Beyond Physical Violence
by Taylor Riffey, Shelter Director
Domestic Violence is a broad spectrum term that includes a variety of abusive behaviors. So often, we immediately associate the word “violence” with a physical reaction. However, physical violence is not the only way that a survivor may be abused. None of these behaviors are mutually exclusive and are often used with one another to increase damage.
Emotional, verbal, or mental abuse are all commonly used and can include name calling, manipulation of feelings in the way of an abuser expressing that they love their partner one minute while suddenly degrading their actions the next, or an abuser claiming that a survivor is “crazy” or has made up the abuse they are experiencing. This can be used in court as well as a tool. For example, if a survivor has received mental health treatments before, their abusive partner may try to use that in a court proceeding to avoid charges if there was an arrest made.
Financial abuse can happen over time and may not be completely noticeable at first. This can occur either when a survivor is not allowed to have any money at all or the survivor becomes the sole provider for both people in the relationship. They may be forced to pay bills or rent and be left with no extra money such as that if they wanted to leave the home – they would be unable to with no funds or if the home is in their name, it can be difficult to get an abusive partner out of the home.
All of the previously listed behaviors can directly lead to isolation as well. When someone is trying to flee an unhealthy relationship – it can seem impossible if you have no support system in place. The first thing an abuser may attempt to do is detach the survivor from any lines to the outside world. Friends, family, coworkers, employers, church members, etc. will all be stripped away slowly to leave the survivor alone and solely dependent on their partner.
Micah’s Place, Nassau County’s Only Certified Domestic Violence Center, works with survivors to rebuild their support system with individual advocacy and counseling services, as well as support groups held weekly. Our 24-hour hotline makes speaking to an advocate easy and accessible.
If you are currently experiencing emotional, physical, psychological, economical, verbal, or any other kind of abuse, we can help you. Please call (800) 500-1119 or (904) 225-9979.
For more information, please visit www.micahsplace.org or call our administration office at (904) 491-6364.