Recently, in my country, there was an incident of domestic violence that resulted in the death of a renowned Gospel artist, and social media is buzzing with the news of what happened to this lady, with everyone from the deceased’s family, her local church, her colleagues in the music industry, her Pastor, her friends, her neighbor, and literally everyone, putting out their sides of the story.
I’ve read a lot about this lady from various people and sources, and it’s safe to say that her issue is what’s trending on the internet right now; in fact, she has trended more in death than when she was alive. Then it occurred to me that it appears that many people are aware that this individual is going through a difficult time, and perhaps not much was done to help her get out of this bad situation until it was too late. Or was it a lack of understanding about what to do in such a situation, or what role each individual concerned has to play? Could it be the victim’s lack of understanding of what domestic violence is? Why do these victims continue to be in abusive relationships?
The death of the gospel singer is just one example of domestic violence reported around the world, and I’d like to believe there are more unreported cases of domestic violence. While anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, some argue that women are more likely than men to be victims, which may be unrelated to the fact that men are typically physically stronger than women.
What is Domestic Violence?
“Domestic violence (also called domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is often used as a synonym for intimate partner violence, which is committed by one of the people in an intimate relationship against the other person, and can take place in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships or between former spouses or partners” – Wikipedia
Domestic violence can take many forms, including social, financial, spiritual, sexual, emotional, and physical abuse.
– Social violence occurs when someone insults you in public with the intent of bringing you down or isolates you from your friends and family with the intent of exerting control over what you do or where you go.
– Financial violence/abuse is a situation in which someone close to you has complete control over your finances and thus dictates how you spend your resources and when you can access them.
– Spiritual violence/abuse is a situation in which you are prevented from having or using your views on religion, culture, and beliefs in such a way that it causes you to doubt your own thoughts and beliefs, causing you to rely on him or her for issues relating to cultures, beliefs, and religion.
– Sexual violence/abuse includes rape, indecent sexual behavior, and sexual assaults used by the perpetrator to harass or intimidate victims. This is the use of force to coerce someone into participating in sexual activity who is unwilling to do so.
– Psychological violence is defined as the perpetrator’s use of threat and fear to gain control over the victim.
– Verbal abuse is the use of language, either spoken or written, to inflict harm on the victim in order to exert control over them.
– Emotional violence is an attack on the victim’s self-worth and self-esteem that occurs when the perpetrator says or does something that makes the victim feel worthless or stupid.
– Physical violence is referred to as the use of objects or a part of the body to control the victim. This type of violence frequently results in physical harm, and in some cases, death. The majority of abuse begins with other forms of abuse and progresses to physical abuse.
What are the signs that you are in an abusive relationship?
1. Toxic Jealousy – There is a healthy level of jealousy in a relationship as a result of love; however, when the other party accuses the victim of unfaithfulness and infidelity and uses this as an excuse to keep the victim away from friends and family, it has become toxic and should be addressed.
2. Abuses and Insults – When one party publicly or privately attacks the other person’s intelligence and opinion in such a way that the affected party’s mentality is affected, when one party constantly blames the other for every negative situation, or throws insults at the other at will, this is a sign of a very unhealthy relationship.
3. Use of Threats – When one party in a relationship threatens to harm the other party or the other party’s family and friends if they do not do as they are told, it indicates a very unhealthy relationship.
Some of the reasons victims stay in abusive relationships include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Fear of the perpetrator, possibly as a result of what the person did in the past when the victim attempted to leave.
– One important factor is culture. According to a recent study, one out of every ten men believes that women should be beaten when they do something wrong. Another religion believes that a woman should put up with husband beatings because marriage is for better or worse. Another culture believes that it is forbidden for a married woman to return to her parents’ house for any reason, even if her husband has mistreated her.
– Some victims actually love their abusers and stay in abusive relationships in the hope of changing them.
– Low self-esteem is a result of constant psychological abuse that has made the victim feel worthless to society; the victim is made to believe he or she cannot survive anywhere else, so they feel trapped in the abusive marriage.
– Some women choose to stay in an abusive marriage for the sake of their children, oblivious to the fact that they are causing more harm than good. These women, like the gospel singer mentioned at the beginning of this article, sometimes end up in the grave.
– Another common reason is financial concerns. A situation in which the woman is completely reliant on the man makes it difficult for the abused to leave because of considerations about how to begin and where to begin keep the abused in the abusive relationship.
If you are in an abusive relationship and feel trapped, it is time to take action before it is too late.
Speak with a trusted friend, a counselor, or an expert who can assist you in this regard.
Leave the abusive environment and seek refuge while you plan your next steps. You could also go and stay with a friend or family member.
If the abuse has become physical, contact the authorities and ask them to assist you in leaving. Know your worth; you are not the issue that the abuser’s character is. Whatever you do, if you realize you’re in an abusive relationship, get out and walk away so you can assess the situation from the outside; you can’t be in there and think clearly. Don’t put it off until it’s too late!
“If you walked away from a toxic, negative, abusive, one-sided, dead-end low vibrational relationship or friendship — you won.” ? Lalah Delia
“Make sure you’re not saying ‘It’s complicated’ when it’s actually TOXIC. The more words it takes you to explain your relationship, the less healthy it probably is.”? Steve Maraboli