Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Does My Spouse Abuse Me?

It doesn't matter why, you may never know. Some people get their thrill from hurting another person and causing pain. Others just use the abuse as a way of getting their way. Think about it. No matter what form the abuse takes -- physical, mental, emotional -- it always involves getting power over another person, through fear and intimidation. For this reason, most experts do not distinguish between different "types" of abuse. Abuse is abuse, and it is all bad.

Additionally, it doesn't do any good for the victim to ponder over what they did that caused it, or to wonder why the other person does it. No matter why it happens, the fact is that it does happen. And when it does, it usually gets worse over time. In fact, a large percentage of the murders in this country are the result of spousal abuse. The only thing a victim needs to know is that it will not get better, without drastic action and professional intervention. The most important thing for a victim to di is to get to safety.  

If abuse has happened to you, get help, and the sooner the better. The best number to call is the National Domestic Violence Hotline (http://www.thehotline.org/ 1-800-799-SAFE ) because their web site will flick to another site quickly if needed. An abuser is often controlling and seeks power over you. Your home computer may not be safe to use because your browsing history may be monitored. You may be able to use a library computer or go to a library and read in a book to learn more about abuse. It happens in every socio-economic group.

Leaving an abusive relationship takes a lot of courage.  Many victims leave everything behind.  In fact, the most dangerous time for a victim (usually but not always a woman) is when she attempts to leave.  If possible, get expert help from your local abused women's group.  (You can get a referral to your local women’s shelter from the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.)  If you have children, you also should consult with an attorney as soon as possible concerning child custody issues.  An abused woman fleeing abuse can often “look” to an outsider like an unstable person.  In the short term, do what you need to keep safe.  In the long run, these bigger issues and building a new, more stable life must also be a concern. 

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