Author:  Ask Ms Mandi

Domestic violence is a lot trickier than it appears.  We use to think of domestic violence as “physical”.  If someone you were in a relationship with hit you and left a mark, then it was justified as domestic violence.  Of course there are mild cases and extreme cases, but domestic violence comes in many forms and much more than “physical”.  Physical violence is apparent, you have a bruise or broken bone to show for it.  Mental and emotional abuse is less obvious, but just as hurtful and damaging to a person’s self-worth and self-esteem. 

The bottom line is that nobody deserves to be abused or a part of domestic violence.  The underlining factor is that the abuser must gain or keep control over the person that they are trying to control.  That may be in hitting them, putting them down, making them feel less of themselves, or controlling them.

Emotional and mental violence is quiet.  You don’t see it at first but over time the damage is revealed.  Low self-esteem, low self-worth, depression, and or anxiety take the place of the once happy individual.  They don’t know why they are feeling the way they are, but they don’t feel right.  These signs of abuse are often missed by others and often missed by the abused individual themselves.  Family members may see the warning signs, but others may not.  It is important to get out of an abusive relationship.  Most times, it does not get better, but worst. 

When does it get worst?  You may be living in an abusive relationship; your mate may control you by watching what you watch on television, reprimanding you like a child, putting you down by telling you that nobody else will love you but them, or talking you.  The abuse turns dangerous when you decide to leave them and the abuse gets more serious.  Their behavior may become erratic and unpredictable.  They may watch you when you are with other people.  They may tell you that nobody will put up with you and your ways.  They may tell you that they will never leave you.  Domestic violence gets worst when the abuser feels less and less under control as the abused gets more and more under control. 

Why do you stay with him or her when they are obviously controlling you?  It is my opinion that a lot of abused are co-dependent.  Simply put, they stay with their abuser because they feel like they can help them in some way to get better.  “If only I could love him/her more?  If only I was a better wife or husband.   If only I didn’t make him or her so mad”.  Do these statements sound familiar?  If they do, then you are a victim of domestic violence.  Don’t let the abuser trick you into believing that it is you fault.  It is not your fault, it is their way of manipulating you and your thinking.

Abuse comes in many forms.  There are hotline numbers to call if you feel like you are a victim of domestic violence.  Don’t take this lightly, the warning signs may be subtle, but they usually escalate once the abuser feels threatened. 

There are many of us out there, don’t think that you are alone in this.  You are not alone, reach out to someone and ask for help or form a support group.  I understand and have lived through domestic violence, reach out and get support. Post a comment on this site and who knows, we may have a support group of our own.