What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse refers to behavior that is controlling, coercive, violent, manipulative, threatening, etc. Like all other forms of abuse, domestic abuse can be physical, sexual, mental, or emotional. While people are most often domestically abused by their partners or ex-partners, their carers and family members might abuse them too. It is important to note that although people tend to view women as the only victims of domestic abuse, men are often abused too. Moreover, both men and women tend to keep their abuse a secret as they fear others will not believe or understand them. The first step to ensuring that you do not become a victim of domestic abuse is knowing what behavior you need to watch out for.
There are 5 things a domestic abuser will do to make you their victim.
1. They will make you feel special at first
Initially, this person will be romantic, passionate, and kind-hearted. They will make you feel like you are special and they will make you believe that they would never do anything to hurt you. In other words, they will do their best to earn your trust. It is only by earning your trust that they will be able to eventually manipulate, control, and abuse you.
2. They will invade your social circle
This romantic and passionate partner will ask to meet your friends and family. Although this will seem normal, it will only seem this way if you do not know the true intentions of your new partner. Upon meeting your friends and family, this person will try to charm them (and chances are that they will succeed in doing so). While you might think that this is sweet, you will soon realize why they were so willing to meet everyone.
3. They will begin to isolate you from your friends and family
In order to isolate you from the people in your life, this person must first and foremost become a part of your social circle. Therefore, once they have achieved this, they will begin to manipulate, guilt-trip and control you. For example, they might try to ‘forbid’ you from meeting up with friends unless they are with you too. In this way, you will eventually find yourself all alone.
4. They will take control of your life
Once you have become completely isolated, you will become vulnerable. Taking this further, you will begin to rely on your partner as they will be the only person left in your life. When you become dependent and vulnerable, the domestic abuser will seize the opportunity to take control. They will control where you go, who you go out with, and even how you dress. Ultimately, you will find yourself powerless.
5. They show their true colors
Eventually, you will see this person for who they truly are: a domestic abuser. You will feel lost and alone as they cut everyone out of your life and you have nowhere else to turn. Moreover, you might begin to feel ashamed and embarrassed as you cannot understand how you let this person take over your life. Subsequently, you might blame yourself and engage in self-destructive tendencies.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not at fault. If you become the victim of domestic violence and abuse, you are not to blame. The fault lies in the domestic abuser and not the one who is abused. You must seek help from friends and family — even if you have left them all behind. Moreover, you must seek help to protect yourself against the violence of your abuser. To talk to someone who can help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.