In the past couple of months, we all have witnessed discussions on domestic violence or intimate partner violence and its resultant trauma. The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial case also played its part. However, a person who has an exposure to any kind of abuse or violence, is the one who knows the real impact it has on their physical and mental well-being. And when violence and abuse happens in their home environment continuously, its trauma is far severe.
As we all know, an abusive relationship means that there is an unequal power dynamic involved between the two partners.
“Domestic violence occurs when someone uses violence or manipulation to maintain power and control over someone they are close to. It can take many forms, including emotional, sexual and physical abuse and threats of abuse. It is most often directed towards women but men also experience abuse, especially verbal and emotional,” Dr Minakshi Manchanda, Associate director, Psychiatrist, Asian Hospital, told HealthShots.
The bottom line is that domestic violence or any form of abusive behaviour is never acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager or older adult. Everyone deserves to feel valued, respected and safe.
“Physical injury may pose the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences are also severe. Domestic abuse has a common pattern of violence, hence, recognizing the cycle of abuse is very important,” Dr Manchanda added.
Steps to tackle it:
The first and most important step is to realize that your relationship is abusive. Since domestic abuse may not always involve physical assault, the victims are mostly unable to recognize such a relational pattern.
Feeling unsafe and difficulty in establishing connections is always a problem for trauma patients. Self-love and social interaction is very important for coming out. Staying or sharing thoughts with someone whom you can trust works like wonder.
Consulting a therapist or counsellor to help in the process of post-traumatic stress disorder is vital. He/she will help in mourning the losses associated and giving oneself space to grieve and express emotions.
Survivors slowly start recognizing the impact of victimization they experienced. They should start redefining themselves, creating a new sense of self and making a new future.
Healing is not an overnight process, but abuse can have a life. It may have a long impact but severity can be lessened by getting help from people you trust and mental health professionals.