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Point Of Change Counselling

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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

We all like to think that we are basically "good" people, but there are times when a person or situation pushes our buttons to the extreme and we find ourselves reacting in an inappropriate way. That may be considered "normal" behaviour, since we all experience it occasionally and it is not typical of us. Such responses may occur only when there are additional factors present, such as illness, unusual levels of stress or tiredness, or substances such as drugs or alcohol.

It is very different when these reactions become part of our usual pattern. We can reach the point where we constantly carry high levels of anger or fear inside and the smallest trigger can result in a major explosion. There is a high risk that those closest to us (physically and emotionally) will be the ones damaged by our choices. At this point we are in great danger of entering the cycle of domestic violence.

Sometimes we don't even recognise that this is what is happening: we can feel that as long as we aren't throwing punches or breaking bones, we have not crossed the line. But domestic violence comes in many forms. Stop for a moment and ask yourself if you have ever been on the giving or receiving end of any of the following on a regular basis. These behaviours can be either actual or threatened.

  • Physical aggression
  • Sexual violence (or pressuring someone to engage in sexual behaviour when they don't want to)
  • Emotional manipulation: this can take the form of emotional "blackmail", periods of silence as a punishment, tears and tantrums, sulking and withholding positive things in order to get your own way.
  • Excessive control or domination: making endless lists of demands for someone else to meet; insisting on knowing everything another person does, where they are and who they are with; constantly checking up on them.
  • Intimidation: using your larger physical presence to make someone do what you want; threats of what will happen to them or to something or someone they care about if they do not obey (pets and children are often targets here); unspoken threats, such as leaving an object in plain view as a reminder of punishment.
  • Neglect: failing to meet another person's basic needs for things such as food clothing, shelter and education, but also for safety, self-esteem and respect.
  • Verbal abuse: this doesn't have to be loud or obscene to qualify as domestic violence. Any words which are aimed at devaluing the person, or undermining their confidence on a regular basis, both in private or in public, is abuse.
  • Stalking or surveillance: this can be done by the person in the relationship or by other people on their behalf.
  • Economic restriction: this can take the form of demanding an account of every cent spent, of holding on to control of all joint money or requiring another person to make requests for money every time they need to buy something.

Domestic violence occurs across all age groups and races, both genders and has no respect for educational levels or social background. It is more likely to be seen where there are issues relating to addictions or where mental health issues are present. Women are most likely to be the victims, but there are certainly men who fall into this role as well. Children are frequently caught in the violence between their parents and may be the target when family relationships are under pressure.

The most dangerous myth associated with domestic violence is that things will get better if I don't react and it won't happen again. This is absolutely untrue. If you, or people close to you, are affected by domestic violence, or if you are the person responsible for violence towards others, then take positive action today.

Counselling can support you as you understand the cycle you are caught in and explore ways to break free. At Point of Change Counselling, you will experience a non-judgemental environment designed to help you understand yourself better and to make healthier choices.

For support for victims of domestic violence, contact Alli at Point Of Change Counselling to make an appointment.

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The information on this website is intended for general information only. For help, diagnosis, or treatment of specific issues, please see a mental health professional.