recognising abuse 685Recognising abuse

Violence against women and girls (also called ‘gender-based violence’) is rooted in inequality between the sexes; it is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women. It takes many different forms including domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and modern slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour’ violence. No matter what your experience of gender-based violence, Refuge is here to support you.

Domestic violence describes any violence or abuse that is used by someone to control or obtain power over their partner. It can include physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, emotional and financial abuse. If you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of how your partner will react, you are being abused.

Many women experience domestic violence and other forms of abuse without ever being physically abused. Remember: non-physical forms of abuse can be as destructive and as undermining as physical violence.

Whilst the vast majority of those who experience domestic violence – and all forms of gender-based violence – are women, it can affect anyone.

All forms of gender-based violence are against the law.

 

Are you being abused?

  • Is your partner excessively jealous and possessive?
  • Is he charming one minute and abusive the next? Does he have sudden changes of mood – like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
  • Is he stopping you from seeing your family and friends? Do you feel isolated?
  • Is he constantly criticizing you and putting you down in public?
  • Does he embarrass you, often in front of family and friends, so that you are seen in a bad light?
  • Does your partner play mind games and make you unsure of your own judgment?
  • Does he tell you you’re useless and couldn’t cope without him?
  • Does he control your money?
  • Does he tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, what to think?
  • Does he pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?
  • Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making him angry?
  • Does he monitor your movements? Or check up on you via your email, Facebook, Twitter or by looking at your text messages?
  • Does he use anger and intimidation to frighten you and make you comply with his demands?
  • Has your partner ever threatened you, or intimidated you by using violent language or smashing up the furniture?
  • Are you forced to alter your behaviour because you are frightened of your partner’s reaction?
  • Are you blamed for their behaviour e.g. they say you were “asking for it” or deserved the abuse?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may be experiencing domestic violence. Abuse is a crime and it is never your fault. You don’t have to deal with this alone. Refuge is here to support you.