Intimate partner abuse is insidious and can be difficult to identify at first, especially if you are the one in the abusive situation. Terra Counseling Center offers counseling services in Miami for individuals who are struggling with the traumatic aftermath of abusive relationships. If you need help, please contact us today to learn more about our counseling services. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at intimate partner abuse.
Intimate Partner Abuse
What Does It Look Like?
They are the sweetest, most attentive partner you’ve ever had. They make you feel alive, like you really matter.
As time goes on…
Your partner says your friends are no good, that they don’t care about you. You slowly start drifting away from those closest to you and closer towards your partner.
Your partner monitors your every move. You might monitor theirs as well. They constantly tell you that you are a bad person and provide specific examples of why. They tie that in with statements or actions that try to convince you of how lucky you are to be with them. They may tell you that no one else would love you the same or accept you with your faults. Before you know it, your self-esteem is gone and you can’t remember who you really are. You feel, and possibly are, all alone.
Who Is at Risk?
Verbal, psychological, physical, and/or sexual abuse is real and it can happen to anyone — professionals, students, older adults, teenagers, people of any ethnicity and any type of couple, whether it be a couple who is married, dating, heterosexual, or same-sex. You should not be made to feel like you are anyone’s possession. Love is not possession nor obsession. It’s hard to ask for help, but there will always be someone who is there and who cares. They are just waiting for you to be ready. Terra Counseling Center and the counseling services we provide are here for you when you’re ready to reach out.
Symptoms of Intimate Partner Abuse
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline online, prognosis or signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who:
- Tells you that you can never do anything right
- Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away
- Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members
- Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs
- Controls every penny spent in the household
- Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses
- Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you
- Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do
- Prevents you from making your own decisions
- Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children
- Prevents you from working or attending school
- Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets
- Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons
- Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
- Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol (Abuse may be worse if your partner uses alcohol or drugs.)
Can an Abusive Partner Really Change?
While people do have the capacity to change, they need to deeply want to and they must be committed to all aspects of change in order to begin to do so. Even then, it’s a lot easier said than done.
It’s clear that a lot of the causal factors behind abusive behaviors are learned. It’s hard to define whether or not an abuser can change because there’s a low probability of change actually happening.
What To Do if You Are In an Abusive Relationship?
Get the help and counseling services you need soon. First, you have to talk about it with someone you trust (family members, friends, clergy, doctor, or professional counselors).
Create a safety plan, it will entail practical steps that include ways to remain safe while in a relationship and after you leave it. The safety plan should manage different scenarios, it sounds exaggerated and steps will look obvious however, in critical moments it will help you make the right decisions.
Your safety plan should include:
- Keeping any evidence of abuse, such as pictures of injuries, texts, emails, etc.
- Telling someone what is happening to you, such as trusted friends and family
- Knowing where you can go to get help
- Learning about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis
- Locating counseling services to help you cope with emotions
- Knowing where your important papers are
- Putting these papers in a safe place
- Memorizing emergency numbers: police, local domestic violence program or shelter, friends, family members, doctor, etc.
- Taking legal actions in case you need it
- Calling the police at any time you feel you are in immediate danger
Counseling Services in Miami
When abusive behavior is at its worst, you have to know that partner violence is a crime. It’s not your fault if you are being abused, so don’t blame yourself. Contact Terra Counseling Center today to discover the help that is waiting for you.