How do you think you would respond to abuse in a relationship?
Many people suffer way beyond what they thought they would tolerate. Statistics suggest that it isn't the first incident that causes them to seek help. In relationships where there is domestic violence a woman would suffer a physical assault over thirty times before contacting the police or other emergency support networks. Perhaps even more disturbing is that the majority of all homicide, excluding warfare, is domestic violence related.
Would you recognise the signs of relationship abuse?
Awareness of domestic violence is a huge step in changing someones life, including your own or someone you care about. Relationship abuse is much wider than just physical violence and the threat can come come in many forms. Would you recognise the signs of abuse?
Would you know who to turn to for help?
First things first, The Relationship Breakthrough Coach can help you realign your values, set powerful and inspiring goals and rebuild your life and your personal identity. If you are suffering an abusive relationship or there is any kind of violence in the relationship I strongly recommend that you research your local support groups or local police websites to get immediate support.
This comprehensive list of domestic abuse support services from around the world might help you get started. There are a whole host of charities and non government organisations, not for profit organisations that will provide a ton of support for you to get over the first hurdles. I will still be here, ready to take the next steps with you.
I wrote this page to help you recognise the different types of abuse and help you choose your response to any abuse in a relationship. Help me get this information out there, share with your social network and put an end to domestic violence in relationships. It could save a life.
If you have already read about the red flags in a relationship you will have seen that abuse is one of the most dramatic of the red flags. In any of its many forms relationship abuse is corrosive and potentially dangerous. That is why it is important to recognise if there are signs of abuse in your relationship.
No one ever set out to be abused in a relationship. I have never heard anyone set relationship goals that included being emotionally abused or verbally abused. And yet, people who find themselves in an abusive relationship, or even worse, experiencing domestic violence don't immediately pack and walk out of the door. In fact, it is not unusual for a person to suffer multiple occasions of physical abuse or coercive control in a relationship before they will seek professional help.
The signs of abuse are often apparent to an outsider looking in even though the victim covers and denies or even defends their partner.
The victim has their own story. Their own way of rationalising the behaviour. Their own beliefs about themselves and their partner. Their own cognitive dissonance. This is why most domestic abuse awareness campaigners highlight the fact that a woman might be assaulted over thirty occasions before calling the police.
If you recognise signs of abuse in your relationship you need to act quickly, even if only to reassess your situation. Responsibility is your ability to choose your response to a given stimulus.
When you assess the stimulus (signs of abuse) you will unconsciously filter with your internal beliefs and values. You will distort, generalise and delete anything that doesn't align with your internal programming. In NLP this known as the Model of Communication. That is where life coaching with NLP can bring the unconscious patterns to the fore to be reprogrammed for your success. You will see with new eyes, hear with new ears and reassess with a clear understanding of what the behaviour means to you. We are on each others team.
One of the biggest signs of abuse in a relationship is when the behaviour pattern repeats itself. Often referred to as the Cycle of Abuse (or the Cycle of Abuse Wheel or Cycle of Domestic Violence). Click the link to read more, or visit the Relationship Abuse lead page for links to other information about abuse in a relationship.
Abuse in a relationship could also be referred to as domestic abuse or spousal abuse if you are married. Labels are irrelevant from the point of taking action. Labels will open up further problems which can lead to self sabotage because of unconscious beliefs about self judgement and identity. If your unconscious mind is unwilling to accept the identity of a "victim of abuse" you will respond accordingly. It isn't about you anyway.
To help you recognise the types of abuse in a relationship here are some examples:
Any kind of manipulative, devious, deceptive, confusing, ridiculing behaviour pattern in a relationship can cause you to question your own sanity.
Gaslighting can be a form of emotional abuse. You are made to feel that you are to blame, you are clumsy, you are useless and so on. The difference with gaslighting in a relationship is when there are ulterior darker motives behind the behaviour.
Verbal abuse on its own is just foul mouthed name calling. Some might even call it banter. Think of chanting at a sporting event. But verbal abuse in a relationship should be a big red flag. Anything that is driven by ego is not driven by unconditional love and you should question the motives and intentions of anyone who persistently verbally abuses you. If they had a plan, are you even in it?
Psychological abuse in a relationship can take many forms and is similar to emotional abuse, except the stakes are higher. Psychological abuse is an intentional behaviour to achieve a specific outcome. The perpetrator intentionally creates an emotional response (often fear) in order to coerce and control you.
Stalking and harassment are forms of psychological abuse. The intended outcome is to drive fear into the victim. When a person is in a state of fear, they are easier to manipulate. At the same time, stalking and harassment are massive red flags because it is criminal form of threatening behaviour. It could even involve a threat to kill.
Financial abuse is a form of coercive and controlling behaviour that cuts you off from monetary resources. It could be someone putting limits on your spending. How much fuel you can put in the car, or how much food you can buy at the grocers.
It can also be constant monitoring of your movements and expenditures. Scrutinising receipts and statements could be a sign of someone who doesn't trust you, or someone controlling how much you are able to spend.
Financial abuse will also limit the amount of time you can spend away from home.
Silent treatment is a withdrawal of affection. It is a form of emotional punishment linked to and psychological abuse.
If someone is using this abusive tactic against you it could be that they are just mad at you or it could also be that you have found them out over some issue or other. You then get the silent treatment abuse until you change your response to their behaviour. This is common place in relationships and you will only recognise this to be manipulation when you realise that your behaviour is going against your own values just to appease them. You might begin to feel guilt or regret for something you did or said when it was quite clearly the other persons problem.
If this happens on a regular basis see if you can observe the pattern and become aware of your own values. Are they just mad at you for something you did, or are they manipulating you to see what they did in a different light. By different light, you could interpret that as "false". If thats the case this could be a red flag.
Physical abuse in a relationship is a red flag for potential danger ahead. What might start as a slap, a punch, a push can eventually escalate into something far more sinister. A choke or strangulation for example is a huge red flag in a relationship. This is an indicator of worse to follow. Studies of homicide in abusive relationships has shown that non-fatal strangulation (choking) is frequently apparent before the homicide incident. Read this article posted from The Alliance for HOPE International:
Near fatal strangulation should have you running to the hills. The UK has brought in new legislation to give police additional powers where non-fatal strangulation is a factor in violent relationships.
There is a reason why responding to domestic violence is always a key priority for police departments. Seven out of ten homicides are occur as a result of abuse in a relationship.
They are often repeated behaviours across many relationships. It isn't about you. The person poses a risk to whoever they were in a relationship with.
Some police departments offer a disclosure service whereby they will reveal an individuals background if it is believed they pose such a risk. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is often referred to as "Clares Law" in the UK.
There may be other factors involved such as addictive behaviours, such as drugs and alcohol. If that is a possibility in your relationship you should seek professional help.
It takes leverage, and courage to leave an abusive relationship, and for very good reason.
For survivors of abuse in a relationship, success can mean the difference between life and death. That should be massive leverage to take massive action in my book. Relationship abuse statistics show that serious domestic violence occurs after the victim ends the relationship.
That is why it is vital to to build your inner resources as well as your external resources. Nobody says ending abuse in a relationship is easy. But if you ask anyone who has done it, anyone who has survived abuse in a relationship they say it was absolutely worth it.
Draw inspiration and support from as many sources as possible. Just one person saying that you should leave wont necessarily mean you will, but if you are hearing this over and over again, there is only one thing stopping you. You. If you think the pain of leaving is going to be greater than the pain of staying you need to talk with someone who can lighten up the path for you.
You can upgrade your leverage by asking better questions. Remember, courage isn't the absence of fear. Courage is doing the right thing despite fear.
You probably couldn't imagine the joy, pleasure, and freedom you would experience if you were to leave your abusive relationship. The fear stops you. And your fear is real even though it can be overcome.
Think of a time when you were highly motivated to take action.
What did you achieve?
Whose needs were important to you?
Who else benefited because you took action?
Whose needs are important to you now?
How will your life be different when you make this important change now?
Imagine one day telling your friends how you turned your life around and how the success of others really inspired you to make changes in your life. Yours could be the inspirational story that somebody else is looking for today.
Domestic violence is a criminal offence in most countries. My advice is always to bring any such domestic violence to the awareness of your emergency services. Either by yourself or someone close to you who can support you through the process.
You could also contact your local Family Justice Center (in the USA) or charities such as Women's Aid (UK).
Most countries employ a multi agency approach to tackling domestic violence because the stakes are high. You can be appointed an IDVA (Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate)
They can advise you on all sorts of issues such as restraining orders, and other counselling type services that might be available.
Life coaching sessions with the Relationship Breakthrough Coach transforms relationship abuse into relationship breakthrough. I reconnect people with their drive, their heart, and their life.
Remember, you are the only one in control of your situation. You are the only one who can change. Others in your situation have become free from domestic violence.
What will you become?
I help men and women achieve their relationship goals and visions.
Can you support me to achieve mine? Are you a coach, therapist, counsellor or hypno-therapist? Do you provide a service that would be attractive to my customers?
If you feel moved by the Relationship Breakthrough Coach vision, contact me. I would love to hear from you.
Relationship Breakthrough Coach provides life coaching in Mossley, Tameside, Uppermill, Saddleworth, and all surrounding areas. Sessions are available for men, women and couples who are ready to transform their health wealth and relationships.
Life coaching is a journey of self discovery. Your journey starts with your next step. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the next step. The power of life coaching will unlock your personal power to overcome obstacles that show up while you get to work on your dreams.
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