What Is Abuse?
The definition of abuse may be described in a variety of different ways, however, most could be categorized under “misuse of power or authority over another human being.”
Abuse is a common occurrence in our society and unfortunately, may at times be sanctioned by certain groups. While the personal gain is usually the motivation for abuse, there may be situations where the abuser is not aware of the ramifications of his/her behavior. However, regardless of the circumstances, the results are always devastating.
Some forms of abuse may be subtle or covert, and may go unidentified for many years. Behaviors that may be subtle forms of abuse are;
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - Another Form of Abuse
TACTICS OF AN ABUSER
Abusers attempt to control, manipulate, or demean another individual by using physical, emotional, or sexual tactics. PHYSICAL ABUSE – Any use of size, strength, or presence to hurt or control someone else.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE –Includes insults, threats, intense jealousy, and criticisms to hurt or control someone. Many battered women describe emotional abuse as equally, if not more damaging than physical abuse.
SEXUAL ABUSE - Forced sex, unwanted touching, withholding sex as punishment, and unfaithfulness are all forms of this type of abuse. It is often used as a means to exert power and to further shame and humiliate someone.
ECONOMIC ABUSE - Trying to keep someone from getting or keeping a job, making the person ask for money, giving an allowance, or taking money. The batterer will typically handle all finances as a means of control to create further dependence.
(When Violence Begins at Home Wilson, K.J., Ed.D. 1997)
I'm In An Abusive Relationship - What Can I do?
First of all, you are not alone. Unfortunately, there are millions of women in the US alone, suffering abuse daily. However, you do not have to remain in an abusive situation.
Emotional Abuse is probably the most harmful, other than life threatening physical abuse. It often goes undetected and unreported because the scars are hidden.
There are many resources available to draw from and it's important to seek support in confronting the abuser. It's not something you want to take on by yourself. Your first concern should by your safety and that of any children. If you don't have family or friends that can assist in this area, get in touch with the Domestic Violence center closest to you. A center may be located by clicking on the button above. In severe situations contact local law enforcement.
Once you are safe to work with the Domestic Violence center in your area for directions in proceeding.
Want To Talk?
As many as 4 million American women will be assaulted by an intimate partner in a given year. 95% of domestic assaults are men against women.
More than one-third of all couples will encounter violence at some time in their marriage.
More than 1/3 of women murdered in the U.S. are killed by their husband or boyfriend.
Violence occurs in same sex-relationships at about the same rate as opposite-sex ones.
Men are also abused by their female partners, although less frequently.
If you are in an abusive situation first remove yourself from the threat. Contact your local Domestic Violence Center, or the Nationwide Office of Domestic Abuse for the help you need. Find a safe person to talk to.
National Hotline for Domestic Violence
"But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me."
Psalm 109:21-22 ."
Perhaps a less recognized form of abuse is Spiritual Abuse. When a pastor, teacher or another spiritual leader interprets their position as one of supremacy, assuming the attitude their opinions or thoughts cannot be questioned; the end result is an abuse of the very people they are called to serve. (Additional spiritual questions - visit our SALVATION page.)
It is reported that one in three women are battered or abused in their lifetime, AND THAT THEY SEEK HELP FROM THE CHURCH MORE OFTEN THAN ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION. Most often the abuser is no stranger and the attack is not random. Domestic Violence crosses all socioeconomic, racial, and religious boundaries. Yet many church leaders may cover up DV and/or twist scripture in an attempt to justify the abuse.
Additional Information Concerning Spiritual Abuse visit our Spiritual-Abuse page