Domestic Violence and Voiceless : TAKE MY BREATH AWAY

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BATA MOTEL Courtesy of Penny Rimbaud

Domestic Violence and Voiceless : TAKE MY BREATH AWAY

Objectification article on the hidden levels of domestic abuse that go unchecked and brushed aside as the so called normal

How so called social norms, oppress women from expressing their rights. Are you subjected to any of the following forms of socially normalized abuse ? :
– Prevented from getting a job or having salary taken from her
– Making her beg for housekeeping
– Restricting access to family banking or financial decision making
– Threatening violence or using pushing , holds , body slaps
– Threats of reporting to welfare and other investigating bodies
– Making her sign documents (forced to take out PAYDAY loans etc)
– Making her afraid by using looks gestures actions
– Destroying her property
– Banging swearing and breaking things
– Belittling her as a woman and mother
– Humiliating her
– Inviting other men to flirt with her then degrading her as a slag
– Making her think shes crazy
– Following her around nagging
– Shouting commands
– Breaking her sleeping or child feeding pattern
– Playing mind games
– Controlling what she does who she sees and where she goes and talks too
– Turning up televisions and music when she is speaking
– Using jealousy to justify actions
– Ignoring requests and making light of abuse
– Not taking her concerns over abuse seriously
– Saying abuse didn’t happen
– Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
– Making her feel guilty about children
– Using children to spy and relay messages to her
– Using visitation rights to harass her
– Threatening to take home and or children away from her
– Treating her like a servant
– Making all the big decisions
– Acting like master of the castle
– Being the one to define male and female roles and Belittle homosexuality and gender identities

Victims of domestic abuse are increasingly being forced to sign for credit, by their domineering and threatening partners, to finance abusers gambling, drug, drinking and dating habits – Citizens Advice Bureau suggests (2014).

Exercising financial control over someone or coercing them to get into debt is becoming an ever more common method of abuse.

An increasingly large number of women, have been being forced to take out loans, including payday loans, and then hand the money over to their partner. The also have access to their own working salaries restricted or completely seized by the abusive partner for his own personal disposal resulting in women having to beg and seek help from family members and friends for the basics such as food gas and electricity. In a report, published to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Citizens Advice warned that financial abuse was dramatically on the rise.
Almost three quarters of Citizens Advice workers, who spoke to those reporting financial abuse, said the victim had been forced by their abuser to take out credit and/or hand over their earnings under threat of violence.

You are NOT ALONE…………………………………..

Womens AID in the UK have been campaigning extensively to have all forms of abuse that are “non physical” (and as such largely unlegislated to date) recognised in law. The campaign has been met with a landmark achievement of accepting that Coercive control is at the heart of domestic abuse and that behavior of this nature is to be included in the serious crime acts.

Polly Neale, Director of Women’s Aid was reported to comment:

“Victims can be frightened of the repercussions of not abiding by someone else’s rules. Often they fear that violence will be used against them, or suffer from extreme psychological and emotional abuse.”
“Being subjected to repeated humiliation, intimidation or subordination can be as harmful as physical abuse, with many victims stating that trauma from psychological abuse had a more lasting impact than physical abuse.”
“Perpetrators will usually start abusing their victim by limiting her personal freedoms, monitoring her every move, and stripping away her control of her life; physical violence often comes later.”

Understanding what is and what is not abuse:

The Duluth Model is the most common batterer intervention program used globally to assess domestic abuse.

It is based in feminist theory positing that “domestic violence is the result of patriarchal ideology in which men are encouraged and expected to control their partners”.

The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project was the first all encompassing multi-discipline program addressing issues of domestic violence. Conducted in Duluth, Minnesota in 1981 and coordinated the actions of a variety of agencies dealing with domestic conflict, The Duluth model curriculum was developed by a “small group of activists in the battered women’s movement” with battered women and men as subject matter. The program has now become the model for western jurisdictions who seek to clearly identify and deal legislatly in prosecuting and protecting women from domestic violence.

The feminist theory underlying the Duluth Model is that men use violence within relationships to exercise power and control. According to the Duluth Model, “women and children are vulnerable to violence because of their unequal social, economic, and political status in society.”

Treatment of abusive men is focused primarily on re-education, as “we do not see men’s violence against women as stemming from individual pathology, but rather from a socially reinforced sense of entitlement.”

The program’s philosophy is intended to help batterers work to change their attitudes and personal behavior so they would learn to be nonviolent in any relationship.

Find out more on the link below to assess whether your own situation requires intervention to address issues of domestic abuse:

Victims and Survivors of Domestic Abuse – Looking for support ? Follow these links


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  1. Domestic violence will not end until we recognize it in all of its forms.

    Search for “Processes Explaining the Concealment and Distortion of Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence” by Murray Strauss on the Internet.

    “Graham-Kevan’s paper fully documents overwhelming evidence that the “patriarchal dominance” theory of partner violence CPV from here on) explains only a small part of PV. Moreover, more such evidence is rapidly emerging. To take just one recent example, analyses of data from 32 nations in the International Dating Violence Study (Strauss, 2007) Strauss and International Dating Violence Research Consortium 2004) found about equal perpetration rates and a predominance of mutual violence in all 32 samples, including non- Western nations. Moreover, data from that study also show that, within a couple relationship, domination and control by women occur as often as by men and are as strongly associated with perpetration of PV by women as by men (Straus 2007)“

    Also, do a search for “Elder Abuse by Adult Children”.

    “One study found that 64 percent of parent abusers were sons, while 36 percent were daughters. Mild forms of psychological neglect are more likely to come from a daughter, and severe forms of psychological abuse are more likely to come from a son. Daughters are more likely to use physical violence than sons are. Younger perpetrators are more likely to be sons; older perpetrators tend to be daughters. Almost 30 percent of the abusers claim that the elderly person in the relationship previously abused them.”

    Then search for “Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics” from American Humane dot org.

    “Approximately 40 percent of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 18.3 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 17.3 percent were abused by both parents (USDHHS, 2007).”

    If domestic/partner violence is male violence against women, no violence should exist in lesbian relationships. But violence between lesbians does occur. Search for “”Fact Sheet: Lesbian Partner Violence”

    “How common is lesbian partner violence? 
About 17-45% of lesbians report having been the victim of a least one act of physical violence perpetrated by a lesbian partner (1,5,6,13). Types of physical abuse named by more than 10% of participants in one study included:

    Disrupting other’s eating or sleeping habits
    Pushing or shoving, driving recklessly to punish, and slapping, kicking, hitting, or biting (11).
    Sexual abuse by a woman partner has been reported by up to 50% of lesbians (12).
    Psychological abuse has been reported as occurring at least one time by 24% to 90% of lesbians (1,5,6,11,14).

    The research usually has been done with mostly white, middle-class lesbians who are sufficiently open about their sexual orientation to have met researchers seeking participants in the lesbian community. Subsequently, these findings may not apply to women who are less open, less educated, or of other ethnic backgrounds.”

    My mother was the domestic abuser in my family. She dominated and controlled all of us. Most of the abuse she heaped on us was emotional, but she also tried to kill me.

    Please explain why you ignore all of the domestic violence women commit.

    • Thank you for your detail Paula, Just to let you know, these points are not being ignored, just not relevant to an overview article specifically on Women needing to reach out to support networks and how to recognize patterns of abuse where conditioning renders them desensitized to unacceptable behavior.. as the articles expand we can drill further down in to gender specific abuse and supporting studies.

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