Home should be a place where we should all feel safe and able to feel comfortable in our own surroundings. Unfortunately, this is not the case for some, and some people (women and men) can live in an environment which is far from safe.

Abuse can take many forms and it is sometimes months, even years, before it is reported. There is no shame in being abused and it can happen to anyone at any time, and those experiencing it do not always recognise the signs for themselves.

Signs you are in an Abusive Relationship

A partner who:

  • Is sexually or physically abusive.
  • Uses threatening behaviour towards you or your family.
  • Attacks your capabilities, mental health, looks, or intelligence.
  • Blames you for their violent outbursts.
  • Is jealous and isolates you from family or friends.
  • Makes accusations of you being unfaithful.
  • Is possessive, checking on activity constantly, and becoming angry if you meet certain people.
  • Has a history of violent or abusive behaviour towards you.

Is physical abuse worse than emotional abuse?

Not necessarily and it’s important that emotional abuse is acknowledged as this is a much bigger problem than a lot of people realise. Just because there are no bruises does not mean someone is not being abused. A lot of women and men suffer from emotional abuse, and it is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often overlooked or minimised, even by those experiencing it.

The following are signs of emotional abuse:

  • Someone who tries to chip away at your feelings of independence and self-worth.
  • Verbal abuse, which includes controlling behaviour, intimidation, isolation, shaming, blaming, name-calling, and yelling, a threat of physical violence, as well as other repercussions if demands are not met.
  • The scars of emotional abuse run deep, and they are very real. You may assume that physical abuse is a lot worse, as people can end up with physical wounds and in hospital, but emotional abuse can be just as damaging and sometimes, it can even be worse.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is one of the subtler forms of emotional abuse. Some examples
of this include:

  • Taking your money or stealing from you.
  • Sabotaging your job – calling constantly or making you miss work.
  • Preventing you from choosing your own career or working.
  • Restricting you to an allowance.
  • Withholding basic necessities, such as shelter, medications, clothes, and food.
  • Making you account for every penny you spend.
  • Withholding credit cards or money.
  • Rigidly controlling your finances.

You are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence. Please seek help.

If you are in an abusive relationship, you should try to keep a record of the dates and details of abuse towards you, but you should only do this if safe to do so. It may be helpful to mention to your neighbours what has been occurring so if another incident happens an ‘independent’ person has the knowledge to call 999 as many people would not want to get involved.