As Oscar Pistorious has at last been found guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp it brings up the issue of domestic violence but believe it or not, a lot of the time, an abusive partner doesn’t even have to lay a finger on you. Coercive control is very soon to be classed as an actual offence which carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, so let’s see how many misogynistic guys get away with the vile way they treat their girlfriends/wives/partners who they say they love.
When you meet someone and you find that you’ve got things in common, you’re getting on, loving the whole thing of spending time with them and all the rest of it, you’re not really looking for things to spoil it. Also your new guy isn’t going to show his true colours straight away as you’d probably run for the hills. No, you’ll get little glimpses at first but nothing really major, nothing to get you thinking that something is wrong, but it will definitely be something that you feel uncomfortable with but you’ll make excuses for him because this guy really LIKES you. In fact, he likes you that much he wants to spend all his spare time with you, and while he can’t tell you not to go out with your friends, he starts to make it plain that he doesn’t like it. He’s also not keen on any of your friends to be honest, and might even try to cause some sort of arguement between you and them, making it easier to isolate you from them. Will he have any female friends himself? Probably not.
Once your relationship is established you will see some changes in the way he talks to you, mainly negative remarks, about your job, friends, family, dress sense, how you have your hair, make up, and always adding that no one else will want you if, god forbid, he ever left you. If you’ve actually moved in together you’re in big trouble. He now has you exactly where he wants you but the problem is, you become confused because although you know what he’s doing is wrong, there is actually no violence. There are threats of withdrawing love, affection, and of him actually leaving you if you don’t comply to what he wants but it’s difficult to think you might actually be in an abusive relationship with no actual violence involved.
Don’t be fooled.
If he’s jealous of every male friend you have and wants you to cut all ties with them, you’re in an abusive relationship.
If you’re thinking of how to break the news to him that there’s a girl’s night out planned and knowing he’ll kick off, you’re in an abusive relationship.
If he’s slagging off all his ex-girlfriends/partners and doesn’t have a nice word to say about any of them, you’re in an abusive relationship.
If you’re having to account how you’re spending your money (when you’re working) you’re in an abusive relationship.
If you’re having to explain to family members that once again you and your lovely partner won’t be attending the wedding/christening/funeral you’re in an abusive relationship.
If he’s constantly bringing you down with negative comments about yourself, you’re in an abusive relationship.
If you’ve started to walk on eggshells around him and watching what you say so he doesn’t get angry, you’re in an abusive relationship.
I could go on but you get the picture.
If your partner is saying that he loves you while making you feel worthless, he doesn’t even like you for god’s sake. The very things that attracted him in the first place will be the things that he’ll want you to change.
This doesn’t apply to most men thankfully, just a few who don’t actually like women, and hopefully you’ll never have the misfortune to meet one of them but if in doubt, wise words from Caitlin Moran.
“Never love someone whom you think you need to mend, or makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls, they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear, and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart.”