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Help is available to domestic violence victims or those who observe any form of domestic violence, by calling 800-7283.

The Division and Domestic Violence Unit of the Ministry of Gender Affairs is educating the public about the signs of an abuser.

A newspaper ad campaign by the Division gives a list of behaviours that may indicate a potential batterer.

However the ad notes that it is not the purpose of the listing to imply that every person with some of the attributes listed is a batterer or potential batterer.

The ad lists and explains how to identify various abuse including physical abuse, destruction of property, sexual abuse, verbal abuse and psychological abuse.

Physical Abuse

Treats of violence: Any threat of physical force meant to control the partner.

Any force during an argument: Abuser may hold down the victim, physically, restraining him or her from leaving or pushing, shoving or any other forms of physical force.

Destruction of Property

Breaking objects: Used as punishment (breaking sentimental possessions), or to terrorise the victim into submission.

Sexual Abuse:

“Playful” use of force in sex: Restraining partners against their will during sex, initiating sex when partner is asleep, or demanding sex when partner is ill or tired, showing little concern for partner’s wishes and manipulating victim for sexual favours.

Psychological Abuse

Instils guilt: Abuser pressures the victim to commit quickly to the relationship, or makes the victim feel guilty for wanting to end the relationship.

Jealously: Victim is questioned about who they talk to and accused of flirting. The abuser is jealous of time spent with others, calls frequently or drops by unexpectedly.

Controlling behaviour: Abuser may assume all control of finances or prevent the victim from coming and going freely.

Isolations: Abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by serving the victim’s ties to outside support (relationships), and resources (finance, transportation etcetera).

Unrealistic expectations: Abuser expects the victim to meet all their needs, to take care of everything emotionally and domestically. Abuser sees victim as responsible for menial takes, stupid and unable to be a whole person without a relationship.

Blames others for problems: Victim is blamed for abuser’s problems or shortcomings.

Blames others for feelings: Feelings are used to manipulate. Common phrases: You’re hurting me by not doing what I want. “You control how I feel.”

Verbal Abuse: Saying things intended to be cruel and hurtful. Cursing or degrading the victim, or putting down the victim’s accomplishments, name calling etc.

Hyper-Sensitivity: abuser is easily insulted seeing slight setbacks as personal attacks.

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