Kindness, love and respect starts with you...
Emotional abuse is underneath all other types of abuse.
The most damaging aspect of abuse is the trauma to our hearts and souls from being
betrayed by the people that we love and trust. - Robert Burney
Abuse is spiteful and no one deserves it.
Abuse devastates body, mind and spirit no matter whether the target of the abuser is male or female; no matter whether the type of abuse is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or financial. There are no differences among the broken hearts and wounded souls of all.
What is different, however, are the familial, social, and lawful reactions to the gender of the battered person and how each live, cope, survive and thrive. Battered women do react differently and are treated differently by society than are battered men. The opposite is also true.
Are you here because you are being abused? Do you think you might be, but aren't sure? Is someone you know in an abusive relationship and you want to help?
Are you planning to leave or want to leave an abusive relationship and you need support? Do you want to leave but you are afraid or don't know how to go about it?
Are you here because you have recently ended an abusive relationship and you need to understand what happened to you, how it happened, why it happened and how you can best reclaim your life?
The users, abusers & bullies...
You're here because you want answers. Either you know you're being abused or you think you might be abused, but you aren't sure. Begin by knowing this... you are not the only one. You are not alone.
You will find these answers within this site:
1) You will determine if you are being abused
2) If you are, you will understand why it happened
3) You will find the tools you need to make sure it never happens again
Definition of abuse for domestic and intimate relationships: Abuse is when someone in a caring relationship does or says things to gain control over another person by hurting that person or causing feelings such as fear, anxiety, nervousness, guilt, helplessness or worthlessness.
Abuse is not, however, limited to domestic or intimate relationships. Abuse occurs in elder-care homes and special-needs facilities. Children are abused by coaches and day-care guardians. Animals are horrifically used and abused by the millions. Abuse can happen at work, in the grocery store or on the internet.
No one and no living thing is safe from the possibility of a bully, a psychopath or personality disordered person trying to take advantage, do harm, use or manipulate for their own benefit.
Abuse always begins with you...
It's the last thing you want to hear when you're being treated like garbage and it sounds incredulous... but it is the absolute truth. How often have you asked yourself...
Why do I allow myself to be treated like this?
Emotionally healthy people have a strong sense of self-worth. They are self-aware. They are in control of how they allow other people to treat them and inter-act with them. Healthy people have positive self-esteem and maintain good, strong boundaries which they do not allow to be crossed. They also ensure that other people earn their trust... it is not a free gift bestowed upon just anyone who comes along.
Conversely, abused people usually have low self-esteem. They have difficulty setting and maintaining personal boundaries. Abused people often doubt their own gut instincts, allowing themselves to be taken advantage of. They trust easily and forgive without hesitation.
People who become abused are nice folks! They are intelligent, thoughtful and are, very often, extremely creative. They bring beauty, sensitivity and love to our world.
People who become abused are sensitive people. They are gentle and kind-hearted, They understand other people's emotions and are able to empathize and sympathize with them. They truly care about other people's feelings. They are compassionate.
In a nutshell... here are some of the effects of repeated abuse
- you feel lonely and heartbroken
- you feel ugly, unlikeable and unloved
- you lose all feelings of intimacy toward your partner
- you lose your ability to trust yourself and your own gut instinct
- your hopes disintegrate and your dreams become unreachable fantasies
- you live on edge, under contant stress, wondering when it's going happen next
- you become afraid to share your feelings or voice your opinion
- you begin to lose your self-confidence - your self-esteem begins to wither away
- you become confused, mentally and emotionally exhausted - unable to make decisions
- you begin to doubt your own sanity and judgement
- you begin to mistrust yourself and other people
- you may begin do things which are out of character for you - such as yelling back or hitting your partner
- you may drink more or do drugs in order to cope with your feelings of pain and desperation
- you feel beaten down, worthless, ashamed & humiliated
- you become withdrawn and depressed
- you feel dead inside - you realize that you've become an empty shell of your former self
- one day, your survival instinct kicks in and you begin to wonder - how did this happen to me?
There is nothing wrong with you or any other abused person. A person who becomes abused is simply a person who needs to do some work on self-awareness and strengthen their sense of self-worth & self-esteem. You need to learn what your boundaries are and how to enforce them.
It is work... no doubt about it. But it's ALL to your benefit - yours and yours alone. The end result is that you will never become involved in another abusive relationship again whether it be intimate, domestic, at work, within your family, in a social setting or anywhere else.
Want to help an abused friend or family member? If you have a friend, co-worker or family member whom you believe is being abused please browse through our site.
You'll gain an in-depth understanding of exactly what she is living with on a daily basis. You'll be better prepared to offer her a kind heart and a helping-hand rather than inadvertently re-victimizing her with a lack of knowledge and insight as to how abuse destroys a person piece by piece.
Inside this Site
Abusers are usually excellent actors, therefore, many people outside your home may only know your partner as a "wonderful man" or "an awesome guy." Little do they suspect how cruel and spiteful your partner truly is.
- Abusive behavior list
- Destruction of property & pets
- How does your partner treat you?
- How do you feel about your partner?
"Am I or am I not in an abusive relationship?" It is often helpful to look at some specific questions that can bring abuse to light more subtly by getting past the minimizing, rationalizing and justifying.
- Abuse rationalization & minimization list
- Helping a friend or family member
- Abuse lethality guide
The most effective way to gain that cooperation is through subversive manipulation of the mind and feelings of the victim, who then becomes a psychological, as well as a physical, prisoner. These methods form the core of abuse."
- How did this happen to me?
- Biderman's Chart of Coercion
- Abusive breakdown tactics
Do any of these questions sound familiar? "Why don't you leave if it's that bad?" or "How can you let this happen?" or "If I was you I wouldn't put up with that." or how about the king of asinine questions... " Why don't you just kick him out? "
- About fear of leaving
- Defining Battered Woman's Syndrome
- Why don't battered women seek help?
- Working through the Battered Women's Syndrome
- Atricle: Why doesn't she just leave?
The goal of an abuser is control. They want you to behave only in the ways in which they want you to behave. He achieves this control with abuse. The cycle of abuse is a huge part of your answer to "How did this happen to me?"
- About the Cycle of Abuse
- Diagram of the Cycle of Abuse
- How the Cycle of Abuse affects you
- Are you addicted to drama?
As you read, you will undoubtedly find a piece of yourself and your life within each of these abusive relationships. And even though their stories are different, the result of the abuse is the same. Abuse devastates the lives of the victims.
- True life battered women experiences
- Email excepts from abused women
- Anonymous letters from abused women
You can't make your abuser change his behavior. Being abusive is his issue to resolve... not yours. Abuse changes people... and it never changes anyone for the better. Has abuse affected you? Yes, most assuredly it has, whether you are aware of it or not.
- Who are you now?
- How have you changed?
- How do we cope with abuse?
Abusive people typically think they are unique, so different from other people that they don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else. But actually, abusers have a lot in common with one another and share a great many thinking patterns and behaviors.
- Who are abusive people?
- List of behaviors and thinking patterns
- Profiling abusers
Power and control are at the center of a violent and abusive relationship. Equality and mutual respect are the center in a well-balanced relationship. Look over the following comparisons to see which type of relationship you have.
- Listing of your relationship rights
- Is your relationship loving or abusive?
- Should you change for your partner?
Some types of people are attracted to people who are emotionally abusive. They complain, blame and try to control, yet they continue to allow others to hurt them. Why do they do this?
- What is co-dependency?
- Are you co-dependent?
- The Drama Triangle and the Co-dependent victim
Leaving is also very dangerous. Women are more likely to be injured, killed or wrongly arrested for domestic violence during or after leaving their abusers than at any other time in their abusive relationship.
- Safety first
- Thinking ahead and preparing
- After you go
- Thoughts for perspective
One of the reasons you may have been so attractive to an emotionally abusive person is that it has been clear from the start that you could be manipulated into taking care of him, and furthermore, that his needs were more important than yours.
- Assertive behavior
- Assertive Bill of Rights
- Local support groups & resources suggestions
When you have high self-esteem, you create energy in your life to make things happen. When you feel good about yourself, it is easier to know you matter, and what you do does make a difference.
- Symptoms of low self-esteem
- Building self-esteem
- 10 Commandments of Self-Esteem
Learning to set boundaries is vital to learning to love yourself, and to communicating to other's that you have worth. Setting boundaries is a vital part of learning to own yourself, of learning to respect yourself, of learning to love yourself.
- What are personal boundaries?
- Making choices and self-empowerment
- Becoming a friend to yourself
- Setting your boundaries
- Your basic rights
Men who batter often do not accept full responsibility for their violent behavior. Instead, they blame their partners, stress, alcohol/other drugs, anger, loss of control, an unhappy childhood, or someone or something else.
- Batterer's programs?
- Marriage counselling?
- Abusers and alcohol and drugs
Unfairly so, abused women are often placed into the position of making life influencing legal decisions while they are still adversely affected by the abuse they have survived.
- Finding legal help
- Choosing a lawyer
- Making decisions you can live with
Abusers generally exhibit the same type of behavioral patterns. If you learn to recognize those patterns and signals, you can help yourself to stop unhealthy relationships before they begin.
- Beginning a new relationship
- Abusive relationship warning signs
- Signs to look for in an abusive personality
- Traits and characteristics of violent offenders
Being an Ultra-Sensitive Person [USP] means you pick up on most of the subtleties around you, no matter what they are. This is because you are "deeply tuned in" on many levels.
- Who is an ultra-sensitive person?
- Are you ultra-sensitive?
- US women in abusive relationships
Is your partner either "Black" or "white" with no grey middle ground? One exasperated non-BP said that if by some chance he didn't make an unforgivable error one day, his wife would probably rage at him for being too perfect.
- BDP FAQs
- Indicators of BDP
- Additional Common BP Traits
- BP and Non-BP "Games"
- Link to BDP Central