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Home > What is Abuse? > About Abuse

About Abuse:

"If you are being abused, it is not your fault"

Abuse is a pattern of behaviors. It is also called domestic violence, family violence, spousal abuse, wife battering. Unequal power balance, in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, is used to gain or maintain power and control over a partner. It may involve fear, intimidation, threats, physical violence, financial control and more.

Abuse occurs in many intimate relationships regardless of race, gender, class, religion, age, or ethnicity.

Abuse escalates often from emotional to physical abuse. For example, if the abuser feels that he/she is losing power over the partner, the methods of control can change. The goal is to maintain power and control over the partner. Thus, when the methods of control used stop working, abusers tend to become increasingly aggressive and can kill their partners and/or themselves.

Abuse can take place not only while people are in a relationship, but also while partners are breaking up, and even after the relationship ends –the abusive partner is not ready to let go and becomes increasingly controlling and abusive.

Abuse is always the responsibility of the abuser. It is a choice. Abusers decide to abuse their partners or ex-partners because they want to and they feel it is okay to do this.

Abused people are often blamed for the abuse of their partners. Sometimes even family members and friends, ignoring the dynamics of abuse, blame them. Professionals, who are not knowledgeable about the cycle of abuse, may excuse and/or minimize abusive behaviors. Thus, abused people often feel responsible for the behaviors of their abusers and try to comply with their requests in the hope that the abuse will stop. However, they find that abuse only get worse over time.

Abuse is the cause of physical injuries. Abuse can make you feel ashamed. It lowers your self-esteem, increases your risk of depression, and it creates anxiety. Abuse favors self-blame, shock, and causes many problems to your general health.

Furthermore, being in an abusive relationship affects the couple’s children, who generally witness the abuse. Children who are exposed to domestic violence frequently suffer from behavioral and cognitive problems.

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