Our Designing a Safer Woman Guide is built to cover many issues relating to women’s safety. And it does cover some basics on domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships. This section is especially timely given all the attention in the media these past weeks on domestic abuse. We must continue to raise the bar, and the awareness on this issue that affects so many women. Violence against women is serious, even deadly. We must do all we can to support each other and find solutions within our communities. If you are part of an organization that deals with these issues, and have tips and/or resources you’d like to share, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.
Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. What might have begun as an intense show of affection can quickly turn ugly if boundaries are intentionally crossed and you see the signs of abuse listed below.
BEHAVIORS THAT MAY INDICATE A PROBLEM
- Checking your cell phone or email without your permission
- Constantly putting you down and making unflattering comments
- The presence of extreme jealousy and insecurity
- Anger control issues and explosive temper
- The process of isolating you from your family and friends
- Making false assumptions and accusations
- Wild mood swings and acting emotionally imbalanced
- Any physical abuse whatsoever
- Possessiveness and intimidation
- Telling you what to do, where to be, how to act, etc.
POTENTIAL ABUSER STRATEGIES TO BE AWARE OF
- They might use an Intrusion Test where the perpetrator subtly checks out your boundaries by physical proximity, comments or demands on your time and attention.
- They might use Desensitization Tactics. You become accustomed to these intrusion tests, and no longer notice when your physical/social/emotional boundaries are crossed.
- They might use Isolation Tactic. The perpetrator isolates you, or waits for a situation where you’re isolated, to provide an opportunity for an assault/rape/attack.
- They may have frequent angry outbursts. These outbursts are meant and intended to intimidate or control you.
- They ignore you or don’t believe you. They keep testing and discounting your “NO.”
- They intrude or continue to intrude your personal space and are almost always too close or try inappropriate touching or other body contact.
- They frequently interrupt you and/or make intrusive or insensitive remarks, such as about your body, other women, etc.
- They use Forced Teaming which is making it seem like you have a mutual problem that you jointly have to resolve.
- They use Loan Sharking, which is doing you favors so you may feel like you owe him something or give him the benefit of the doubt.
- They use Typecasting which is calling you a name (snob/racist/lesbian, etc.) which they want you to try to disprove.