Desert Sun Counselling provides individual and group counselling to women over the age of nineteen who have experienced childhood abuse, abuse in adult relationships and/or sexualized violence.
What is abuse?
Purpose: The purpose of abuse is to control behavior by the inducement of fear. Underlying all abuse is a power imbalance between the victim and the offender.
Definitions: Assault involves the intent by another to intimidate, either by threat or by use of physical force on the other person.
Types of Abuse
Emotional abuse can be difficult to pin down because there are no physical signs to look for. Emotional abuse consists of name calling, constantly belittling remarks, put downs, cheating lying mind games, throwing way/destroying possessions, threatening person with a weapon, devaluing person’s opinion, ridiculing person’s family and friends, forcing person to do degrading things, isolation from family and friends, controlling all of the person’s activities and threatening to kill oneself if left by the partner.
Physical abuse is often the most obvious form of abuse. It may be any kind of hitting, shaking burning, pinching, biting choking, throwing, whipping, paddling, beating and any other action that can cause physical injury, leave marks or produce significant pain.
Sexual Abuse is any type of unwanted sexual contact between two people. It also includes jokes, leering, sexual accusations, distasteful or painful sexual acts, flaunting series of affairs, being treated as a sex object, denying pleasure to control or manipulate the use of pornographic material that makes a person uncomfortable.
Financial Abuse: Depriving of money, making person account for every penny, no access to cash, stealing money, not allowing person access to financial records, not allowing enough for needs, coercing person into co-signing loans, lying about money, making person beg for money.
Danger Ahead (Fitzpatrick, 1989): Are you going out with someone who:
Is jealous and possessive toward you, won’t let you have friends, checks up on you, and won’t accept breaking up? Your family and friends have warned you about the person or told you that they were worried about you. Blames you when they mistreat you, says you provoked them, pressed their buttons, made them do it or led them on.
You worry about how they will react to things you say or do. Threatens you, uses or owns weapons. Has a history of fighting. Loses temper quickly brags about mistreating others. Pressures you to have sex. Thinks women or girls are sex objects.
Attempts to manipulate or guilt trip you by saying “If you really loved me you would….Gets too serious about the relationship too fast. Abuses drugs or alcohol and pressures you to take them. Has a history of bad relationships and blames the other person for all the problems. Believes that men should be in control and powerful.