The Subtleties Of Domestic Violence
Most people today have heard about domestic or family violence. But usually what comes to mind is loud screaming, broken bones and bruised faces. We expect to see the consequences of the domestic violence and without that visual evidence, it is easy to assume no violence is present.
This is particularly true when the violence is done without the perpetrator laying a finger on their victim.
Can violence, without physical violence be considered domestic or family violence? The answer to that is yes. Emotional and psychological violence is as damaging and painful as being on the receiving end of a swinging fist.
So what does emotional and psychological violence look like? If there are no screams and bruises, how are our friends and family expected to know it is happening? The answer to that is like the saying, how long is a ball of string?
For this article, I wanted to talk about one particular type of violence that is extremely subtle and that is how a perpetrator communicates with their victim when they know what they are saying will be read by others. For example, on Our Children Australia, we have no control over what is written by each individual. It is not our place to interfere or influence how you use Our Children Australia to communicate with each other.
However, over time we have noticed a number of communication styles that are extremely subtle to most, but to victims and perpetrators of domestic and family violence the abuse is very obvious.
So what are some of these subtle forms of violence?
1) A perpetrator will project their own behaviours and write in their communications with you, what they, in fact, do to the children and accuse you of doing those things to the children. The aim of this subtle abuse is to make you defend yourself that you are not doing what they claim you are doing. While you are busy being manipulated and distracted, the attention of their abusive behaviour goes on being ignored. The power of this abusive behaviour, aside from the incredible distress it causes, it also is intended to plant a seed of doubt about you and your parenting into an outsider’s perception of you.
2) A perpetrator might send you a message multiple times in a short period of time, claiming their message is urgent. Again, from an outsider’s point of view, they might give the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt that their message was indeed urgent. However, too often this is not the case and the perpetrator is using urgency as a cover to harass you.
3) A perpetrator will use straight out lies when communicating with you, but to an outsider who doesn’t know your case, the communication looks legitimate and non-abusive.
So, what can you do? Remember that they know exactly what buttons to push to hurt you. Domestic violence is a very well thought out form of abuse and they have worked extremely hard, fine tuning their abusive mannerisms. Perpetrators are not about to change their ways, and no one can change their behaviours except for themselves.
Therefore, remember the number one thing to keep in mind, is no one can make you feel intimidated, inferior or abused without your permission!
Use the Our Children Australia communication website to give yourself the safe environment to communicate with your ex-partner with the knowledge that you have the power to choose when you read their message and that their messages can be printed and used in court if necessary.
Of course, this does not take away the pain of the subtle abuse that they continue to inflict upon you. However, it does give you the power to choose when you read it, and the validation of knowing you are believed you when you feel the communication is abusive.
This is only one step and it is a process. Our Children Australia is a platform that is safe and gives equal opportunity to control your communication environment (not the content). It gives you the breathing space to heal and become strong again
Author: Lorrie Brook