How can you tell whether your partner is emotionally abusive?

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With Doctor Foster Season Two drawing to a close incidents of inquiries around abusive patterns of behaviour have been on the increase. As a result, The Telegraph has spoken with Polly Neate, a former chief executive of Women’s Aid, to explain ‘coercive control’.

I married an abusive man. His friends warned me of his bad temper. However, I never witnessed it and he was never aggressive towards me until we had been together a year. He became verbally abusive, shouting at me in my face. He became almost entirely intolerant of me. He refused to let me join in activities with other friends. Anything I did buy was either chosen by him, or had to be very cheap.

Above is a small part of one woman’s story of domestic abuse. Take a look at the signs below and see whether your partner is also committing domestic abuse.

What follows is an excerpt from the article:

  • More than just one argument
    • It’s not just one argument which makes a relationship abusive. There is usually a pattern in the relationship where one partner is controlling with an on-going sense of fear.
  • The abuser wishes to scare their victim
    • The behaviour of the abuser is designed to intimidate, frighten or coerce the victim’s behaviour. Being worried about how the slightest thing might impact the abusers behaviour is a sign of abuse.
  • The small things count
    • The small things matter, even if they don’t seem important. Neate gives one story of how the abuser insisted on cheese being wrapped in a certain way. If the victim didn’t do it right he would shout and scream at her.
  • A one-way street
    • In healthy relationships there is equality – people accept each other has different needs. However, in abusive relationships the abusive partner generally puts themselves first, they rarely have consideration for the other person or that they might be upset about a decision. Often the abuser feels they are entitled to act in a certain way – that the partner is there simply to meet their needs.
  • Act like nothing ever happened
    • Often abusers will exhibit abusive behaviour and then pretend it didn’t happen or even switch the blame on to the victim. This can be very confusing for the victim and often leads to self-doubt.
  • Unhappiness doesn’t matter
    • In healthy relationships, when one partner tells the other how unhappy a certain behaviour makes them feel they may become upset or annoyed but they will get over it. An abuser will not.
  • Controlling in many ways
    • Control is a significant factor in abuse and it can take many forms from financial control, stopping the victim socialising or visiting family or even through tracking software on phones, email and social media.
  • Personal Attacks
    • Domestic abuse isn’t just about bruises – it often involves abuse which cannot be seen. This involves words and other comments which emotionally manipulate the victim.

For the full story click here!

If you are suffering domestic abuse then please call the Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or come and speak to one of our workers in our Outreach Office on Station Road.

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