Domestic violence is like no other crime. It does not happen in a vacuum. It does not happen because someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Homes and families are supposed to be sacred territory, the “heaven in a heartless world,” . This is part of what makes the violence so untenable. It’s violence from someone you know, from someone who claims to love you. It is most often hidden from even one’s closest confidantes, and on many occasions the physical violence is far less damaging than the emotional and verbal violence.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone; it does not discriminate. Abuse happens within heterosexual relationships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more often victimized, men also experience abuse—especially verbal and emotional. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal assault to violence. And while physical injury may pose the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your relationship is abusive.
Signs of an abusive relationship
There are many signs of an abusive relationship, and a fear of your partner is the most telling. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.
To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below.
1. Does anyone from family humiliate or yell at you?
2. Does anyone from family criticize you and put you down?
3. Does anyone from family treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
4. Does anyone from family ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
5. Does anyone from family blame you for their own abusive behavior?
6. Does anyone from family see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
It is still domestic abuse if…
The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television, or heard other people talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; severe injuries can result from being pushed, for example.
The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely that the person will continue to physically assault you.
The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for ending the assault!
Physical violence has not occurred. Many people are emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be just as frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand.
Abusive behavior is a choice
Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse does not take place because of an abuser loses control over their behavior. In fact, abusive behavior and violence is a deliberate choice to gain control. Perpetrators use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their power, including:
6.Denial and blame
Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse
If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or that the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save their life.
Talk to the person in private and let them know that you’re concerned. Point out the signs you’ve noticed that worry you. Tell the person that you’re there for them, whenever they feel ready to talk. Reassure them that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let them know that you’ll help in any way you can.
Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally or physically abused are often depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help getting out of the situation, yet their partner has often isolated them from their family and friends. By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help them escape an abusive situation and begin healing.
Recommended books which may be a help to the victims
1.) Psychopath Free by Jackson MacKenzie
Have you ever been in a relationship with a psychopath? Chances are, even if you did, you would never know it. Psychopaths are cunning charmers and master manipulators, to the point where you start to accept the most extreme behaviors as normal…Even if it hurts you. All around us, every single day, human beings devoid of empathy are wreaking havoc and destroying lives in the coldest, most heartless ways imaginable. In constant pursuit of money, sex, influence, or simple entertainment, psychopaths will do whatever it takes to gain power over others. They hide behind a veil of normalcy, arranging their friends and partners like pawns in a game of chess. Using false praise and flattery to get what they want, they can lure any unsuspecting target into a relationship. Once hooked, their charming promises spin into mind games and psychological torture. Victims are left devastated and confused, unable to recognize — or even put into words — the nightmare that just took place. Written from the heart, Psychopath Free is the first guide for survivors written by a survivor, offering hope for healing and thriving after psychopathic abuse. Say goodbye to the chaos, self-doubt, and victimization. You are free.
2.)Power — Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse: A Collection of Essays on Malignant Narcissism and Recovery from Emotional Abuse by shahida arabi
Pathological mind games. Covert and overt put-downs. Triangulation. Gaslighting. Projection. These are the manipulative tactics survivors of malignant narcissists are unfortunately all too familiar with. As victims of silent crimes where the perpetrators are rarely held accountable, survivors of narcissistic abuse have lived in a war zone of epic proportions, enduring an abuse cycle of love-bombing and devaluation — psychological violence on steroids. In this essay compilation, readers can enjoy some of Shahida’s thought pieces on narcissistic abuse: what therapists have to say about malignant narcissists and how children of narcissistic parents can become trapped in the trauma repetition cycle. Survivors are offered new insights on what it means to be both a survivor and a thriver of covert manipulation and trauma. POWER teaches us that it is important to not only understand the tactics of toxic personalities but also to recognize and combat the effects of narcissistic abuse; it guides the survivor to learning, growing, healing and most importantly of all — owning their agency to rebuild their lives and transform their powerlessness into victory.
3. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie
Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent — and you may find yourself in this book. The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of the best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life. With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency — charting the path to freedom and a lifetime of healing, hope, and happiness
4.) Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft
In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft — a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men — uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued in a relationship, and to find ways to get free of abuse. He says he loves you. So…why does he do that? You’ve asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men — and change your life. You will learn about: The early warning signs of abuse, The nature of abusive thinking, Myths about abusers, Ten abusive personality types, The role of drugs and alcohol, What you can fix, and what you can’t, And how to get out of an abusive relationship safely
5.) Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend
If you’ve ever wondered: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries? Unpacking the 10 laws of boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend give you biblically based answers to these and other tough questions, and show you how to set healthy boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, coworkers, and even with yourself. In Boundaries, Drs. Cloud and Townsend show you how to bring new health to your relationships. You’ll discover firsthand how to reclaim your freedom to walk as the loving, giving, fulfilled individual God created you to be
6.) Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse
Compassionate and well-researched, a must read for anyone healing from psychological abuse. The warm, conversational writing style and Shannon Thomas professional experience combine to make the perfect recovery resource. –Jackson MacKenzie, author of Psychopath Free and cofounder of PsychopathFree.com, an online support community that reaches millions of abuse survivors each month.
Shannon Thomas has written an important book about something ugly, hidden, and difficult to describe. Psychological abuse. How is it possible that one person can gain so much power to destroy another person s sense of worth, safety, and sanity? Shannon tells you how, but more importantly, she gives you a roadmap that helps you wake up, break free, heal, and rebuild your shattered life. –Leslie Vernick LCSW, counselor, coach, speaker, and author of The Emotionally Destructive Marriage and The Emotionally Destructive Relationship.
Few writers are able to connect research, experience, and intuitive understanding as Shannon Thomas does in her groundbreaking new book for survivors of emotional and psychological trauma. In Healing from Hidden Abuse, you will find not only evidence of Shannon’s expertise as a therapist who has worked with clients suffering from the trauma of covert psychological abuse, but also her powerful mastery of the crucial questions that are needed in order to work through the trauma and heal. –Shahida Arabi, author of Becoming the Narcissist s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself and founder of Self-Care Haven.
7.) Codepency for dummies by A Wiley Brand
Codependency For Dummies, 2nd Edition is the most comprehensive book on the topic to date. Written in plain English and packed with sensitive, authoritative information, it describes the history, symptoms, causes, and relationship dynamics of codependency. The majority of the book is devoted to healing and lays out a clear plan for recovery with exercises, practical advice, and daily reminders to help you know, honor, protect, and express yourself. New to this edition are chapters on working the Twelve Steps to recover from codependency and how therapists/coaches/nurses are affected by codependency.
Codependence is primarily a learned behavior from our family of origin. Some cultures have it to a greater degree than others―some still see it as a normal way of living. Yet the costs of codependence can include distrust, faulty expectations, passive-aggressiveness, control, self-neglect, over-focus on others, manipulation, intimacy issues, and a slew of other harmful traits. Codependence causes serious pain and affects the majority of Americans―not just women and loved ones of addicts. Codependency For Dummies, 2nd Edition offers authoritative and trusted guidance on ways to raise your self-esteem, detach and let go, set boundaries, recognize healthy vs. dysfunctional relationships, overcome guilt and resentment, and much more.
Helps you break the pattern of conduct that keeps you in harmful relationships
Provides trusted guidance to create healthy boundaries, coping skills, and expectations
Offers advice for eliminating feelings of guilt, blame, and feeling overly responsible
Explains the difference between care-giving and codependent care-taking
If you’re trapped in the cycle of codependency and looking for help, Codependency For Dummies, 2nd Edition offers trusted advice and a clear plan for recovery.
8) To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your future – Dan B. Allender A
Praise for To Be Told
“This is a book worth reading. Because this is a journey worth taking. To know who you are. To make sense of your life. To discover the role God is giving you in His story. That is a life worth living. Thank you, Dan, for a wonderful book!”
–John Eldredge, bestselling author of Wild at Heart and Epic: The Story God Is Telling and the Role That Is Yours to Play
“Dan Allender’s books brim and sizzle with stories–many poignant, many hilarious, and many both. This book takes us to the deepest stories of all–our own stories, the ones that haunt when they are kept secret and liberate when they are told and known. To Be Told is a treasure to be read slowly and with your closest friends.”
–Brian McLaren, pastor, author of A Generous Orthodoxy and A New Kind of Christian
“The concepts in this book have helped define my life in magnificent ways. By further exploring my own story, I discovered God’s story. And it is a beautiful picture of clarity, purpose, knowledge, and celebration. Thank you, God, for giving us Dan Allender.”
–Kathy Troccoli, singer, speaker, and author
“When Dan Allender tells stories, prepare for three things: laughter, tears, and piercing insight. Allender is a great storyteller because he knows that stories are for redeeming, not just passing the time. This book, about story and full of stories, will help you find your own place in the greatest story ever told.”
–Daniel Taylor, author of Tell Me a Story: The Life-Shaping Power of Our Stories
“In To Be Told, Dan Allender creates an intimate, safe place where we feel free to join in the discussion and dive, with a sort of careless courage, head-first into our own stories. I wept as I rediscovered the sacred and divine in my own story, and began to find the connections between my own story threads, an understanding of my long-aching need to be heard, and the glimmers of a holy redemption.”
–Renee Altson, author of Stumbling Toward Faith
“Dan Allender confronts us with the truth that we are storied people, that each of us is a story, and that we are in fact writing our own stories. With humor and grace, Dan invites us not only to write our stories metaphorically, but literally to begin to write our stories. He promises that in so doing we might just possibly find God, with whom we are co-authoring our stories; and we might actually connect in vital and healing ways with ourselves and with each other.”
–Stanley J. Grenz, author of Rediscovering the Triune God and A Primer on Postmodernism
9) Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of inevitable Harm With Psychopaths, Sociopaths & Narcissists
This latest work of Sandra L. Brown, MA is a beacon of light and clarity for the legions of survivors of pathological love relationships who have been mislabeled and inappropriately treated by many in the mental health professions. The dynamics of these relationships have been poorly understood for decades. Now, with her rigorous approach to research and documentation, Brown has opened up new vistas of mental health and hope for those afflicted by all too common pathological love relationships. All mental health professionals and survivors need this book! –Dr. Christiane Northrup, NY Times Best Selling author of Dodging Energy Vampires
Women Who Love Psychopaths, 3rd Edition, is the single most important resource you must read if you re trying to break free from a pathological relationship. Written in a warm, relatable style but jam-packed with well-researched and clinical information, it offers a wealth of invaluable insights, answers, and a compass for healing and reducing the risk of being targeted again. Complete with visual illustrations, tables, and workbook-style questions, this book will surely be required reading for all my clients and should be the official go-to guide for practitioners seeking to understand the dynamics and impact of these damaging relationships. –Bree Bonchay, therapist, author, and founder of World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day & Tele-Summitt
Sandra L. Brown, MA (with Jennifer Young, LMHC) has again!–done an outstanding job shining a light on the complex issue of women getting drawn in to pathological and toxic relationships with dangerous men. This is an indispensable book for therapists and survivors of these relationships alike, with innovative perspectives on what makes these dangerous men tick and why women are easily entranced”. For every woman who has found herself in this kind of relationship, this book will help her understand who he is and learn essential skills to avoid this ever happening in the future.” –Dr. David Wexler, author and Director of The Relationship Training Institute
10.) The subtle art of not giving a fuck
Resilience, happiness and freedom come from knowing what to care about–and most importantly, what not to care about. This is a masterful, philosophical and practical book that will give readers the wisdom to be able to do just that.” ( Ryan Holiday, New York Times bestselling author of The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy)
“Mark’s ability to dig deep and offer amazing, yet counter-intuitive, insight into the challenges of life makes him one of my favorite writers, and this book is his best work yet.” ( Matt Kepnes, New York Times bestselling author of Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter)
“This book hits you like a much-needed slap in the face from your best friend: hilarious, vulgar, and immensely thought-provoking. Only read if you’re willing to set aside all excuses and take an active role in living a f***ing better life.” ( Steve Kamb, bestselling author of Level Up Your Life and founder of NerdFitness.com)
“The opposite of every other book. Don’t try. Give up. Be wrong. Lower your standards. Stop believing in yourself. Follow the pain. Each point is profoundly true, useful, and more powerful than the usual positivity. Succinct but surprisingly deep, I read it in one night.” ( Derek Sivers, Founder of CD Baby and author of Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur)
“An in-your-face guide to living with integrity and finding happiness in sometimes-painful places… This book, full of counterintuitive suggestions that often make great sense, is a pleasure to read and worthy of rereading. A good yardstick by which self-improvement books should be measured.”
Who can help you?
1. At the time of abuse, you must complain to a police officer immediately and get a medical report done which can be used as an evidence. If you are not in condition to go for a written complaint dial 100 (police helpline) as soon as possible for legal assistance.
2. Psychologists you can consult for emotional help:
a) Dr. Subin Vazhayil
Roots & Routes Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre, Kozhikode, Kerala
b) Dr. Kamna Chhibber
Department of Mental Health & Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, New Delhi
c) Dr. Vipul Rastogi
d) Dr. N Rangarajan
Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai
e) Dr. Mimansa Singh
Fortis Healthcare, West Delhi
f) Dr. Shilpa Aggarwal
SRCC Children’s Hospital Mumbai
g) Dr. Shreya Pahwa
h) Dr. A. D. Mahapatra
clinic in Kolkata