Domestic violence, clinically recognized as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), impacts people from all walks of life and from every socioeconomic and ethnic background. Domestic violence has no known demographic. Both men and women can be victims of domestic abuse.
Violence in relationships is often triggered by changes in, or a lack, of power and control. The abuse becomes the means to an end, granting the abuser that power or control over their partner. In abusive relationships, there is typically one partner who seeks to maintain their position of power and control over the other. The abuse does not need to be provoked in order to remain a factor in the relationship.
Abuse in relationships is cyclical. If you have been a victim of intimate partner violence, you may recognize this cyclical nature that exists from abusers. Abusers use similar tactics that fall into any of these categories : intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, blaming/minimizing, using children, male privilege, finances or threats of physical violence.
Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser uses tactics like minimizing the victim’s feelings or manipulating their partner’s thoughts and emotions, forcing them to question themselves. Questioning your own sanity is a result of gaslighting.
Because gaslighting often happens in intimate relationships, it’s common to experience this form of manipulation when confronting infidelity. The intent is to make the victim question themselves from the abuser’s actions. Downplaying another person’s reactions as “overreacting” can be the gateway to other acts of manipulation leaving the partner feeling small.
As you can see, there are a number of methods one can use to insinuate abuse. You may be familiar with more overt attempts at regaining power and control, like name calling or removing access to finances or outright threats of violence.
After the tactics of abuse are implemented, interactions with the abuser seem to become calm again. This is called the “honeymoon phase.” This phase is accompanied by an underlying tension that continues to build beneath the surface in anticipation of another eruption from the abuser. Victims of abuse are often left feeling like they’re walking on eggshells, unsure of which tactic the abuser will use next or what will set them off.
Domestic violence affects all aspects of a victim’s life. Once a victim is free of the abusive relationship, there can be long-lasting effects of the abuse that can resemble post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) or anxiety and depression.
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we ask that you please become familiar with resources available to you and your loved ones. Lifeologie Oak Cliff (LOC) is committed to serving this community of Dallas and all neighboring communities with education about the factors of domestic violence and effective ways of helping.
Lifeologie Oak Cliff prides itself on providing affordable and accessible therapy, with our team of dedicated counselors who are committed to serving those affected by abuse.
Nicole Davis is a Master’s Level Intern who enjoys working with people from all walks of life, but specifically with women and couple’s in crisis. Nicole uses a combination of a family systems approach and cognitive behavioral techniques to provide a safe space for you to speak your most intimate thoughts and truths.
Booking with Nicole secures your session fee of only $35 a visit! Book with Nicole TODAY!