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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Recognizing Abuse

Recognizing Abuse

 

In light of all the recent news stories (Surviving R. Kelly and the Cyntoia Brown Story), it is imperative that this topic is discussed  and done thoroughly. Many women (and men) do not know how to recognize the beginning signs of abuse. For this reason, they often accept the beginning stages and before they know it, they are locked into a dangerously abusive and completely manipulative relationship.

I am going to point out a few techniques of abusers.

 

1 – Foot and the Door Technique (Just Do This Little Thing)

  • What is it?
    • This is where abusers will get their victims to agree to one thing, and then to more progressively worse things as time goes on.

 

  • What’s an example?
    • In Surviving R. Kelly, the victims stated that R. Kelly would start off by telling the girls and young women to call him “Daddy”.

 

    • If they agreed, especially quickly and without hesitation, it showed him that they are easily submissive. He would then tell them that they could not talk to people and other people could not talk to them.

 

    •  If they were still in agreement, it would go to controlling what they can eat, wear, and do. If the victim stayed through that, he began to hit them and control them even more.

 

  • What to do?
    • Do not agree to anything that is remotely submissive or demeaning – especially in the beginning of the relationship. I understand that some people are into more exploratory sexual fantasies, however unless you discuss your boundaries and limits fully with your partner and consensually agree on that lifestyle, it is important that you do not show signs that you would blindly submit.

 

2- Isolation (You Can’t See Them Anymore)

  • What is it?
    • Many abusers will also isolate their victim away from their family. They will tell the victims that only the abuser loves them. They may move them far away from family and friends.

 

  • What’s an example?

             Statements like the following are examples:

 

    • Limiting communication with family

 

    • Moving far away from friends and family

 

    • Changing cell phone numbers and passwords without victim’s knowledge

 

             All of these things were seen on Surviving R. Kelly.

 

  • What to do?
    • Ensure that you are not allowing your partner to diminish time with your friends and family, or move you away from all of your loved ones suddenly

 

    • Remember that just because you are in a romantic relationship does not mean you need to limit you familial and platonic relationships that came before.

 

3 – Micro-cheating (Technically)

  • What is it?
    • This is where abusers do things that are “technically “ not cheating. They talk to other people, have dates, accept DMs and pictures but say “I didn’t do anything physical with this person, so I have not technically cheated.

 

  • What’s an example?
    • Hiding a friendship and messages with someone else but claiming they are ”just friends”.
      • If you know all of their other friends, there should be no reason to be secretive about a specific friend or set of friends

 

  • What to do?
    • Set clear standards in the beginning and clearly define cheating for you. Cheating is not just physical. Cheating is anything that goes against the mutually agreed upon terms of a relationship. However, you both must come to a mutual agreement by discussing your relationship boundaries. If you two cannot agree, it may be best to avoid this relationship altogether.

 

4 – Minimizing / Gaslighting (You’re Crazy)

  • What is it?
    • Minimizing: Making the victim think that they are over-reacting and they are obsessing over small things.

 

    • Gaslighting: This is a technique where the abuser tries to make the victim feel like they are crazy and question their own sanity.

 

  • What’s an example?

           The following statements are examples:

 

    • Minimizing: “You’re over-reacting. It was just oral. It’s not like I went all the way with her.”

 

    • Gaslighting: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You didn’t see me with anyone else. I never cheated.”

 

  • What to do?
    • Don’t let anyone make you question your sanity, especially about their wrongdoings.

 

    • If it is important to you, it is important, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

5 – Humiliation / Punishment

  • What is it?
    • This is where the abuser purposely embarrasses the victim (Humiliation) or punishes them for perceived wrongdoings.

 

  • What’s an example?
    • In Surviving R. Kelly, the victims stated that R. Kelly would often tell the girls and young women that they were stupid for not doing little things right. They said that he would make them perform sexual acts in front of others as a way of showing power and control (Humiliation),

 

    • They also stated that if they refused to oblige, he would hit them, bind them to beds, withhold food and water, and confiscate their cell phones. They also reported that he would also withhold his affection (Punishment).

 

  • What to do?
    • Take note of how people talk to you, especially when around others. If they say things or try to get you to do things that is embarrassing, or if they try to punish you for doing things they dislike, it may be time to walk away.

 

6 – Deflection (It’s Your Fault)

  • What is it?
    • This is where abusers will try to take the blame off of themselves and put it on the victim.

 

  • What’s an example?

 

    • “I wouldn’t have hit you if you had listened to me”

 

    • “I only cheated because you work too much”

 

    • “This was all your fault”

 

  • What to do?
    • Set and enforce your standards. Do not allow people to deflect. Remind them and yourself, that you do not deserve to be treated poorly, not even if you made a mistake. Mistakes are human, abuse is not!

 

7 – Threats / Violence (I’ll Kill You)

  • What is it?
    • Threats are used to intimidate or scare the victim into doing with the abuser says.

 

    • Violence can be against the victim, the victim’s family, or the victim’s property.

 

  • What’s an example?
    • Threat: “If you don’t do what I say, I will kill you and/or your family”

 

    • Violence: The abusers may hit the victim, the victim’s loved ones, or damage valuable possessions.

 

  • What to do?
    • Please do not let it get to this point. Many abusers will show the previous signs before turning to threats and violence. If it has already gotten to this point, please find a safe way out. You can contact the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit https://www.thehotline.org/help/

 

 

 

Please be safe! Here is a resource if needed

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

https://www.thehotline.org/help/

 

 

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