Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recognizing Abusive Behavior !!!

Recognizing Abusive Behavior - woman_hand_abuse_relationship
Like many forms of abuse, economic abuse patterns display a partner's control and power.

Abuse in a relationship can take many forms, and can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, or economic class. Despite how obvious abuse may (or may not) be, it is important to know the warning signs of abusive relationships. 

Abusive relationships are characterized in a variety of ways, and it is critical to note that abuse does not have to be physical. Emotional abuse also causes intense harm, and it is imperative to recognize associated behavior patterns. Abusive relationships can manifest in the form of threats, sexual coercion, controlling behaviors, extreme jealousy, physical violence, and much, much more. 

If you are unsure of what constitutes abuse in a relationship, here are some behavioral traits that indicate abusive patterns:

The use of intimidation is marked by such behaviors as:
-Destroying/breaking/throwing objects
-Making threats
-Using looks and gestures that make you feel afraid
-Abusing pets
-Displaying weapons and/or threatening to use them

Financial Abuse
Like many forms of abuse, economic abuse patterns are used for a partner to display their control and power. Behavioral patterns include:

-“Not allowing” or preventing a partner from getting/keeping a job
-Giving a partner an allowance and/or making a partner ask for money
-A partner taking your money
-Refusal to pay bills
-Criticizes how you spend money
-Refuses to include your name on joint assets
-Not letting your partner know, or have access to, family income
-Takes away your car keys, money, credit cards, and other financial means

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is dangerous to your health and wellbeing, and is associated with a multitude of actions:

-Denying a partner from seeing their prior friends and engaging in activities
-Making a partner stay at home when the two of you are not together
-Name calling, frequent blaming, or criticizes you
-Criticizes or threatens your friends and family
-Does not include you with important decisions
-Threatens to leave you or demands that you leave
-Listens to your phone calls, reads your text messages, email, and continuously “checks” on you
-Makes fun of, criticizes, or belittles your beliefs, religion, class, race, etc. 
-Threatens to commit suicide
-Blames alcohol and drugs for their behavior
-Comes home late, or disappears, and refuses to provide an explanation 
-Denies being abusive and dismisses their actions
-Humiliates you, denies approval, affections, or appreciation
-Is angered if meals, housework, etc. are not done to their liking

Sexual And Physical Abuse
These abusive behaviors include:

-Pressuring you to have sex
-Pressuring you to perform sexual acts that make you uncomfortable
-Denies sex and affection
-Puts you at risk for STDs, STIs, and unwanted pregnancy
-Makes unwanted public sexual advances
-Criticizes your sexual ability
-Accuses you of having sex, or wanting to have sex, with others
-Forces you to watch pornography 
-Slaps, punches, kicks, chokes, pinches, grabs, or shoves you
-Ties you up
-Burns you, bites you, or pulls your hair
-Drives recklessly to scare you
-Disregards your needs when you are injured, pregnant, or sick
-Physically restrains you, or prevents you from leaving an area

Using Children
Using children as a form of abuse is a way to force guilt, display power, and to be emotionally abusive. Such behaviors include:

-Using children to report on your activities
-Makes you feel guilty about your children
-Threatens to take custody of children, or threatens to kidnap children

It is important to note:  One of the most prominent warning signs of relationship abuse is extreme jealousy. Jealousy if often used to justify many abusive behaviors. 

Abuse in a relationship is a display of power and control. Some abusive relationships are easy to identify, while others have a more indistinct nature. This is especially true for emotional abuse. The above behavior patterns are only some of the warning signs indicative of abuse. Empower yourself with knowledge – know the warning signs, behavior patterns, and create a plan of action to correct behaviors (with counseling and other intervention methods), or safety plan to leave the relationship. 

If you feel you may be in an abusive relationship, there are resources that are available to you. To talk about your options, discuss abusive patterns, or for help safety planning, contact the national Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. For more information about hotline services, or if you would like to donate to such a service, visit their website at http://www.thehotline.org/. 

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