Statistics say that TWO (2) out of EVERY THREE (3) women have been abused in one way or the other. I know some of us might say “well, I haven’t”. So let me go ahead and define the word “abuse” for clarification.
Abuse means to treat (a person or animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.
Now it said cruelty OR violence. It didn’t say only violence. So even if your partner is yelling, screaming at you, calling you names or intentionally embarrassing you or even stalking you, YOU ARE BEING ABUSED.
Usually, the first step to continuous abuse is DENIAL. When you refuse to admit that things are not the way they should be, you start making excuses for him. Or even worse, you start blaming yourself for his abusive behavior.
I totally agree with that statistics that says 2 out of every 3 women have been abused. As a matter of fact, to top that, I believe ONE OUT OF THREE women DO NOT even know they are in an abusive relationship and that indeed is very sad.
To be honest, I can’t really blame such women.
I have had a fair share of abuse as well in my life and it started WAY back when I was about 17. I’m sure you guys already know my history about how I never dated younger guys growing up. Well for those of who don’t, you can read the post HERE.
So yes! My abusive ex was a lot older than me and as sad as it may sound, I remained in that relationship for almost TWO YEARS! And for the most of those years, I endured a combination of both PHYSICAL, DIGITAL, EMOTIONAL and FINANCIAL abuse.
I know some of you might wonder what I mean by digital and financial abuse. Well, let me break it down.
According to loveisrespect.org, Digital dating abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online.
So if he harasses you via text or tells you who and who not to be friends with on Facebook or insists you give him your password or even uses Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs on you then YOU ARE IN A DIGITALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP.
My abusive ex would not only insist I put up “in a relationship” on Facebook but also make sure I “tag” him so it says I am in a relationship with him.
It might not really sound like a big deal but just like the definition of abuse implies, having it done “regularly” or “repeatedly” in a cruel manner automatically makes it abusive.
Some might say that it may just be easier to give him what he wants so there would be peace BUT like I said earlier, blaming yourself for the abuse is more or less you giving him approval for his behavior which is undoubtedly a step in the wrong direction.
Next is FINANCIAL ABUSE!
Also according to loveisrespect.org, financial abuse can be very subtle — telling you what you can and cannot buy or requiring you to share control of your bank accounts. At no point does someone you are dating have the right to use money or how you spend it to control you.
My abusive ex would actually throw a fit if I refused to allow him access to my finances or if I was running low and couldn’t provide him with his demands.
It was so bad that I thought I was in love and this is what people in love do for their partners. After all, he was my very first sexual encounter so I was excited about the entire thing but unfortunately, my excitement almost led me to doom.
The really sad part to this story is that every single guy after him had to pay for what he did to me. I completely closed up my mind and would not let anyone in. We could date and hang out but it took me quite a long time to open up before I let anyone into my heart.
The reason I am sharing my personal experience with you today is to let you know that he doesn’t have to hit you or beat you to pulp before you realize you are in an abusive relationship.
There are other subtle types of abuse some of which I mentioned in this post.
Basically, if he is not treating you like you should be treated or if he is intentionally saying hurtful things to you or even “repeatedly” showing up unannounced at your home or place of work then please be watchful and cautious.
These are all signs that things could get worse.
Granted, some of these signs may seem sweet at first but remember the definition of abuse says “regularly or repeatedly”. So if such behavior persists then you really do need to take an action.
Firstly, you need to talk to him about having boundaries in your relationship. Give him the benefit of the doubt and hope for change. If that doesn’t work (most times it doesn’t) then the next step is to GET AWAY FROM THAT PERSON!
Get as far as you can. If possible, move in with someone else for a short while. Especially if you are in a physically abusive relationship or if he stalks you.
Then you MUST talk to a family, friend or professional. Basically, talk to someone you can trust and try to get help.
DO NOT under any circumstance accept that it is your fault and DO NOT EVER make excuses for a partner’s abusive behavior. IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT.
And most importantly, speaking from experience, when it gets to that point where you have to get away from your partner, DO NOT ever go back.
Keep in mind that he may come back begging and pleading for another chance to make it right. Remember you already gave him that chance when you took the first step which was talking to him about maintaining the boundaries in your relationship.
So if he wasn’t able to do it then, how on Earth would he be able to do it now?
As a matter of fact, if possible, DO NOT even attempt to be in the same room or alone with him EVER again. As sad as this may sound, these men actually hold the key to our hearts and at any chance given, they would unlock it and whip up all the sentiments they can find just to get things going again.
And trust me when I say, it only goes downhill from there.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed ladies. Or like our Nigerian brothers and sisters would say, SHINE YOUR EYE!
Two out of three women have been abused. Are you one of them?
Feel free to share your comments, opinion and suggestions
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PHOTO CREDIT: A PARENT’S RESOURCE ON TEEN DATING, VIOLENCE/ABUSE, STANISLAUS STATE & SAFER HARROGATE