It occurs when equality, mutual respect and power are out of balance. There are many forms of abuse, as one can imagine. They always take place in relationships using the methods that disempower people. The most obvious method is physical assault or bullying of weaker individuals, including not only children and women but also men. Other sources of power that can be used to hurt are: withholding finances/financial information, insulting words, guilt or fear mongering, intense emotions, neglect, emotional withdrawal, sexual withdrawal, and employment, political or spiritual abuse.
Abuse – It is NOT OK!
All abuse is the misuse of power!
- Physical abuse could range from destroying property to violent personal interactions.
- Sexual abuse is defined as forced, coerced intimate relations without your willing consent. Children, young teens and even powerless victims by definition are not capable of giving consent. It also includes forcing you to watch pornography or participate in sexual experiences that you are not comfortable with.
- Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse can be defined as taunting, ignoring, insulting, yelling, blaming, threatening, accusing, labeling and holding back approval as a form of punishment.
- Financial abuse is the neglect of or withholding of financial information, creating dependency and/or reduction in the human condition.
- Spiritual abuse is the misuse of authority, scriptures, or position in order to intimidate, shame, manipulate, guilt or control.
Victims & Abusers
They can be very different and very much the same. Victims keep the abusive cycle going as much as the abuser when they do not seek help and say ‘no more’. A huge percentage of abusers have been victimized at some time in their life. The USA department of Justice reports that 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 16th birthday. One in five adult rape victims is male. Over 1.7 million women and 1 million men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States and Canada.
Why Victims Stay
Victims do NOT stay because they are stupid! They stay because they do not see a way out; they have been emotionally disemboweled and they have lost hope.
In almost every situation victims do not stop the cycle without getting help! This is a systemic issue that requires processing deep emotional wounds and experiences that have now begun to define the person. These individuals must find safe people and places to reclaim themselves or, in some situations, claim themselves for the very first time.
No one can run from effects of abuse! They are real! You must face it and walk right through it to the other side!
If you are in any relationship where you feel powerless to affect change, you owe it to yourself to seek professional help. You do not need to admit to the world you were abused, just admit it yourself and get help!
If you have courage and call, we will be there to begin the empowering process that you have been longing for.