Have you (or someone you know) experienced domestic violence? If so, was it long-term or short-term?
Domestic violence (DV) or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a common occurrence in today’s society. Although often hidden, domestic violence affects about 1 in 3 men and 1 in 4 men, according to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
This article will discuss domestic violence and provide a podcast interview I was invited to by Laura Reagan, LCSW-C from TherapyChapt.
*TRIGGER ALERT: PICTURE AND SOME OF THE CONTENT MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME.
Domestic violence typically includes physical assault but also rape, stalking, homicide, and psychological or emotional abuse. The impact of DV spans across economic and racial domains. It affects anyone of any race. However, more women experience domestic violence at the hands of men, than men do at the hands of women. Women between the ages of 18-24 are more commonly abused. And research suggests that nearly 20 people are nearly abused per minute in the United States. DV is an epidemic that affects everyone involved, including the children and teens living in the family home.
Stalking is another part of domestic violence that can negatively affect everyone involved. Stalking is typically an attempt to obtain and maintain control. It is a fear tactic. It is a way to control the emotions and thoughts of the person being pursued. About 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men have been stalked at some point in their lives.
The numbers are staggering and frightening to say the least. I have listed 7 common signs below that often signal that a relationship is headed toward a dead end:
- Broken promises: All relationships suffer broken promises. Things come up. People change. Things change. But too many broken promises may signal that the other person either doesn’t care about you as much as you would like or is incapable of showing love. Either way, the potential for abuse later in life is likely.
- Control or territorial behaviors: Controlling behavior can start out looking appealing and charming. Who doesn’t want a male who can step up and get the job done (whatever that may be)? Who doesn’t like a woman who shows some jealousy over her spouse? But again, too much of a “good thing” can be bad. Controlling behavior can spiral into stalking behaviors.
- Suspiciousness or paranoia: Paranoia and suspiciousness can come across, at first, as protectiveness or a little bit of over worrying. It can be very difficult to pinpoint early in a relationship, especially if the two individuals live apart. Paranoia can also mimic delusional thought patterns.
- Delusions or psychotic behaviors: Delusions are strong convictions held to be true despite evidence to the contrary. They are firmly held thoughts or beliefs that are very difficult to sway and that goes against the cultural norms of a society. The delusion almost always causes distress to the sufferer but the sufferer lacks personal insight into the fact that their thoughts/beliefs and paranoia are the reason for their suffering, not the people in their lives.
- Anger management difficulties: Anger management difficulties are a clear sign of potential future problems. Anger management difficulties should always be taken seriously. An individual who denies they have anger management difficulties but continues to harm others with attitude, behavior, or mood needs to be in therapy. There is no other way to control anger but through personal exploration and the development of skills.
- Lack of personal insight: Lack of personal insight means that the individual will struggle to see how their interactions with others creates challenges. Individuals with borderline personality disorder may struggle to recognize patterns in their own behaviors such as manipulation, opposition to authority or loving family members, and becoming too emotionally close too soon. An inability to recognize one’s own problematic behaviors can lead to further problems down the road.
- Traumatic Bonding: Traumatic bonding is the process by which an individual is emotionally and psychologically bonded to an individual who is abusive and uncaring. You can learn more about this concept in my podcast interview below.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I encourage you to speak out about the detrimental affects of DV on women and men. I also encourage you to pursue therapy and counseling if you are suffering from an abusive relationship. There is a way out. You aren’t stuck forever.
Tune in below for the podcast.
As always, I look forward to hearing about your experiences.
I wish you well
107: Abusive Relationship Dynamics & Traumatic Bonding https://t.co/9xfBo6WKto
— Therapy Chat Podcast (@TherapyChatPod) October 6, 2017
NCADV. (2017). Statistics. Retrieved from, https://ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics.