When women come to get a relief from abuse order they don't realize they've been in a long- term abusive relationship; they were unable to recognize it. There is a power & control wheel which has the physical abuse behaviors around the border of the wheel on the link below. We favor this one to some of the more modified ones which do not include the physical abuse because it mentions behaviors which are very subtle.
A dialogue between a woman and us might go like:
"Has he ever abused you before?"
"Has he ever pulled your hair?"
"Well, one time, but I wasn't looking at him and he wanted my attention."
"Has he ever twisted your arm?"
"Yuh, but he was trying to get me to agree to something and I was being stubborn."
"Has he pinched you?"
Yuh, but he said it was 'love' pinch. It did hurt and I had a black and blue for a week."
"Has he ever tripped you?"
"Did he ever! But he was just playing. I bumped my elbow real bad, though."
"Has he ever kicked you?"
"He does that all of the time and he has steel toed boots too. I've got black and blues up and down my shins."
"Has he ever choked you?"
"One time I was afraid he was going to break my windpipe, he was pressing so hard, but I can't remember right now, but I'd done something really dumb and he got really mad. I thought he was going to kill me."
"Has he ever tried to smother you?"
"You mean with a pillow? He's always fooling around, "pretending" to smother me with a pillow. He says he doesn't hear me yelling to stop. One time I think I even blacked out. I thought I was dead."
"Has he ever slapped you?"
"Sure he'll give me a slap on the arm anytime. Well, now that I think of it, he did slap me across the face a few months ago. But I deserved that, I was mouthing off really bad."
"Has he ever hit you with a closed fist?"
"No, not until last night. I don't know what got into him, he's usually so nice."
But when is a woman to leave an abuser? Just after he twisted her arm, or when he pinches her or trips her? Or when he pulls her hair? Or should she wait til he kicks her or tries to smother her. Or is all this all too petty? When he slaps her? But maybe she "deserved" it? Or should she follow society's rule and leave when he hits her?
Another dynamic of physical abuse is animal cruelty. You can read more about this problem on the link below which will provide you with more extensive knowledge of this topic. You will also be directed to a link to The Humane Society which has dedicated a webpage addressing this powerful element in the cycle of domestic abuse.
An additional note here: We now have a message board for people to share with others so they don't feel as isolated, on the link below.
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