You need to consider the whole aspects of domestic violence before you can pinpoint the meaning of domestic abuse. It is often an opinion, as the particular level, situation and/or reasoning behind the abuse may be severe to one sufferer, but not considered as extreme on the spectrum to another.
So lets break that down. We know that domestic means home. So any situation that refers to your home, your family, your life in that home and with that family. Now if you have read my post on the Emotional Abusive Relationship, you would have read that I prefer to call domestic violence as domestic abuse, because of the automatic assumption that is made when the word violence is used. We tend to think of physical abuse when we hear the word violence. I also referred to the Duluth Power and Control Wheel, a circle divided into sections describing tactics used by abusers to control the life and behaviour of their partner. Only one of these sections actually detail physical violence – hence why I refer to it as domestic abuse – there is so much more to it than being physically hurt.
You could see in the diagram what each different section was labelled. Each of the following links will take you to the actual website of the Duluth Model explaining each section, where you can view videos and listen to discussions and gain an understanding of that particular aspect of the wheel.
- Using Intimidation
- Using Emotional Abuse
- Using Isolation
- Minimizing, Denying and Blaming
- Using Children
- Using Male Privilege
- Using Economic Abuse
- Using Coercion and Threats
I used to look at these alot, trying to determine if I was in an abusive relationship. And yes, I definately was. The only one I can honestly say was not used in my relationship, was economic abuse. Well not in the way that is described at least. After counselling sessions, workshops and guidance, I was able to realise and accept that the relationship I was in was abusive.
Now I mentioned above about my opinion on the difference between using the word abuse instead of the word violence. The diagram shows that the inner sections describing eight titled forms of abuse are encircled by an outer circle labelled physical and sexual violence. Alot of the methods used by an abuser are encompassed by using these two forms. But they don’t have to happen. They do not need to be a part of an abusive relationship for it to be called domestic abuse. The link below will also take you to the Duluth Model website, where you can learn more.
I hope you are able to understand a little more about the meaning of domestic abuse from the Power and Control wheel, and if it can help you in your future. If you are still in a domestic abuse situation, I can only advise that you seek help, talk to anyone, even your friend, as you should not be holding such suffering inside of you.
If you are out of the domestic abuse situation, than you have taken a step forward to a better life for yourself, and here I hope I am able to help in some way to regain positive thoughts and learn that it was not your fault in any way, that you are valued, and will take small steps to enrich your life.
Just look in the mirror and say – Today I will Empower Myself.