Life gets me wondering why victims of domestic violence seem glued to their abusers. I mean, why would one keep pardoning their tormentors.
There is certainly a slim line between being abused and deciding not to tolerate it any further, but victims always seem submissive to abuse.
To ascertain facts behind this, I talked to Nicole Sharpe of the Heather Hurley foundation
According to Nicole, in most cases, abusers are people we love or entirely depend on.
Having lost a mother to domestic violence, Nicole detests domestic violence,” I saw my father killing my mother, it started as a small brawl and I endedup losing a mother, whether the intention was to kill or not, the root cause to all this was domestic violence.”
Having known how much her mother loved her father, Nicole believes that love makes one submissive to abuse, a weakness that can lead to loss of life.
Research has established three forms of violence that victims easily submit to and these include phycological abuse, economic abuse and the most recognised physical abuse.
It is often referred to as emotional abuse.
According to Safe Life Organisation UK, phycological abuse involves the regular and deliberate use of a range of words and nonphysical actions with the intentions to manipulate ,hurt, weaken or frighten a person mentally and emotionally. basically distort, confuse or influence a persons thoughts or actions.
This definition brings us back to why victims do not realise that they are being abused. Once another person controls how you think, you become subject his abusive intentions.
Emotional abusers use humiliating or belittling words to convince their victims that they can not do anything on their on thus leaving becomes their last option.
They use words like, ”you are very ugly, if you leave me no one will want to have you” ,which is not true at all but with this being constantly fed to the emotionally abused person it starts to feel real.
You look at yourself in the mirror and you see nothing but ugly and you start seeing your life amounting to nothing if your abuser is absent in your life. Victims continue living this life because of the urge to feel needed and victims find themselves entangled with no escape route.
This occurs when one intimate partner has control over the other partners access to economic resources which diminishes the victims capacity to support themselves and forces them to depend on the perpetrator financially.
This form of abuse usually affects women who cannot financially provide for themselves and their children. After marriage most men ask their wives to stay home to be homemakers and take care of the children with the assurance he will take care of the her needs and those of her children which usually starts well until she cannot possess money or property of her own,purchase desired goods or exercise financial freedom.
In a continent like Africa where jobs are scarce going back to a job you left is impossible and with that in mind the victim begins to wonder what they will do without the financial backup from the perpetrator hence they continue being glued to them.
The intentional act of causing harm, injury or trauma to another person is the most recognised form of domestic violence, well maybe its because it involves physical pain thus it can be easily detected.
This form of violence usually finds victims emotionally disgruntled and financially startled ready to submit to whatever abuse they are subjected to.
Once a victim is financially dependant and emotionally shattered they are ready to take whatever comes their way with the belief that their no better life without their tormentors.
Some female victims are emotionally abused to the point they admit to, “he beats me because he loves me ,its my fault because I make him angry.”
Societies has further created two stereotypes;
1. Only women are victims of domestic violence and
2. Its the victims fault they are in their situations.
The two have been proven to be wrong.
Women abuse men too and, in most cases, they use phycological abuse. Men are masculine and their toxic masculinity allows them to abuse the intimate partners.
Victims are not to blame because most of them do not know they are victims and some are financially depending on their perpetrators.
A lot of people have endured these abuses due to two reasons, which include; lack of knowledge and failure to cater for their financial needs but thanks to the Heather Hurley foundation.
Heather Hurley Foundation is a U.S based charity Organization reaching out to over 5,000 domestic violence victims across the globe.
With sustainable loans for start up businesses, Victims are helped to become financially independent.
Heather Hurley has over 10 engaged communities on domestic violence awareness.
Domestic violence is not gender orientated, anyone can fall victim regardless of their gender. Studies carried by Uganda Police in 2020 reveal that 1 in 4 women is a victim and 1 in 6 men is also a victim therefore the notion that women are the only victims is null and void.