The Destructive Power of Emotional Abuse by Beaumont Todd
THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE
The Destructive Power of Emotional Abuse
Growing up so often we were the told the phrase, “sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never hurt us.” How untrue this statement has proven to be. In our society where we are taught to suppress or ignore our feelings and emotions, or that they are inappropriate to express in general society or societal arenas, we have left ourselves both vulnerable and incapable of being able to fully functional as both logical and emotional beings.
The very emotions that act as a warning sign when something is amiss in our hearts, as does our nervous system when our bodies are in pain, we are taught to ignore. However the resultant effect of ignoring such a God given system of identifying the state of our hearts and thoughts leave us very vulnerable to both be exposed to and eventually accept emotional abuse as normal or something we may even consider we deserve. Whether this emotional abuse comes from another or even us, inflicting unhealthy words and thoughts upon ourselves.
What is emotional Abuse?
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Domestic violence takes place within an intimate relationship and tends to get more severe and occur more often as time goes on. It can happen to anyone, in all kinds of relationships, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, social standing or age. Women and children are not the only victims of domestic violence. Men are victims of domestic violence as well. There are many reasons why we don’t know more about domestic abuse and violence against men.
First of all, the number of incidents of domestic violence against men appears to be so low that it is hard to get reliable statistics. Also, it has taken years to encourage women to report domestic violence whereas nothing has really been done to encourage men to report abuse. The idea that men could be victims of domestic violence is so unbelievable that most men would not think of reporting the situation. The first reaction most people would have when hearing a man was a victim of domestic violence is “What did HE do?” or “He must have deserved that!” However, violence is never justified, whether it is done to a man or a woman. Most men are reluctant to make a report for fear of being laughed at and considered “less than a man”.
What are the signs of a man experiencing Domestic Abuse?
The signs that the men are also victims of domestic violence are very similar to the signs of domestic violence against women.
Some of the signs are:
1) The woman calls the man bad names, insults him (publicly or privately) and tries to put him down every chance she has.
2) The woman tries to stop the man from going to work or to public places. She tries to prevent him from seeing his family members and friends. She isolates him.
3) The woman is excessively possessive and / or jealous and she tries to control her man in terms of the clothes he wears, how he spends his money and the places he can go to.
4) The woman threatens the man with violence and harm, particularly when she is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
5) The woman hits or hurts the man by kicking, punching, biting, slapping, pushing or choking him. The woman waits until the man is sleeping or resting and assaults him with or without a weapon, when he is in no position to defend himself.
6) The woman threatens to leave the man and to take their children with her if he tries to defend himself.
Despite all of the above, the woman blames the man for her behavior and, in many cases, so does society.
What Makes a Woman Violent Against a Man?
Listed below are some reasons why a partner turns violent against a man.
1) The woman is an alcoholic or under the influence of other drugs. As a result, she is not able to control her impulses and gets easily frustrated. If her partner tries to stop her or tries to reason with her, she might get violent and turn against her partner.
2) The woman has psychological problems. Personality disorders may cause a woman to commit domestic violence against the man.
3) The woman has unrealistic expectations or unrealistic demands in terms of material possessions they feel the man should provide for them. They often want more affection and attention from the man and are frustrated when he cannot provide what she wants. In many cases a woman feels she can change the man to how she wants him to be and cannot accept that this is unrealistic. When women who have unrealistic expectations or demands from their partners or husbands get frustrated, depressed, anxious or irritable the result from such reactions may make them violent. In most cases, the woman finds it difficult to accept responsibility for her behavior and therefore does not seek counseling, blaming instead her partner for her behavior.
We should also remember that domestic violence is not always physical and that the scars of verbal or emotional abuse will not be apparent to others. A man who is being verbally or emotionally abused is hardly likely to want to admit to his friends or family that he is hurt or distressed by the abuse. The idea that men could be victims of domestic violence is so unbelievable that most men would not think of reporting the situation. However abuse in any form regardless of who the victim is, is not acceptable and every victim should seek assistance to deal with it.
We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to Heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.