There is a type of mute, deaf, invisible violence in which the victim is made to suffer through blaming or devaluation taking advantage of the affection that he feels towards his aggressor: psychological abuse, that is, any type of systematic behavior that causes emotional damage in the person and affects their emotional balance.
It is true that all couples have their fights and misunderstandings and it may be that during an argument too painful things are said because when we fight with someone we usually say things that we do not really feel to hurt the other person, but we should not allow this guy of acts are repeated often , as they could end the relationship and our mental health.
The problem arises when these types of situations are exceeded . There are many types of abusive people and among them we find men and women indistinctly. Physical abuse is often easier to detect, since the other person will present obvious physical harm to others. However, psychological abuse is more difficult to detect because the aggressor does not always resort to yelling, humiliation, name calling or verbal violence . In some cases, he uses irony, sarcasm, silence or indifference.
The worst of all this is that only the affected part suffers , which leads to a series of harmful symptoms in the long run: You have a physical discomfort, your self-esteem is on the ground, your stress and your anxiety increases. You are realizing that you are losing your social relationships, often reaching isolation and you feel that you have stopped being the person you were. In addition, your irritability, apathy, indecision and insecurity increase, also having problems in eating and alterations in your sleep hours.
You do not feel like dressing up, you leave, you neglect yourself and you have attacks of anger directed at other people outside your relationship. You feel that you are emotionally dependent on that person, even though you don’t feel like having sex. Guilt increases and you feel ashamed. You feel inferior and you don’t see yourself capable of making decisions . In turn, these effects of psychological abuse cause the climate within the couple relationship to continue to worsen even more, which has serious consequences for the victim.
The first step in dealing with psychological abuse is knowing how to identify its signs , which is difficult since they are dynamic and do not occur from one day to the next and they are subtle signs that we hardly notice. In addition, the abuser usually asks for forgiveness after the assault and usually wants to reconcile , this makes the victim feel a certain sense of guilt.
The important thing is to remember that our person comes before anyone else . Despite this, it is very common that the victim of this type of abuse does not recognize it immediately. At first you will wonder if you have caused that reaction in some way or if you are exaggerating. Thus, in the attempt to find an explanation, he tends to blame himself . Error.
What to do in case of psychological abuse
If you consider that you are suffering psychological abuse, do not try to change the situation you are living because it is very difficult for your aggressor to change, no matter how much he tells you in the moments when you consider leaving him. Don’t believe it because this almost never, if ever, happens. On the contrary, violence tends to grow progressively. The best thing is that you leave and flee from that situation . You have not come into the world to put up with anyone, but to love and be loved with affection, respect and trust. Here are some tips to know what to do in case of psychological abuse:
- Surround yourself with your loved ones: Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends about the situation you are going through. You will be amazed at the support they will give you.
- Never justify their actions : Nothing justifies psychological abuse, not that your partner has a strong character, or that he has serious problems in his life or is stressed or has had a difficult past. On the contrary, all that should be more reasons to be a loving, respectful person who values the luck of having someone by his side who loves and supports him.
- Don’t blame yourself or question yourself : You may have been wrong about something, but violence is not the answer. Everything can be solved from the word, respect and understanding.
- Do not maintain contact with the aggressor : If it has been a short time since you have made the decision to leave him, it is very likely that you are emotionally vulnerable. Something that that person can take advantage of to turn the story around at any time and fool you again.
- Do not be afraid that the situation will repeat itself with another person : The problem is not yours, but the abuser who has made you go through very bad times due to his emotional imbalance. Surely another person does know how to enjoy your company.
- Do not fall into the consumption of alcohol, medications or anything like that : The solution is not there, but in specialized people that you can turn to in case you need psychological assistance.
Therefore, if you consider that the person next to you overpowers, makes you feel bad, belittles you, leaves you in evidence, or even comes to blows, do not hesitate to nip that relationship in the bud. There will always be someone who loves you and accepts you as you are. Do not let anyone belittle you or speak ill of you , simply look for a partner who treats you as you would treat them: with love, affection and respect for life and stay away from people who do not make you feel happy with yourself.
How and where to find help
Call 016 if you find yourself in this situation. You can do it from anywhere in Spain and at any time of the day. They serve several languages, it is free and does not leave a trace on the invoice . On the other side you will find trained people who can help you recognize a situation of abuse, offer you information on available resources and indicate the nearest point of care or even notify the emergency department and the police.
It is not a line exclusively for women. They can also call their friends or relatives to ask for advice and find out the best way to help that person who they think is being abused.
Another option is to go to the primary care doctor, the City Council social services and women’s associations . Women who suffer gender violence have the right to report and can do so before the local, national or regional Police, the Civil Guard, the Prosecutor’s Office or the courts. In addition, they will not have to pay court fees and can have a public defender. All the rights that correspond to them are included in the Comprehensive Law of Measures for the Prevention of Gender Violence.