Did you know that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are victims of domestic abuse? Be it physical or emotional, abuse is a dangerous cycle to find yourself in. I encourage those of you enduring it to reach out to someone for help.
I’ve witnessed domestic violence both as a receiving party and as an outsider looking in.
There is a program here in Oregon where I live called ARMS (Abuse Recovery Ministry & Services). It’s a faith-based, non-profit organization, to serve those who have dealt with or are currently dealing with domestic abuse. According to their website (that I will link below), they serve people nationally and internationally.
They have a really good list of patterns of behaviors that can help determine if you’re in an abusive relationship. I’m only going to post a few of these patterns because I’m not going to plagiarize their whole webpage. I will, as I said earlier, link their website to this post for those of you who might want to look more in depth.
Some patterns from their site are:
- Has your partner acted jealous or possessive of you? Have they accused you of having affairs or paying to much attention to others?
- Has your partner made you feel like you are mostly wrong, and they are always right?
- Has your partner denied (I never did that), minimized (it wasn’t that bad), or justified their abuse (I wouldn’t have done this if you hadn’t done that)?
- Has your partner controlled what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
- Has your partner defined YOUR feelings, opinions, needs, or wants?
- Has your partner attempted to force you to have sex against your will?
- Has your partner destroyed property (hit or kicked walls, doors, furniture, or broken things?)
There are 16 more patterns or behaviors listed on their website. I chose these ones because I feel they are the most common. I have experienced these.
One thing that I’ve noticed when it comes to abuse is that it’s a power play by the abuser. Whether he or she chooses an emotional route or a physical route, it’s all about maintaining power. I will be honest with you about my experience. When you take away that power (by standing up for yourself) they will manipulate the situation. They’ll downplay their abuse. They’ll tell you that you’re overreacting or that you’re crazy. They’re just trying to regain their power.
Keep. Standing. Strong.
The road to get away from abuse is rocky, scary, and sometimes it may even seem impossible. But there are programs to help. There are shelters to stay in. There are even grants to help domestic abuse victims. Don’t be afraid anymore. You can get away.
You might find yourself going back and making a pattern of it. Maybe you receive the empty promise of “things will change, I’ll be better” or you find yourself dependent on your abuser because of finances or because they alienated you from your friends and family. I hope you find the strength to stand on your own. I’m always here for anyone who needs an ear to vent to, as well.
You are not alone.
If you know of more resources I could add, drop a comment below.