What is the meaning of domestic abuse?

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.

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.

Physical and Sexual Violence (outer ring)

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.

4 thoughts on “What is the meaning of domestic abuse?

  1. This is such a shame and a lot of it about these days, i have a friend going through this at the moment, so i am trying to find answers for her, the main answer i know is to leave (easier said than done)
    This post will help her understand a bit more as it is easier for her to read rather than tell her verbally.
    Can you ever get over being scared of someone?.
    This is a good post, keep up the good work 🙂

    1. I am really sorry to hear about your friend. Yes the obvious answer is to leave, but you are right it is way easier said than done. Hearing it from someone else impartial is a good start, and the written word can be re-read without pressure from those around them. The time will come when realisation will sink in, and confidence then wins over. As for being scared of someone – I am not scared of him, but scared of his behaviour, yet it’s been many months and I still have setbacks. Just remain supportive and be there when they ask.

  2. This is a problem worldwide and many families have been destroyed because of this, this is so terrible but the good news is that there are programs that are there that are helping so many people that have found themselves in this position. Your post is filled with tons of information that will be of good help to your readers

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Yes unfortunately it is an ever increasing problem but is also more recognised than ever.

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