Millions of women are physically, sexually, or emotionally abused every year by someone they know and love, possibly their husband or partner. It happens to women of all ages, races, religions and income levels. Although abusive relationships are not limited to just woman and the female gender the majority of abuse is usually instigated from men towards women.

Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued and respected.

Healing the Nation

No one deserves to be abused. Yet it can be very difficult to decide to leave an abusive relationship. Many persons do not understand why if a person is hurting you why someone would stay in an abusive relationship. However, persons often in an abusive circumstance usually have more than one reason as to why they would not just leave or feel they cannot leave their unhealthy relationship.

Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships?

Many women stay in abusive relationships because they feel they have no choice. They are afraid that they will not be able to support themselves or their children. They are afraid that friends or family will think that they have failed. Some reasons women will stay in an abusive relationship are:

• Fear which includes fear of leaving, fear of staying, fear of reprisal and fear for her life.
• Financial dependence where many women have difficulty finding work to support her and her family, or have few or out dated job skills.
• Isolation where a woman is cut off from friends, family and any type of support system.
• Unaware of legal rights including the right to be protected and not abused.
• Lack of support where extended family members may not be willing or able to accommodate her and her children.
• Physical illness and inability to leave or have someone else to tend to their medical needs.
• Emotional dependence where she may still love her partner, especially in the “honeymoon period” where he is being attentive and loving.
• Social Pressures where she may have been pressured by parents, community, church to try and hold on.
• Low self-esteem where a woman may feel she is responsible for the success or failure of marriage, or relationship or feels responsible for the abuse and believes that she caused it.
• Acceptance of Abuse where some women may feel that family violence is normal, especially if she was physically abused as a child or witnessed her mother being beaten
• Accommodation where the lack of alternative housing may force a woman to stay.


Warning signs an abuse partner:

1) Threatens to hurt or kill you, your children or your pets
2) Says it’s your fault if he or she hits you…then promises it will not happen again (but it does)
3)​ Puts you down in public or keeps you from contacting family or friends
4)​Throws you down, push, hit, choke, kick or slap you
5) Forces you to have sex when you don’t want to
6) Takes your money or refuse to give you money
7) Threatens to commit suicide
8) Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons

Family Violence and the Impact on Children

Violent behavior is learned and children who witness violence in the home often become either perpetrators or victims of violence in adulthood. Children who witness family violence tend not to perform as well as their peers in school, at sports and social interaction. A large percentage of young offenders charged with crimes against people have been exposed to domestic violence as children. Children who have witnessed domestic violence have a much greater chance of having behavioral problems. Children from violent homes may blame themselves, may have sleep problems, nightmares, stomach and headaches. Girls may become withdrawn and passive, boys aggressive and bullying.

Advice for leaving an abusive relationship

It can be very difficult to decide to leave an abusive relationship. Call the Crisis Centre for support; the counselors there can assist. . When you have decided to leave, pack a bag and leave it with a friend or neighbor. Make sure that you pack extra clothes and, if you have a child or children, pack a favorite toy.

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.

For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us by email at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com. IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP, CALL THE CRISIS CENTRE ON 328-0922 OR 322-4999. IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL THE POLICE ON 919 OR 911.

Categories: Notes
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