We all love to savour the fruits of a healthy relationship, especially nowadays due to the deficit of it. These relationships are scarce and by ‘ Healthy relationships ‘, I not only mean relationships between dating couples, but also between friends, family, relatives, between a student and a teacher.
Seeing the media channels splashed with events of sexual assaults on minors, rapes, physical abuse on kids and so on, I’ve come to the conclusion that, it’s truly a blessing if one enjoys a healthy relationship of any kind. The relationship that is based on love, trust, mutual respect and consideration for each others feelings.
We can choose healthy relationships only if we are well educated about what’s not healthy. In other words what is abusive ?
After doing some thorough research I came to this conclusion. Abuse can be broadly categorized into physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
Physical abuse includes physical violence like hitting, punching and kicking. Emotional abuse includes teasing, bullying, humiliating others, threats, intimidation are forms of emotional abuse. The third kind of abuse is sexual abuse which as you can see, is rampant these days, affecting minors as well as adults. Women are the most common victims of the third category.
Here are the warning signs that one may be in an Abusive relationship.
* If you are being harmed physically in any way which may include slapping, pushing, punching and so on.
* When your life is being controlled. When someone is continuously pressuring you to do things in their way and doesn’t give you the freedom to do things your own way. Who controls your dressing style, eating habits, whom you hang out with and so on. These relationships are energy draining and suffocating. There would be no room left to just be yourself.
* If a person makes you feel unworthy and finds ways to humiliate you.
* Becomes possessive, angry or jealous when you want to spend time with other friends or even family. The abuser would accuse you wrongly of having an affair.
* The abuser may call frequently and may drop in unexpectedly.
* The abuser may expect the victim to fulfill all their wishes and meet all their needs.
* They would isolate the victim from friends and family.
Emotional abuse can be as damaging as any other kind of abuse as there are no physical scars to prove it. The scars are internal and invisible . Here are some characteristics of emotional abuse.
* You are being continuously criticized.
* Being humiliated in private and public.
* The abuser uses economic power to control you.
Abusive relationships have a major impact on the victim’s psyche. Below are points that mention how :
* The abusive relationship has a negative impact on the victim’s psyche. The damages and scars could last a life time. It would lower your self confidence and self worth.
* It would become more and more difficult to trust anyone. One may even doubt their own decision making.
* Abusive relationships could lead to stress, health issues and other behavioral problems.
Steps to take when your friend is in an unhealthy relationship.
If you don’t want your friend or a loved one to be in an abusive relationship, then the first step you can take is offer him or her your support, as getting out of an abusive relationship is not easy as it sounds. Fear, shame, embarrassment and other factors prevent a victim from leaving an abusive relationship. Your support would be very helpful.
* Be a patient listener. A victim may not confide the problem to his or her parent due to fear and guilt. So, try your best to listen to what the victim has gone through and offer your support.
Family, friends, external communities and organization’s support could help the victim immensely. Seeing the growing number of abusive cases in India, it’s time we promote respect and take measures to end violence and abusive behaviour in any form.
Note : Some resources taken from – Abusive relationships – Kids Health .
Click to know more about the Warning signs of Abusive relationships by clicking here -> LindayAnn Burke – Supporting the prevention of relationship violence.