What is Abuse

Domestic Abuse is defined as “a pattern of coercive behavior that is used by a person against his or her partner or other family members in order to gain control over them”. Domestic abusers are generally considered to be sociopaths, or to use a French expression: “pervers narcissiques.” They are usually very intelligent, charming and seductive,  excellent at disguising the dark side of their personalities, especially during the courtship phase of a relationship.  Most people do not see their inappropriate behavior until they become part of the narcissist’s inner circle. Narcissists are outstanding at managing their behavior. This means that their victims’ testimonies are tragically often put into doubt. The information below can help you determine if you are being subject to partner abuse. As shown to the left, violence usually occurs in cycles. A period of abuse will typically be followed by a period of calm with a “honeymoon” period, during which the abuser makes amends and promises to change his behavior.

Some common types of abuse are

Emotional Abuse such as:

  • Insulting
  • Blaming
  • Bullying
  • Threatening
  • Yelling

 Physical Abuse such as:

  • Hitting,
  • Kicking
  • Pushing
  • Shoving
  • Throwing objects at someone
  • Threatening with weapons

Social Abuse such as:

  •  Isolating partner from other people (family members, friends)
  • Belittling partner’s professional or domestic capacities
  • Relentlessly demanding attention

 Sexual Abuse such as:

  •  Forcing sexual relations on partner
  • Criticizing partner’s sexual performance
  • Withholding sex as a punishment

 Financial/Administrative Abuse such as:

  •  Confiscating or concealing partner’s legal documents
  • Squandering joint financial resources
  • Denying access to bank accounts

For a more detailed enumeration of abusive behavior, consult: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/the-survivors-handbook/am-i-in-an-abusive-relationship/

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