There are increasing victims of domestic abuse as it is an underreported crime.
You may think that domestic abuse has become a lot less with the emancipation of women and their joining the work force in larger numbers than ever before. Unfortunately that is far from the truth. In fact abuse has become even worse now. There are always publicized cases of women in high positions who work and are earning their own money and still becoming victims of domestic violence.
Types of domestic abuse
How an we prevent domestic violence
While domestic abuse may consist of physical abuse, beatings, battering and other forms of violence there are many other kinds of abuse. Other forms of abuse are:
Emotional abuse: where the partner continuously keeps on putting your down and lowering your self esteem and eroding your self confidence as a way of keeping you submissive.
Financial abuse: Where the partner or spouse does not give you enough money to run the house, or takes your paycheck and uses it, or gives you money sporadically for shopping of essentials and asks you for details and bills.
Sexual abuse: You may be forced into taking part in kinky or S & M sex against your will. Or you may be forced into group sex or even raped.
Verbal abuse: Your partner constantly uses foul language against you and your children as a way of browbeating you.
Blackmail: You may be forced into doing things you don’t want to do if your partner threatens to harm the children, your loved ones or other family member. Or he may threaten to kill you or commit suicide.
Course of action
If it is a case of domestic abuse, you may want to call the police if possible. However, often the police do not want to interfere in domestic matters, but at least your complaint may get registered and can help you later on.
Get up the courage to tell your friends, neighbors and other family members and you will be surprised at the support you get. However, if you put up a façade that all is well with you and your family, then nobody will even know what you are going through.
The most important step that you can take is to seek help, whether it is professional, social services, women’s groups or legal. You need a lot of courage to do so, especially if you have been victimized for long and gotten used to being submissive and taken the abuse.
It is important that you make concrete plans and not stay in an abusive relationship, thinking it will get better, or till the children have grown up or till you are financially stable or self-justifying reasons. Unless you take the first step, you will never be free. Keep money and important documents in a place where you can access them when needed.
Find a shelter or place to go to – not necessarily a relative or friend’s house that your partner may know about and where he can reach to threaten you and the people around you.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, there are many organizations which offer free legal aid. Once you are out of the abuser’s clutches, you can take steps to end the relationship. If required get a restraining order against him.
Try and get psychotherapy or some help for yourself which will help you in the later stages to get over the aftermath of being the victim of domestic violence. If you have not been financially independent try and get a job or some work which will help you sustain yourself and your children (if you have any). You may be eligible for easy study loans or short vocational courses.
Sometimes it helps if you can go to a completely new place and start afresh. New surroundings, new people and new friends can help you begin life anew.