Domestic Violence takes many forms, but they are all about power and control!

violencewheel

You can click on the photo to go to the site with the domestic violence wheel and more information from: http://www.domesticviolence.org/violence-wheel/

So many times, I hear people discounting abuse and claiming emotional or verbal abuse, etc…are not really abuse. Many people think only physical attacks are abuse. They are wrong! Domestic violence is about power and control. Abusers usually aren’t just hitting because they like hitting; they are hitting to show their power and to get control by making the other person feel small, helpless, scared and weak. Any act that is designed to scare someone and gain control over them can be domestic violence. This includes intimidation or other behavior that makes the victim feel like they don’t have the power to protect themselves or escape. My ex narcopath abuser only physically battered me once during our 7 week marriage, but he did almost everything else on this wheel and I lived in terror wondering what was coming next. That was what he wanted.

Until society understands how ALL of these abusive behaviors work together with physical violence to create a web of control and power, many abuses will continue to be minimized. Courts, family, friends, acquaintances often will not understand or give victims the validation or protection they need because ignorance about abuse is common in society. If an abuser is consistent in those types of abuse until the victim feels scared and helpless, it can even cause PTSD. These forms of abuse are a big deal and cause strong reactions in the intended victims–threatening, blackmailing, intimidating, using children as pawns, using money to control, isolation, yelling, controlling, stalking, dominating, and more.

PTSD can occur after a single traumatic incident, but it can also occur with ongoing domestic violence. Abuse is about control, and PTSD is initiated by feelings of helplessness and fear. Many people leave an abusive relationship with signs of PTSD, but may not be taken seriously and get the help they need because society often dismisses the seriousness of emotional abuse. Fortunately, PTSD diagnoses have evolved in recent years, so therapists are starting to really understand the effects of chronic fear and abuse, but the knowledge is not widespread yet.

Just took a look at the domestic violence wheel and you can see the ways an abuser will gain mind control over the victim….

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