Does Your Partner Hit You or Insult You?

Certainly domestic violence is a common problem in many communities and one which many people will not talk about, including the victims. It is also a fact that domestic violence does not discriminate and anyone can suffer from domestic violence or harassment. Statistics show that in reported cases of domestic assault, 95% of the perpetrators are men.

According to experts in Minnesota Duluth Center, physical abuse is only a part of a series of behaviors that have led to serious difficulties in a relationship. There are several stages; the first of which is known as the “accumulation of tension”. In the Accumulation phase, a couple usually argues with increasing hostility. The offender does not pay attention to his/her partner and finds time to ridicule and make him/her feel bad.

In the second phase or Acute episode, the tension reaches a point where the offender loses control and may act out violently towards the partner; even escalating to murder. This is the phase where the offender intimidates and controls their victims through acts of physical violence (e.g. hitting, kicking, punching, etc..) as well as psychological and emotional abuse towards the partner (e.g., humiliation, making a partner believe that he/she is “crazy”, controlling the money, etc.).

If the person suffering the aggression gets out alive (unfortunately it is in this phase where some victims lose their lives), then the honeymoon phase arrives. The aggressor will feel very sorry for the damage caused and often apologizes and vows not to do it again. Sometimes the aggressor brings flowers and gifts. Unfortunately, after the honeymoon, the couple almost always returns to the first phase after a few weeks or even days. This becomes a vicious cycle from which the couple cannot escape easily.

Why can a person not get out of this vicious cycle? There are certain reasons why many people choose to stay in an abusive relationship:

  • They feel fear (panic)towards the offender, to the point that they believe the offender will kill them if they leave.
  • Often relatives do not support an abused partner’s decision to leave an abusive relationship.
  • Economic reasons (abused partners may believe they cannot support their children economically on their own).
  • No access to money because their partner has taken control of bank account, etc.
  • During periods of calm (the honeymoon), partners believe that everything will change and things will improve in the future.
  • Partners may be unaware of resources and agencies that can help.
  • For people who are undocumented, many are afraid that if they report the abuse to the authorities, they and/or their partners will be deported.

It is important to know that Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and Anxiety are emotional disorders that are closely linked to domestic violence. Victims of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse may develop clinical depression and often will need professional help to deal with these circumstances and conditions.

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