Report domestic abuse

EDITOR — It is sad to note that cases of domestic violence are skyrocketing.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical.

Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it.

No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you recognise yourself or someone you know in an abusive relationship or situation, reach out for help by dialling emergency toll free numbers or report the matter to the nearest police station.

Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person in an undesirable manner.

Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.”

Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimised, men are also abused — especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well.

The bottom line is that abusive behaviour is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to be valued, respected, and safe.

Recognising abuse is the first step to getting help.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe.

Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone.

No one should have to endure this kind of pain — and your first step to breaking free is recognising that your situation is abusive.

Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner — constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up — chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.

Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

Alex Makanda

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