How to spot an abusive partner before it’s too late.
More than 3 million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year, including both men and women. Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million people. One-third of women and one-fourth of men will have experienced some sort of interpersonal violence, and for one-fourth of women and one-seventh of men, it’s severe.
What is less talked about, though serious, is emotional abuse that ranges from withholding to controlling, and includes manipulation and verbal abuse. The number of people affected is astronomical. Emotional abuse is insidious and slowly eats away at your confidence and self-esteem. The effects are long term, and can take even longer to recover from than blatant violence.
Facts About Abuse
Victims often minimize violence. Violence includes throwing or breaking things, slapping, shoving, hair-pulling, and forced sex. Here are some facts you should know:
- Usually, abuse takes place behind closed doors.
- Abusers deny their actions.
- Abusers blame the victim.
- Violence is preceded by verbal abuse.
- Abuse damages your self-esteem.
- The abuser needs to be right and in control.
- The abuser is possessive and may try to isolate their partner from friends and family.
- The abuser is hypersensitive and may react with rage.
- A gun in the house increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent.
- Two-thirds of domestic violence perpetrators have been drinking alcohol.
- One-third of victims have been drinking or using drugs.
The Typical Abuser
You may not realize that abusers feel powerless. They don’t act insecure to cover up the truth. In fact, they’re often bullies. The one thing they all have in common is that their motive is to have power over their victim.