s similar to a frog in a pot of hot water. If you start with cold water in the pot, the frog doesn’t feel the temperature increasing slowly and adjusts to compensate, until it’s too late. If boiling water was added to the pot from the get go, the frog would feel it and jump out. There are many behaviours that qualify as emotional, or verbal abuse. They include non-physical behaviours such as insults, threats, humiliation, constant monitoring or checking in, intimidation, name calling, stalking or isolation.
Some more examples of this kind of abuse include:
Sexual abuse is any form of unwanted of sexual activity. Whether its rape, restriction of birth control, behaviour that hinders a person controlling the environment, or way in which sexual activity occurs or even removing the right of an individual to protect themselves from HIV and STI’s. Most sexual abuse is perpetrated by a person that you know and not a stranger. Victims of sexual abuse may not be able to resist. Sometimes they may have been intoxicated, intimidated, obligated, threatened, or at risk of further sexual or physical abuse. Their inability to say “no”, did not mean “yes”.
Some more examples of this kind of abused include:
Child abuse is defined as the physical maltreatment, neglect, emotional abuse or sexual molestation of a child, either through action, or failing to act.
Some examples of this type of abuse include:
I am being abused, but now what?
Firstly, well done for realising what is happening to you and having the courage to start looking for the answers. Its normal to be anxious, feel scared, or helpless. The power to change your circumstances really is in your hands. Many men and women faced with the same choices have chosen to put an end to their abuse. You can too!
Deciding to leave
It might take you a while to come to this decision, or perhaps you might need to leave immediately. You can also leave before it becomes an emergency. However it happens, it helps to have some sort of exit plan in place that will help you to continue with your life after you depart. If you can, enlist the support of close friends, family and a counsellor or psychologist.
Your exit admin:
Gather all of your official documents like ID’s, passports, marriage certificate, birth certificates, antenuptial agreement, last will and testament, proof of address, life insurance details, medical aid , policies, investment documentations, documents relating to custody of children and car/home finance and banking information.
Abuse normally starts very subtly. Trivial statements like; “You’re just imagining things”. “I never said that, you tend to have a bad memory”. “You’re crazy, that never happened”. Before you know it, you are second guessing yourself, questioning what is really true, even questioning your own sanity. This is referred to by professionals as “gaslighting”. The term stems from a 1938 play called “Gas Light”. In the play, the husband dims the gas lights in their home, and when his wife questions it, he denies it. This is a very effective way to cause a victim to start questioning their own sanity, day in and day out, eroding their ability to trust their own perceptions, giving their abuser more power over them and making it harder for the victim to leave the relationship. Over time this increases in frequency and escalates in severity, and the victim becomes anxious, confused, isolated and depressed. They may even start relying more heavily on the abuser to confirm their reality, creating, as you can imagine an increasingly more difficult environment for the victim to escape.
Some of the following techniques may be used by an abuser:
The abuser will deny that something took place, or deny a promise made to the victim. The abuser might also forget that something happened.
The abuser questions the victim’s thoughts or changes the subject. “Is that another crazy idea you got from your mother”?
The abuser dismisses and underplays the victim’s thoughts or emotions, making them seem insignificant. “You’re too sensitive”.
The abuser refuses to listen or makes as if they do not understand. “You’re just trying to confuse me”. “I don’t want to hear that again”.
The abuser questions the victim’s recollection of events, even if the victim’s recollection is perfectly clear. “You are wrong, you never remember things correctly”.