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    Violence in Relationships

    By Kristen Houghton     

    A relationship horror that spans all socio-economic areas is domestic violence. Whether from those who are married or in long-standing relationships, incidences of violence in the home are on the rise. More police are called to homes for domestic disputes than for anything else.

    Surprisingly there is still a stigma attached to being the victim in a violent situation. Women feel shame and embarrassment that the person who is supposed to love them is beating them. The sub-conscious thought is that the person being battered has done “something wrong” by calling the police for help. Add to this the destruction of self-esteem by the batterer and you have a victim who feels that being abused is somehow her fault.

    It is worse for men. If they are abused by a woman it is interpreted as a slur on their manhood. If you allow yourself to be physically attacked by a woman, what kind of a man are you? Society still has its stigmas.

    Many people who have never been in an abusive relationship have no idea how difficult it is. They assume, wrongly, that all you have to do is file a complaint, get a restraining order, and leave. This is simplistic thinking.

    Abused spouses are afraid to leave their abusers. They fear for their lives and for the lives of their families. They have been programmed to think that the abuser is all-powerful and will carry out any threats he or she has made.

    Once, while we were discussing a program we had seen on violence, a friend said that if a man ever abused her “he had better make sure I’m dead because, when I recovered, I would kill him.” Easier said than done if the man is bigger, stronger, or has a weapon.

    It is simple to tell someone in an abusive relationship they need to get out of it. The abused woman or man needs some type of assurance before making this leap. They need to know where they can go. Many are afraid and emotionally battered as well. Making decisions is difficult for them.

    Getting to a safe house is paramount to survival. No one should stay in a house with an abuser. The first physical strike should be the last. Do not ever believe an abuser when he or she says that “it” won’t happen again. Even the best of therapists can’t repair an abusive relationship.

    The best advice to give the abused person is to have them tell someone; a doctor, the clergy, a friend, and the police. Put it on record. Make sure that any and all marks are photographed so that it is not their word against the abuser’s.

    Victims can become victorious when they break away from abuse. No one deserves to be physically or emotionally hurt. That is not living.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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