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Domestic violence: how to deal with a tyrant

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When parents raise an obedient girl, it is useful for them to remember that beyond the threshold of the house they will not always be with their child. And it is important to teach the girl to distinguish safe from dangerous situations, to be able to take enough care of herself and to be able to stand up for herself.

The international community recognizes violence against women and violence against children as a global problem of violation of human rights and public health.

Sexual violence, including sexual abuse of children and adults, is a crime that affects many women around the world and has profound psychological consequences.

People who have experienced sexual violence have a high level of post-traumatic disorders compared with any other group of people, and this is explained by the presence of extreme physical, psychological, spiritual disorders inherent in this type of crime (Chivers-Wilson, 2006).

Sexual abuse is a major public health problem and is defined as any sexual act committed against someone’s will (Basil & Salzmann, 2002).

According to Amnesty International, at least 30% of women in the world are victims of sexual violence, physical abuse, or both at the same time at some point in her life. In some countries, rates of violence against women reach 70%.

Women are more vulnerable to the trauma of sexual violence than to other types of shock injuries.

The results of a study published in June 2016 by the international publication Violence Against Women show that any form of sexual violence leads to trauma. However, studies have shown that although all forms of penetration cause negative mental and sexual symptoms, the level of trauma to women is directly related to the type of violence. Oral and / or anal rape does more damage women and cause additional deviations in the level of anxiety, depression, increase other symptoms of trauma and increase the dysfunction of sexual behavior in the future to a greater extent than with the vaginal variant of rape.

A 2016 study (Kucharska J., 2016) notes that women who have experienced sexual trauma note:

  • higher level of depression
  • lower self-esteem compared to women who have experienced non-sexual shock injuries
  • more often psychogenic infertility after trauma of violence

Physical and sexual violence is a special type of trauma due to the fact that the psychological fear of death and destruction is associated with physical actions and / or sensations. Since these traumatic events are organized by other people, trauma always affects relationships with people who are not involved in causing injury. This leads to the fact that it creates difficulties in the formation of close relationships or may make them impossible, as a result of avoiding them.

Symptoms of the consequences of sexual violence:

  • Changes in the self-image: low self-esteem, a sense of difference from others, self-rejection, negative self-image and depersonalization.
  • Changes in relationships: isolation, alienation, termination of close relationships, inability to trust, search for a savior, inability to protect oneself.
  • Emotional consequences: anxiety, depression, anger, shame, guilt.
  • Cognitive consequences: amnesia or hypermnesia of traumatic events, denial, cognitive distortion, dissociation, constant revival of trauma in the mind.
  • Physical reactions: psychosomatic pains: sore throat, lump in the throat, chest pain, epigastric pain, etc. sleep disturbances, sexual problems, urological symptoms, urogenital pains and increased dyspareunia (discomfort during intercourse or soreness in the genitals and pelvis with sexual intercourse. The disease has a psychological nature).
  • Behavioral changes: self-destructive behavior, self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, alcohol and drug use, repeated victimization.

Trauma is the result of a violation of natural psychobiological processes, not a mental pathology, and can be healed. It is formed due to the incomplete instinctive reaction of the body to a traumatic event, the reaction of flight, struggle or stupor. Traumatic symptoms, such as helplessness, anxiety, depression, psychosomatic complaints and others, arise as a result of the accumulation of residual energy, which was mobilized upon meeting a traumatic event and did not find a way out and discharge.

The meaning of trauma symptoms is to retain this residual traumatic energy.

The secondary effect of psychological trauma

  • fatigue, sadness, depression,
  • cynicism, frustration, lack of compassion,
  • irritability, sleep disturbances, obsessive nightmares associated with the causes of injuries,
  • somatic disorders: headaches, joint pain, upset stomach / diarrhea,
  • feeling of helplessness, disbelief, anger and rage, self-denial

Most respondents said they had experienced domestic violence and that emotional abuse was more common than other forms of violence. Logistic regression analysis showed that the risks of domestic violence against women increase if there are the following indicators:

  • low level of education,
  • getting married at a very young age,
  • marriage duration
  • number of children
  • housewife status
  • job loss etc

A new study published in the journal Child Abuse (Child abuse neglect.2016 Aug 24) analyzed the stories of 831 children and parents participating in longitudinal studies of child abuse and / or neglect. We studied the relationship between a child who has experienced physical and sexual abuse and teenage victimization by peers, as well as the potential for gender moderation of these relationships. The results showed that children who have been physically abused before age 12 have a greater risk of bullying and physical abuse by peers at age 16. And children with a history of sexual abuse are more likely to be physically abused, but not intimidated. There is no evidence that the gender of the child was a moderator in these relationships; in all cases, the relationship between violence and victimization was similar in boys and girls. The results obtained emphasize the need for timely provision of psychological assistance to victims of violence in order to end the victimization cycle.

In August 2016, American and Canadian scientists published an article in the journal Trauma Violence Abuse. The School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby of Canada, and the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of North Georgia, USA studied the different levels of resistance of a woman trying to inflict sexual violence on her. Researchers have determined that the more actively a woman resists, the more chances she has of avoiding rape. This conclusion is made on the basis of tests for physical resistance, verbal resistance, or resistance of any other kind.

In addition, scientists at the University of Tennessee studied the relationship between dispositional attentiveness, tolerance for distress, dating women and committing violence. We investigated how internal psychological aggression leads to physical abuse. It turned out that women who allow their inner feelings to come and go without explanation, criticism or avoidance are better at transient disasters and less prone to violence from a partner during dating (2016)

Injuries from past violence are often reflected in future events. Australian scientists in 2016 examined vulnerability to intimate partner violence and mental health problems in the first 4 years after giving birth to mothers who survived childhood violence. The purpose of this study was to study the patterns between trauma of violence and the health effects of women in early childbearing age.

The study involved 1,507 nulliparous women (from 24 weeks of pregnancy or more). Child abuse was reported by 41.1% of women. 4 years after the birth of the first child, women reported:

  • 28.2% of intimate partner violence,
  • 25.2% about depression,
  • 31.6% of anxiety disorders.

Violence in childhood was associated with the development of the following negative indicators:

  • Depression or anxiety 1.5-2.6 times more often
  • 1.8-3.2 times more intimate partner violence.

Physical abuse in childhood is largely associated with depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period., and intimate partner violence is associated with stressful life events, while sexual violence remains significantly associated only with anxiety. Women who start childbearing with a history of childhood abuse are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence and report poorer mental health (Gartland D., 2016).

It is well known that childhood abuse is a risk factor for the development of various mental and narcological disorders. However, to date, little research has focused on the possible long-term physical consequences of trauma of violence.

Clinical studies involving 21,878 men and women showed that physical abuse in childhood and sexual abuse in childhood are risk factors for diabetes. For the most part, the relationship between diabetes and physical abuse is mediated and is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (Shields ME, 2016).

Adverse childhood events are rarely studied due to the increased risk of various diseases, including cancer. A recent study by American doctors examined the relationship between adverse childhood events and cervical cancer. Scientists have determined that in children living in families in which adults were abusive to each other, increased risks of cervical cancer (Alcalá HE., 2016).

In order to escape from the trauma of trauma, it is necessary to complete the traumatic reaction, discharge the remaining energy and restore the disturbed processes, turning to the natural ability to recover from the trauma and return to the normal state of dynamic equilibrium.

Most women turn to conventional psychotherapy, consisting of various areas of psychotherapy, such as a psychodynamic approach, cognitive-behavioral, or supportive therapy. Despite their effectiveness, many of these methods require months and years of recovery and psychiatric healing, and many women do not achieve full recovery due to high dropout rates and high costs of medical or psychotherapeutic care.

In trauma therapy, the body is given credit and a special role is given to bodily experiences. Opportunities for healing from trauma lie in experiencing the trauma itself and there are mechanisms in the body that both create trauma and allow you to free yourself from it.

The internal healing processes that are used in the treatment of trauma are essentially internal processes of self-regulation. Awakening of these processes occurs due to the therapist’s appeal to the victim’s resources. The key to healing the trauma lies in bodily feeling, in establishing contact with your body. Trauma freezes in the body, therefore it is the feeling of bodily sensations that allows you to carry out somatic procedural work with trauma.

Our psyche has its own logic when it decides how to deal with trauma.
And no matter what the injury period of limitation.

In women survivors of violence, after 1.5 - 2 years from the moment of rape, it was found: (according to Nedelson's research)

  • 41% of them noted a fear of repeated violence,
  • 32% have various emotional disorders,
  • 40% have neuroses.

The trauma inside us is like a sleeping volcano; for the time being, it may not remind of itself, wait in the wings.

But as soon as associations arise that are similar to that, that, that, that (a trigger may be something similar from there and then: face, word, familiar intonation, melody, smell, etc.), the old painful memory is resuscitated and the trauma lives on over and over again.

This chain of repetitions breaks off only when a point is set in this once-incomplete brain work and the simplest, safest and fastest way to complete this work is therapy (especially the short-term model of work with trauma).

The help and support of a psychologist is effective and valuable during the period of grief, pain, fear, resentment, disappointment, weakening of internal supports, allows you to gain strength and continue to live on.

Psychotherapy enables the client in the process of working to see his resources, gain access to them and, confidently relying on them, move forward with new opportunities, desires, meanings and pleasure.

Psychotherapy in working with one traumatic episode can take 1 - 2 hours of work (or much longer). It should be noted that psychological counseling when dealing with such requests is not effective, nor is medication treatment effective, which is not able to make changes in the memory structures where traumatic experience is preserved.

Injury causes changes at the level of beliefs, unconsciously adopted in childhood under the influence of traumatic events. Each person makes important decisions in childhood in response to the so-called prescriptions, which are initially given by parents and other close people. Each child decides whether to accept or reject them. If accepted, they increase throughout life. In other words, adults continue to give themselves the instructions they once received from others or from fate.

Here are some of the primary prescriptions that are always found in dealing with injury: "I am helpless" "I cannot handle this." "I can't trust anyone." "I do not want to have children to suffer so much." "I am a bad man." etc

Recycled trauma, having lost its negative emotional charge, ceases to be trauma and becomes an experience.

"Everything that does not kill us makes us stronger." This statement can be fully attributed to the person who has done this important work within himself for himself.

Recent clinical trials recommend help that combines hypnosis and self-hypnosis, meditation, relaxation techniques, and aerobic exercises to help women learn to recover from traumatic life experiences, especially those associated with sexual abuse and coercion.

How to recognize that you live with a tyrant

• The husband constantly criticizes, humiliates and insults his wife, not even embarrassed by the presence of children or relatives. Demonstrates its "superiority" and its "wretchedness." Criticizes her mind, body, profession, insults her relatives. Constantly depreciating.

• Tries to control his wife on all issues to the smallest detail: money, calls, chatting with friends, time for yourself (pool, dancing, drawing, and so on). For the hours spent by the wife “personally on herself”, the husband tries to impose a feeling of guilt.

• It does not take into account the opinion of the wife, just confronts her with the fact both in the details and in important decisions - the husband does everything as he is used to and as he considers it necessary.

• Threatens directly or indirectly. For example, to get a divorce and pick up children, not to give money. Or he immediately puts the blame on his wife if she starts to resist: “I see that you want to destroy the family, leave the children orphans!”.

• It can threaten a “nervous breakdown,” that is, its aggression. A woman can explain this situation as follows: “You know how impulsive and unrestrained he is! If you don’t keep silent, there will be a big scandal, he’ll start a breakdown.

• In a sexual relationship does not count with the wishes of the wife. Depreciates her if she does not do something.

• May push hard.

• You can periodically beat (it is complicated by alcohol, but not necessary).

Why do women stay with rapists?

It seems surprising that women who have been abused have stayed with rapists for years. One of the main reasons is the cyclical nature of violence. The tyrant does not constantly mock: tension increases, then detente: scandal, massacre, derogatory words and so on.

After which he becomes gentle and affectionate, asks for forgiveness, plays with the children, arranges a family dinner with good conversations, buys tickets to the theater and so on.

And when the situation repeats, the victim says: “Well, he’s not always like that. There are many good things in our relationship. He is nervous, but kind. He loves us! ” These “bright streaks” in contrast to the hell of violence look especially sweet, there is a feeling of an emotionally rich, passionate life: “It’s either happier than me, or worse.”

What threat is this style of relationship

На самом деле эти качели выматывают, деморализуют жертву. Часто она не знает, выпадет ей сейчас милость или ее побьют, поэтому она живет в постоянном напряжении. Она старается жить так, «чтобы не вызвать агрессию».

Далее такой стиль жизни (зачастую заложенный родителями) действует на личность разрушительно. Self-esteem is falling, “expensive” defense mechanisms are being formed - up to alcoholization and psychosomatic manifestations. And at some point, the victim may begin to reason in this way: “But where will I go already, who needs me? Well, I’ll leave him, but if I don’t find anyone else? Will I stay alone? ”

Violence often flourishes in co-dependent families, where there are big problems with borders. A woman cannot imagine herself “alone”, as if she is inferior without her tyrant. But he does not believe that she has the right to something of her own (time, thoughts, mood, and so on.)

What needs to be analyzed first

In the event of domestic violence, it is important to understand the following:

• How long has this been going on? It was from the very beginning, but the wife did not define her husband’s actions as violence. It has appeared recently. Relations developed so gradually, and at first the violence was not so noticeable.

• How does the husband classify his actions? As a norm: “What of this?”. As a random episode: “I don’t know what came over me!” As a problem: "I understand that it should be different, I would like otherwise, but it does not work!".

• Is an open dialogue possible between you? On the topic of joint rules of life, how to contact anyone, is it possible to agree. Or is further life in doubt?

• If dialogue is possible, what steps the husband is ready to correct the situation. These may be, for example, new rules for living together or a visit to a psychologist.

• If the situation does not change, how much are you willing to endure?

• If you live with him in old age, what will it look like if nothing changes? Children will grow up, and health will be very little.

What to do if you become a victim of domestic violence

Each case is individual, and you need to understand it, taking into account all the features of your family lifestyle. However, there are general tips for all women who have experienced domestic violence.

It must be clearly remembered that the rapist is responsible for the violence. Very often, the victim takes the blame on herself, thereby avoiding confrontation and not opposing violence. Forget about "It’s my own fault, what is it ...".

Put a line that no one can cross: “It’s impossible with me! No one! ” And neither the fact that he is “the father of my children”, nor “beautiful roses in the cold”, nor the tender beginning of a relationship does not cancel this rule! Just like a kneel and a gift do not cancel the fingal under the eye. If dialogue is not possible, unfortunately, divorce may be the only way out.

Ask yourself regularly “What am I feeling right now?”. And also learn to distinguish your feelings from strangers. The fact is that in a co-dependent relationship there is a tendency to merge, and in a merger, boundaries are erased - it is not clear where one person ends and another begins, so difficulties arise with feeling oneself.

Save yourself and your personality. If there is no feeling of oneself (and the tyrant just etches this feeling!), Then it becomes unclear for whom to fight. And it’s impossible to get a divorce: who will remain after the divorce if the feeling of self is lost? Therefore, it is very important (and generally in any relationship) to maintain oneself: to have one’s own space, time for oneself, one’s own interests, tastes, friends and so on.

To have support is not to close all communication on a tyrant. Often in such families a woman falls out of society and it seems to her that in general, apart from her tyrant husband and children, there is nobody around. In addition, a feeling of guilt and shame may appear: “something is wrong with me, since I have such a family”. Feeling guilty can lead to self-isolation.

Contact a specialist. It would be nice to go to a psychologist, carefully choosing, listening to yourself - "fits - does not fit."

Seek support. If the situation is acute, immediately seek help and protection: hotlines, friends, and help centers for women in difficult situations.

Be more determined. To categorically raise the question: if nothing changes in the family, then it is impossible to remain in it.

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