Intimate partner violence is a way to control or hold power over another person. It can include financial, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse or any combination of them. Studies show that around 25% of women in America have been victims of physical intimate partner violence at some point. This statistic alone makes it essential for people to know more about the issue. Our experts on individual therapy offer the following things you should know about intimate partner violence.
If you are worried about a friend or loved one, here are some critical signs that they may be in an abusive relationship and need your support:
Physical abuse is the most recognized form of intimate partner violence and often occurs in sexual or romantic relationships. Abuse can take many forms, though, and can involve older adults and children. For example, it might be financial, emotional, sexual, or verbal.
Marginalized people are disproportionally affected by violence. Difficult circumstances do not cause intimate partner violence, but tension can be augmented by hardship, and access to resources can be more challenging during a crisis. For example, intimate partner violence increased due to curfews and lockdowns because of Covid-19, not to mention the worsening socioeconomic constraints and stress it caused.
People often overlook the signs of expanding attempts of one person to control another. They are often mistaken for concern or kindness. Early indications might be showing up to an event they weren't invited to or meeting their companion at their job to go home together on public transportation. These actions can be misread as love. They can appear to show that a partner wants to spend more time together or make sure their loved one is safe, but they really set a benchmark for crossing boundaries and limiting freedom of choice. Actions like this indirectly communicate that a partner could be anywhere at any time. This can cause people to modify their behavior and communication in social and work settings.
Abusers will do everything in their power to isolate their victims. They do this to make it hard for people to recognize when something is wrong and make the victim hesitant to ask for help. A partner insisting that other people, especially family, friends, and co-workers, are threats to the relationship, do not deserve attention, or need to be avoided for other reasons should be a big red flag. Abusers will make their victims dependent by taking away their support system.
These are just a few things you need to know about intimate partner violence. Friends and family need to notice the red flags because it can be challenging for victims to discuss. Although it is not possible to make decisions for a victim, showing support can make things easier. If you sense that your loved one is a victim of abuse, encourage them to seek individual therapy in Orlando today. Having a support system may give them the strength to seek the help they need to heal.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.