Recovery from Family and Domestic Violence
Family and domestic violence is when patterns of power and control are exerted in creating fear. The behaviours are coercive and abusive and designed to create a sense of terror. Family and domestic violence have a debilitating impact on one’s life by creating trauma, depression, anxiety, fear, self-loathing, a sense of feeling trapped and crippling one’s self-worth in impeding on sound and healthy decision-making.
Acts of family and domestic violence can either be obvious or implicit. Various forms of family and domestic violence includes physical abuse, (e.g. threats to kill, acts of murder, being hit, slapped, dragged, hair pulled), sexual abuse (e.g. sex without consent and rape, threats to withdraw from sex if certain acts or behaviours are requested and not met, being forced to comply to have sex), verbal abuse (e.g. name calling, nit picking, patterns of criticism, yelling, screaming), emotional abuse (e.g. being undermined, neglected, excluded, second-guessing oneself, degraded, blamed, humiliated, controlled), social abuse (e.g. being interrogated re: going out and being, being stalked and controlled, being coerced and stopped not to see certain friends, control of electronic devices and social media accounts), financial abuse (e.g. not having ready access to finances, being dripped very small amounts of money, paying off a debt that is not under your name) and spiritual abuse (e.g. being stopped from believing in and acting in accordance with your religious beliefs). Children that witness either domestic violence (also known as ‘intimate partner violence’) or family violence is an act of family violence.
Recovery from family and domestic violence can be a complex, delicate and long process of overcoming trauma and mental health concerns. Recovery from this includes rebuilding a sense of self, identifying the warning signs and cycles of abuse, rebuilding self-esteem and quality of life, rebuilding trust (especially where there is a fear of entering prospective relationships) and demystifying reasons why it is difficult to leave a family violence or domestic violence relationship.