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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Prevalence of Relationship Violence – Resisting It

Signs of relationship violence are awkwardly familiar to the many. Some are just so surprised what it can be. Chances are we’ve both been victims of it and perpetrated it.

Relationship violence can be as obvious as a partner hitting the other and injuring them (or not) and as innocuous as a restrained threat. The actual activities of violence are so wide-ranging; we’re all given to have been affected. Very few of us either hasn’t been affected or won’t be affected in future.

Did you know that the following—as a sample only—constitutes violence?

ü Driving a vehicle too fast to incite fear in passengers.

ü Constant nagging or needling of a partner.

ü Not allowing a partner to choose their own friends.

ü Belittling a partner in public.

ü Controlling, or restricting access to, money.

ü Sexual violations, whether intended only or acted upon.

We can readily see here that violence is really a failure to love our partners, family or others appropriately i.e. with the required level of care that’s expected.

Why Violence?

Violence occurs perhaps mainly due to reactions of fear from people who feel out of control. For an instant they lose the logic to problem-solve for themselves and therefore go with the reptilian brain—to fight their way out of the issue.

This doesn’t help the victim much.

They very easily see that their way of life, especially if the violence is regular and repeated, is hopeless and anxiety- and depression-related illnesses and disorders can be brought on or ensue.

This also doesn’t help the perpetrator, who might actually loath themselves or be deeply remorseful for their unloving attitudes and behaviour.

Resisting Violence Is About Taking Action

Resisting it is as much about taking action than anything else. What we let go of we give tacit permission to, or approval for it to continue. It can be seen here that we can very easily perpetuate bad situations through a lack of action, and these contributing to our own demise.

Not that it’s our fault if we’re being abused.

It’s just up to us to take action and get help; not just for us, but for the situation and for the perpetrating partner too.

If our direct actions at intervention, i.e. with the partner or perpetrator, haven’t worked, we need to be prepared and courageous enough to go steps further.

We could speak to a trusted friend or support person. We could speak to our doctor. Also at ready access is a violence help line. Information and support are vital.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Further Reading: John Ashfield, Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family – A Resource Book for Good Mental Health – 11th edition (Norwood, South Australia: Peacock Publications for BeyondBlue, 2004), pp. 218-20.

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