Skip to main content

A Definition of Domestic Abuse and Violence. Are You a Victim?


Are you a victim of domestic abuse, be it verbal, emotional or physical?

What is the definition of domestic abuse within relationships and can you be sure if you are being abused, or do you believe it must be your own fault these things are happening to you?

How do you know when the time is right to seek out a domestic abuse lawyer to ensure justice is done?

Remember, not all domestic abuse is necessarily physically violent, much of it is actually verbal psychological abuse, frequently leaving the victim with low self esteem, feelings of worthlessness, addicted to their partner and hanging on for the odd crumbs of affection that might get thrown in their direction.

After I wrote my previous hub on my own experiences of domestic violence and abuse, I got to thinking more about actually defining abuse for someone who may be unsure if they are overreacting, or might be blaming themselves for the abuse being inflicted on them at all. I decided to do some further research and gather up a selection of definitions and description of what constitutes abuse, be it domestic violence, verbal abuse, psychological abuse etc.

This is what I found out, and It came as quite a shock even to me, as I realised that through two of my worst previous relationships, (one of these living with a complete control freak) I had experienced a vast amount of these personally, yet many of them I hadn't immediately associated with constituting actual abuse. If you have ever been a victim of abuse yourselves, (especially from a spouse or partner), see how many of these boxes you can tick as having happened to you too. It is a real eye opener.


So What Defines Abuse?

Pressure tactics - sulking, threatening to keep money away from you, disconnecting the telephone line, taking the car away, threatening to commit suicide, taking the children away from you, reporting you to welfare agencies on how you are bringing up the children, lying to your friends and family about you, telling you that you have no choice in any decisions being made.

Disrespect - Constantly putting you down in front of people, not listening to you when you talk, interrupting when you are on the phone, stealing money from your wallet.

Breaking Trust - Lying and withholding information from you, (in conjunction with other elements on this list, as on their own they would not be ideal, not really enough to constitute abuse).

Isolation - Spying on phone calls, blocking phone calls, stating where you can go and where you can't, preventing you from seeing your friends and relatives.

Harassment - Following where you go, spying, checking up on you, opening your mail, checking phone register, embarrassing you in public.

Threats - Being verbally aggressive by shouting at you, threatening you with a gun or a knife, destroying your personal belongings, breaking things, punching walls, using kids as a threat to you by threatening them.

Sexual violence - Making you perform sex acts, forcing sex on you, any degrading treatment done sexually.

Physical violence - punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling.

Denial - Denying it ever took place, blaming you for this behaviour towards you, begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again.

Information above courtesy of

Now what shocked me out of the above was that in the course of my two abusive relationships I had endured the following from the above list:


Scroll to Continue

This was particularly shocking when I realised looking back at the list that there was hardly any of it I hadn't been on the receiving end of, and actually as I don't have children, that nature of threat was impossible (although I found out my "Control Freak" from the second violent relationship I was in had threatened his ex over their child later on, and actually did report her to the authorities claiming she had shoved his and her young daughter into a door. Luckily the child immediately said to the social worker that this was a silly thing to say and Mummy would never do that to her).

He also tried to sue her for custody of the child, although when he couldn't get his own way on various issues he refused to even see the child any more (and hasn't now for over two years, which is probably a good thing for the little girl in question). So this ex girlfriend actually experienced the part I couldn't, i.e.

"taking the children away from you, reporting you to welfare agencies on how you are bringing up the children"


Some Other Interesting Quotes I Discovered Regarding Abuse.

"Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence .

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domestic violence and abuse do not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and financial levels. Whilst women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused, especially verbally and emotionally.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence and even murder. Whilst physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. No one deserves this kind of pain, and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need."

Quotes above courtesy of

It goes without saying that once you reach the stage where you almost dread being around your partner and are fearful that any second he is going into his Jekyll and Hyde impression if you put a foot wrong, then there is something not right in your relationship.

Ask your self the following questions if you are in any doubt as to your situation.

Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?


Does your partner:

  • humiliate or yell at you?
  • criticize you and put you down?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?
  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?

The More I Read, the More Shocked I Became.

It sounds naïve, but the more I kept on reading about this stuff, the more I found myself saying, 'yes, yes, that happened to me, yes he was like that with me too'. I actually found this quite uplifting, as after two relationships that consisted mainly of the kinds of abuse I have described, a part of me did wonder if it was my fault. Reading this information made me feel vindicated somehow, and gave me a huge desire to go running to everyone in my past who tended to believe my abusers were victims who had been unlucky enough to have to put up with me (mainly because both of these exes were such plausible liars, especially in the second case) and then I could thrust the information at them having first used a highlighter pen to mark all the relevant areas that applied to my experience of domestic violence with the ex in question.

Abusers use a variety of methods to keep you under their control, for example, they will humiliate you, put you down, tell you that no-one likes you, that people only speak to you because you are with them (the abuser). They will tell you that you are ugly, boring, stupid etc and will do their best to put you down or embarrass you in front of other people.

Contrary to what you may believe, an abuser is usually fully in control of his or her behaviour, and can turn it on and off like a light switch, so proving that they are not in an uncontrollable rage.

  • He does not batter other individuals - the boss who does not give him time off or the gas station attendant that spills gas down the side of his car. He waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the person he says he loves.
  • If you ask an abused woman, "can he stop when the phone rings or the police come to the door?" She will say "yes". Most often when the police show up, he is looking calm, cool and collected and she is the one who may look hysterical. If he were truly "out of control" he would not be able to stop himself when it is to his advantage to do so.
  • The abuser very often escalates from pushing and shoving to hitting in places where the bruises and marks will not show. If he were "out of control" or "in a rage" he would not be able to direct or limit where his kicks or punches land.


Abuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show you "who is boss."

Guilt – After abusing you, your partner feels guilt, but not over what he's done. He’s more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for his abusive behavior. "Normal" behavior – Your abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep you in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give you hope that your abusive partner has really changed this time. Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about abusing you again. He spends a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how he'll make you pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality. Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing you.

Your abuser’s apologies and kind behaviour in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He can convince you that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, don't fall into the trap of believing this.


If after reading all of this you now believe that you actually are a domestic abuse victim, whether this is physical abuse, mental abuse or both, then please know that it is not your fault and that you will realise this once you break your addiction to this person and no longer have reason to fear them. Don't wait until they kill your pets, threaten the children, or put you in hospital (or worse!).

If you are married to this person, or he/she is a long term partner, there are plenty of excellent domestic abuse lawyers out there who are vastly experienced in dealing with such cases. Call the Police as they can protect you from further abuse. Contact shelters for abused women and get yourself, your children and your pets out of the situation.

Above all else don't stay in denial, this problem will not go away (and more often than not it will get worse). Your family and friends will support you, but only if you talk to them about your situation and let them help you make a new start.

© 2009 Cindy Lawson


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 09, 2018:

Thank you realtalk247, I really hope it helps someone escape a bd situation too, and be strong enough to walk away.

realtalk247 on June 09, 2018:

Great article highlighting abusive behaviors. Hope this helps someone to escape a bad situation. The key is to recognize these signs early and get out.

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on May 24, 2018:

My mother divorced my father when I was a baby because he was paranoid schizophrenic. My older brother was also paranoid schizophrenic. I did not hold their behavior against them because it was all caused by mental illness.

My mother remarried when I was about 13 to a man named Jim. Jim became abusive due to PTSD from the Korean Conflict. My mother finally divorced him.

I was angry with Jim for many years until I realized he suffered from PTSD ALL the time. We only got the overflow of his trauma. I learned to forgive him because he suffered more than we did. I instantly felt better. Separate yourself from a bad situation, but learn to forgive. Figure out why they act the way they do and empathize. People act badly for a reason. Forgive to heal.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 02, 2017:

Wow Stonefaced. He sounds like a right piece of work. His dangerous driving could have killed you or others, it only takes one minor error of judgement. I hope you got rid of him and found someone decent to be married to.

Stonefaced on May 01, 2017:

Another form of mental abuse is to scare you. My husband used to slam the breaks on if I ask to stop at a store. He would run through ditches almost hit cars and basically fly. He would have me crying, He would start down a curvy mountain road speeding real fast and the more I begged him to stop the madder he got then suddenly he'd spin around in the road. To this day I'm terrified to ride with anyone but strangly he has me to where I only trust his driving plus I would be very embarrassto bed to tell a friend that I'm afraid of riding with them. I don't know how to get over this.,After 38 years I finally had a stroke.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 21, 2016:

Oh Jersey, don't give up hope. Maybe one day you will look back on this time when you have got out of your situation and realise that you could, and did survive it. There are places you can go for help and refuge if you don't have family and friends who you can turn to. Please don't ever give up, just do whatever it takes to get out of your bad situation. There is always a way if you stay strong.

Jersey on October 21, 2016:

This is so sad and true and relevant just a shame u dont sell courage ... all my life has been stolen and i have nothing . cant stay cant leave so i just cry sit in the dark and cry . people say its hard thats wrong its impossible . truly impossible

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on February 20, 2015:

No problem Katryna, glad you found the article helpful and thank you for the comment.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on February 19, 2015:

That is a tough one, and I am not an expert or anything like that, but secretly recording his behaviour as proof could be a good option. The idea being to get as much footage as possible day to day and then keep the relevant interactions as evidence. Of course overall the best option is to divorce the person in question then using the recordings as evidence.

Carol McNairy Wight from Provo, Utah on February 18, 2015:

So what if your spouse is so good at manipulation and emotional abuse that no ones sees it and no one believes you? All they see is your reaction and blame you for being abusive yourself.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 22, 2013:

All I can suggest Kath is she goes to a lawyer and gets a restraining order against him. It is really difficult if the Police are not being supportive. If you are in the UK you could also speak to the citizen's advice bureau and see what they suggest. One other possibility is to secretly record his threatening behaviour using one of those spy gadgets like buttons or clocks etc that have hidden cameras in them (I wrote another article on this here: )

Good Luck :)

Kath on October 22, 2013:

Can anyone help, my daughter is being mentally abused, followed, threatened by her estranged husband, she was sexually attacked by him which resulted in a child, social services are threatening to take her to a legal meeting to either force her to move from the county and to take the children into care if she does not move. The abuse from him has been constant but with no proof. Neither my daughter nor the children want to move as this is their home and their schools and friends are here. The police are unhelpful as her estranged husband is part of the network as a town warden. At end of tether please what can we do.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 16, 2013:

Thank you so much for sharing your awful story Mikhail. I am truly relieved for you that you got out of this awful situation. You are so right when you say it is both sexes who abuse, too often it is assumed it will always be the male who is the abuser, when in reality it happens very commonly the other way around.

Mikhail Leon Tagallie on August 16, 2013:

She kept me with threats of suicide. I couldn't go to the police she said or shed make them think im an abuser. if i didn't make her happy he was going to kill herself. I had been trapped for a year. I finally left when she went to a family members. She would snap at anything a look. something that happened in her head a week ago. she would leave the gas on the stove. she would start cursing and then never stop. she would just flipout over the most mundane things like me giving a look of concern or if i was scared of her it would anger her more. yes i didn't want to sleep with her because i was afraid of disease but that's not a good reason to abuse me or say im an abuser. I did everything possible to get her to doctors and keep care of her health but she postponed it forever. It wasn't until i got so sick that She HAD to go to the doctor. she stayed in denial forever. if i didn't make her feel good shed kill herself. I didn't want to sleep with my partner ever. She was disgusting the way she kept her hygiene. i cant share my body with someone who threatens to hurt me the love and trust is gone. I reaize now i stayed from fear. i had an ex abusive wife whom i won an extreme cruety divorce against and guess what.. the woman i am speaking off used the same tactics against me. he even recorded with her cellphone after how scared i was. Saying something is ok and then deciding its not ok later is abuse. its an endless spiral. Every 15 seconds a woman is battered. Men get hurt battered and abused, threatened and falsely accused. It needs to stop being about MAN or Woman. Times have changed. Both sexes work. both sexes abuse. it needs to be about about abuse against people and not just violence against women.

Mikhail Leon Tagallie on August 16, 2013:

I'm a man and i have gone through this twice. Worse though is being accused of being an abuser because I was afraid of my partner. I had fist pointed at my head and threats of false accusations to police if i called while she was being violent. I didn't want to sleep with my partner because she had multiple infections and a horrible smell and was in denial., she also had puss on her body. ive been shoved threatened to have my face smashed in with random objects. I've be defamed on her own personal blog online but with no details just saying im an abuser when i wasn't. I didnt want to set her off and i stuck to myself for a period of time and she said it was ok. then she decided it wasn't ok later.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 02, 2013:

Hi There,

I totally agree it is completely wrong for any woman to 'make up' stories of abuse in order to get revenge etc. It dilutes the credibility of women who are genuinely victims of domestic violence (in much the same way as those women who claim 'rape' when they actually agreed to intercourse but got rejected afterwards). I am truly sorry you had the clearly unfair experience you had based on your ex and how she treated you, and my article is definitely not intended to encourage women to make this sort of stuff up, just a way for those women who live with the kind of treatment I describe day to day, to realise they are actually victims of domestic violence but may not have recognised it for what it is due to being 'too close' to the problem.

I hope your life improves, and I sincerely don't blame you for not wanting to get back with your ex based on what has happened between you in the past.

Good Luck for the future :)

boxerdog on July 02, 2013:

First of all I think abuse is terrible. I am a man convicted of DV. Was in a 18 year marrage that was great until my ex started using cocaine and going through $10,000 a month on her habit. Dam right I kept money away from this women and yelled at her ! The day I filed for divorce ,I was arrested after she hit me with a board and kicked me in the balls. All I did was push her off me and and restrained her from hitting me again. Crazy thing is I was arrested because when asked if I was afraid of her I said no. Spent a year in jail and 2 years probation. She got the house ,sole custody of our kids and support. Now 4 years later I have been awarded custody due to the fact the judge now sees she is a drug addict and has abused our children. This whole DV against women thing makes me sick. A women can lie and its believed because it is so lucrative for so many people. As my judge even told me , his hands are tied weather its a lie or not. True abuse should be punished but these pity laws need to change so the accused is not considered guilty on hearsay from a bitter spouse trying to get an upper hand or revenge as in most cases. I went to court with out a lawyer thinking there is no way I will be convicted knowing what happened and at that time beleiveing our legal system was fair... Boy was I wrong! Funny thing is my ex has now gotten help and wants me back after all this. There is no way in hell I can trust her ever again. The legal system and DV laws have ruined many mens lifes unfairly. I didn't let it ruin mine . Every women reading your blog or any of the many like it will of course think they are abused or make it up the first sign of trouble. That's why the courts are over run with these cases. I do feel for all the truly abuse women out there but the laws have to change to atleast be fair for the accused. A good example is a buddy of mine was hit with a hammer by his drunk ex in the head so he called the police. She was arrested but never prosecuted.Because she is a women and its not lucrative for the DV industry to prosecute a women maybe? There is no government funded agencies to help men of abuse that I know of so noboby is going to lose funding if a women is not prosecuted. Follow the money in DV cases and that's what its all about guilty or not in I bet in a great deal of cases. I know women who have been encouraged by lawyers and womens rights groups into fileing these cases. Crazy huh!? My own ex was encouraged by a womens DV agency she was refered to into believeing her lies and pursueing every underhanded tactic in our divorce . These people didn't ever know me or the details. They get payed to encourage lies to keep their jobs alive is how I see it. After I divorced I even dated a women from the the agency who councelled my ex. If I was such a treat why would this women sleep with me? She addmited its all an industry and how she makes her living and nothing else. My ex got her pity for awhile but now lives with her regret in a shit hole aparment with no custody and has to go from one truly abusesive relationship to the next to afford her rent. So unless you are truly abusused ladies I would think twice before making false accusations. No relationship is going to be easy sailing all the time and these laws altough good in only a few instances ruin not only good mens lifes but tare apart families that could have maybe been salvaged and happy. If you are unhappy in your relationship then get out. Dont tell lies for pity just leave.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 19, 2012:

Thanks Irenevosburgh, I hope your daughters never have to go through this.

Irenevosburgh from Philadelphia, PA on April 19, 2012:

Wow! What a great article. I wil refer my daughters to this page.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on February 21, 2012:

Hi cwritesnow. Wow that is a lot to cover in a comment, but I will try to do my best.

Firstly in my original abusive relationship the catalyst for 'having enough' was meeting a man who treated me really well simply on a few innocent afternoons/evenings out. That was when I realised just how much less stressed and happier I was, and therefore could be (I ended up marrying the new man some years later although I lost him to Cancer sadly). In the second relationship I was technically dumped by the control freak, but still spent time with him for some time afterwards and hung around the pub where he worked. In this case I met my current Husband there, and again, he was a kind and caring man and made me laugh. My ex had already married someone else, and then ultimately left his job at the pub. It was a natural progression to simply socialise elsewhere with my new Husband and I realised I no longer needed to be anywhere near my ex and that he was a total bastard anyway who I longed to see in the obituary columns.

No, religion definitely had nothing to do with it, (I am not a Catholic, I am a Pagan/Wiccan).

The breaking point is different for everyone, but personally I would advise any woman to leave the first time it happens unless the circumstances are extraordinary. It seldom gets any better, and usually gets worse!

I believe the guilt the abusers feel is one of knowing that what they are doing is wrong, in the same way a murderer in court knows he is guilty. This does not mean they are sorry for what they have done (although some briefly are, but soon return to their old behaviour and rapidly get over this feeling of guilt), it means they know they are guilty of a wrongdoing, and don't want to get caught for it or in trouble for it, either from the Police or the authorities.

I hope this helps and covers what you are asking :)

Craig from Dushore, pa on February 20, 2012:

I'm glad to hear that you are no longer in either of those relationships. Great job on leaving!

What was the catalyst that caused you to leave? Did someone say something to you that made you go "ah-hah!"? Was it religion?

How many times does abuse have to take place before a woman says that they've given their man (or a man says they've given their woman) enough chances? I believe in divorce only in the most extreme of situations, but I also believe that there can be saving graces in abusive relationships. The other person (the victim) just has to know when to end it and when to stick it through.

Do you agree?

As well, what do you mean in basically stating that guilt felt by the abuser is not guilt for what they have done to someone else but rather fear or concern of being caught? Did I properly state your point? Could you please help me to understand your point?

Thank you and the peace of our Lord be with you always. I'm so glad that you're on a pathway to a new and abuse-free life.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 15, 2011:

Hi Jennifer, what a horrible and terrible situation to have been in, but I am glad you are out of it now. You might be best speaking to a woman's refuge and asking for advice on the situation with your daughter. I am not sure why you didn't take her with you anyway, as custody nearly always goes to the woman, and it doesn't sound like he has been awarded official custody. You don't say how old she is, but she could well be the 'proof' you need, simply by her witness statements, even as a child. Your friends may well have seen how his treatment has effected you, even if they never saw it, so they too are witnesses in a way. The emails and texts all help, so don't lose them, and you might even be able to gather more proof or admissions of guilt from him using a secret recording device when you speak to him, either in person or by phone, (see my hub on affordable spy gadgets )

A battered womans refuge can hide both you and your daughter so that you can get yourselves straight. The Police can also advise you on how to stay safe. A lawyer can take out a restraining order on your behalf too.

Good luck, and I hope you and your daughter completely escape this control freak very soon.

Jennifer on March 15, 2011:

I left my husband almost a year ago. I lived in fear of my ex's temper for years. He never "hit" me which is the reason it took me so long to admit to myself, and even longer to others, what was happening. He would rant, rave, scream in my face, break things, punch walls, throw objects at me, threaten, grab me, even wrapped his hands around my throat and was pushing me back against the deck rail one time. He did all of this in front of our daughter. He threatened to kill us all if he didn't get his way. And none of it was EVER his fault. If I treated him better, if our daughter behaved better, if his boss wasn't such a jerk, if the traffic light hadn't turned red, if the person in front of him wasn't driving so slow (and on and on) he would have been fine. I finally saw the truth, acknowledged it to myself, and got the strength to leave. Now I fear my daughter being alone with him without me there to buffer his agression toward her and channel it toward me. I am fighting for custody, but fear I will not be believed in court or seem as a vindictive ex because I never reported anything to the authorities. I do have some emails and texts talking about it but am afraid it won't be enough. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any advice on how to protect myself and daughter would be greatly appreciated.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 14, 2011:

Well that is a start 'happy but sad'. Now you need to start planning how to move on with your life and leave this abusive relationship for good.

happy but sad on January 13, 2011:

I know from the start that I'm abused. my husband is a control freak..

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 30, 2010:

Thanks so much Sage, I think the questions can be a real eye opener once a person starts asking themselves the answers.

Sage Williams on March 29, 2010:

You did an awesome job on this hub. Great job outlining the definition of abuse. I love the questions part, that should be an eye opener for so many.

This hub will certainly bring awareness to anyone who maybe questioning if they are in an abusive relationship.

Awesome job, Rated up!


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 29, 2010:

Thanks Momma, it sure makes me appreciate what I have got now :)

MommaMcDoodle from Florida on March 29, 2010:

I enjoyed your hub, it's nice to finally be able to talk about your past, once you are away from it.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 20, 2009:

Thank you Cagsil, and I am glad you are not that kind of person. These men both definitely thought they were superior to Women, and the latter male even said to me at the end of our relationship that he really needed a "more subservient woman".

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on November 20, 2009:

I found you hub very interesting. I'm one person, who can honestly say that I've never, ever, done this and I don't condone it's behavior. It's 'men' who are too full of themselves or find themselves superior to women, that makes me adore and pedestalize women in general. I've seen the nastiness of men and most are worth the time. Many women are forced to endure the atrocities of men, because a lot of men's mentality is from religious belief, which specifically tells them they are superior to women. I disagree with that. But, I want to say thank you for sharing. It's great see someone trying to help others.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 09, 2009:

Thank you for sharing and commenting Hello Hello.

Thank you Linda, it is empowering once you are free of it.

Hi Anath LOL, I think it is just fine if both people agree to it, and not really abuse :)

Hi Ocbill, yes, another very good example that warrants a whole hub in itself I think. Perhaps you would be the best person to write it!!

ocbill from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice on November 09, 2009:

What about the men who suffer from domestic abuse from pressure tactics & the foreign mother witholding their daughter or son.

look up the Dad who lost his kid to his international ex-spouse from the portuguese speaking country in So. America, the case in Japan and others. Some guys I know are staying simply to not lose their son or daughter for good and accept the verbal abuse. If not you lose your kid.

Anath on November 09, 2009:

When do S/M games become abuse? Is it true that as long as my partners agree to "play" it is only a game? Am I an abuser nonetheless, even if they agree?

Hello, hello, from London, UK on November 09, 2009:

I had psychological abuse and looking back I can't belief how much I took. Thank you for writing this hub and draw attention to a very sad subject.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on November 09, 2009:

I had psychological abuse and looking back I can't belief how much I took. Thank you for writing this hub and draw attention to a very sad subject.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 08, 2009:

Thank you so much for sharing your story here VioletSun, it can only be a good thing in order to help others, and I am so glad you are happy now.

My ex actually stabbed someone in front of me through no fault of theirs, (covered in my hub on "Living with a Control Freak"), that was probably the single most shocking moment I have had in any relationship, and I was just lucky it wasn't me!

I too hope this article awakens the abused to the fact they are a genuine victim, and should get out whilst they can.

VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on November 08, 2009:

Cindy: I find it hard to read about abuse, it makes me cringe because I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship for 7 years, thank God its wasn't physical but the lashing out, threats and putting me down was awful. Its interesting, years before I met the ex, I saw a man verbally abusing his girlfriend in front of parking lot, and she was visibly frightened, I felt so bad for that woman, it shook me up. I remember thinking somewhere along the lines of how "terrible, terrible for a woman to be in a situation like that, I will never be in a relationship like that". Years later I myself was in a union like that, until I had an "aha" moment and realized I owed myself better and deserved so much more. Thankfully, nowadays I have a beautiful man who incidentally was also in rather emotionally abusive union with his ex.

This is a very well written and informative article; who knows if I had come across an article like this in the past, I may have had a wake up call and left the relationship faster.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 08, 2009:

Thanks Paradise, I hope it helps someone break the cycle and get out.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on November 08, 2009:

A very thorough and well-written hub, and an accurate analysis for those in doubt. Good work, Misty!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 08, 2009:

Thank you Suzie. Glad you enjoyed it, (if that is the right word for an article on domestic abuse).

Hi again Lisa, edit made as per your valid point :)

Suzie Parker on November 08, 2009:

Beautifully written piece!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 08, 2009:

Thanks Lisa,

you do make good points here, and I agree that lying and witholding information on their own are not abuse, but would need to be combined with other factors. If they were enough on their own I suspect we would all qualify as victims of abuse in one way or another, such as when the Hubby sneaks off down to the pub for a crafty pint when he has claimed to be popping to the neighbours house :)

Lisa HW from Massachusetts on November 08, 2009:

mistyhorizons, this is (needless to say) an excellent Hub, so I'm really reluctant to mention this one, small, thing that did strike me with the signs of abusive treatment. I do think on the "breaking trust" point (third down under "what defines abuse" it may be worth mentioning that lying and withholding information, by themselves, aren't always part of a pattern of abuse. They aren't good. They do break trust, but by themselves they aren't always necessarily a sign of "general abuse" or, at least, the "classic" other signs. All the other signs shown can be "classic abuse" without any of the others. It is, I think, just this one that can "come from something else".

I think your bulleted points under "the more I read the more shocked I became" are particularly important ones (although all the information here is important); and I particularly thought the pie chart is worth noting (for any number of reasons).

Related Articles