Abuse can take many different forms and every situation is unique, however, there are some common signs of abuse you may well recognise:
- verbal abuse and criticism (shouting, name-calling, threatening, mocking)
- guilt/pressuring tactics (threatening self-harm or suicide, taking away your phone/laptop, threatening to call the authorities on you, lying to friends and family about you)
- putting you down (disrespecting you in front of others, not listening or responding to you when you talk)
- isolation (monitoring or blocking your connection with others, stopping you from leaving the house, telling you where you can and cannot go)
- lying to you (breaking promises, having affairs, often blaming you)
- threats (physically or verbally threatening you)
- sexual violence (using force, threatening you to perform sexual acts, forcing you to have sex with other people)
- physical violence (hitting, kicking, pushing, restraining you)
- denial (making you think you’re imagining the abuse, saying they can’t control their anger, appearing charming/calm in front of others, begging for forgiveness)
Statistically, it is more common for women to be affected by domestic violence, but it’s important to note that men can be victims too. The situation is awful for both women and men, however, men may face the additional stigma of not wanting to appear as a ‘victim’ or even worrying that no one will believe them.
A counsellor can work with you at any stage of your journey, whether you’re out of the relationship or still in it. At Castle Counselling Services, we can work with you to help you recognise signs of abuse and help you understand your own behaviours/way of thinking. We can utilise many different techniques and approaches that may be provide support to you, from assertiveness and grounding techniques to CBT to improve your self-esteem.