It is estimated that one out of every four women will encounter a domestic assault in her lifetime. Would you know if you were in an intimate relationship that was dangerous to your safety and well-being?
How do you know if you are entangled in intimate partner abuse?
Domestic abuse victims are usually the first to know and the last to admit it. On a primal level, you feel violated and it hurts. You feel oppressed, controlled, manipulated…caged. You know you can never fully please your abuser, but you continue to try. And the compromises you make in the relationship are not in the interest of the relationship; rather, they are to keep a lid on your abuser.
Your partner may be a man or could be a woman. Domestic violence crosses gender, however we don’t hear about it as much when it’s the other way around. Nonetheless, this partner will evidence the classic signs of a batterer…excessive jealously, possessiveness, controlling behavior, unrealistic expectations, hypersensitivity and a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality.
Domestic Abuse – Clear Signs; Confusing Enigma
What becomes confusing for many people in abusive relationships is recognizing the dynamics while living them. You may feel the many facets of domestic abuse and know its ugly varieties of psychological abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and physical abuse. But the full enigma can still elude you.
It’s like when you’re in the forest, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” There is no sight of the full gestalt (the complete picture) until part of you steps out of the relationship and grasps it beyond and outside of yourself. From here, you can see the danger, the current destruction and the horrible, devastating potential.
There is one other time when you have this vision and that is before you step into the forest—before you fully engage in the relationship and become a part of the abuse dynamic. As I trust you know, education in domestic abuse IS prevention, and prevention is the best cure for domestic violence.
Core Constellation of Symptoms Characterizing Intimate Partner Abuse
It’s not the individual symptoms; it’s the constellation of symptoms that define intimate partner violence. You can prevent domestic abuse by learning to identify these five characteristics in combination. (Cited in the *Intimate Partner Abuse Screen®, Interpretive Analysis, Jeanne King, Ph.D. 2006-2020)
• CONTROLLING & POSSESSIVE – The abused partner experiences herself in their intimate relationship as her partner’s possession, rather than as a partner. And she knows her partner needs to control/dictate the way she spends her time, attention and money.
• ISOLATION – She is isolated from all sources of support, which might include social, emotional, physical and/or financial support—beyond that which comes directly from her significant relationship.
• NON-EMPATHIC – Her partner is non-empathic to her feelings and/or experience, and behaves as though the world revolves around him—expecting her to continuously cater to his needs.
• EXTERNALIZES BLAME – The battering partner does not assume responsibility or any accountability for mishaps between the two of them or beyond. Instead there is a tendency to externalize fault—blaming problems and issues on the victim/survivor, on other people, or on extraneous circumstances.
• ONGOING BATTERING FOR POWER – Verbal and/or emotional battering, with or without physical and/or sexual assault, toward the victim is used to establish and maintain a dynamic of unequal power within the relationship.
For more information on identifying and healing in and from an abusive relationship, visit www.innersanctuaryonline.org
Dr. Jeanne King, psychologist and author, helps people worldwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King, PhD. — Domestic Violence Prevention
*Reply to this email, if you want the Intimate Partner Abuse Screen® and did not receive it.
Thank you so much Ms. King for all your support. It has given me the courage to move on and to realize that I deserve to be happy too, not just to live as a slave to some one that will never appreciate you as a life long partner.
You are welcome. I’m glad to have been able to inspire you in that way. Yes, you deserve to be happy?
I’ve known my marriage is abusive for at least 3 years. It took the form of abuse when it started affecting me in every way. Lost clients, Staring at the computer screen for a few minutes only to realize hours had passed. When you tell people, they give you a look, as if they wanted to laugh at what I am telling them. She’s just screwing with you, don’t let it get to you. But now, since I started to crawl out of the dungeon, she is beginning to use the police, domestic violence centers and I know the courts system is next. And so far she has the upper hand. Anything I do she manages to turn against me. Don’t know what to do anymore.
I knew the day I let him look through my phone I was done. Instead of trying to please me. He cuts me down, denys anything that implies he’s done wrong. Started stalking me. Holding my belongings hostage. Took things that were family heirlooms. I will get my things buy I would like a copy of Intimate Partner Abuse Screen
You can obtain a free copy of the Intimate Partner Screen here: healabuse.innersanctuaryonline.org