What You See ~ What You Don’t See

What You See~What You Don’t See

Debbie Menzel ~ Kids Konnection Coordinator

A lot of people have been discussing ‘The Dress’.  Of whether it is gold and white or whether it is black and blue.  I clearly saw the dress as gold and white and was surprised to see that others had a differing opinion.  They had a differing perception.  Recently, there has been a spin to ‘The Dress’ and a much more visible one.  It is now one of getting the word out there about Domestic Violence.  The dress is on a woman that is black and blue all over from being abused. ‘The Dress’ has a very important purpose now without even having to provide an explanation.  The abuse is very visible. Abuse though is not always a visible one.

Abuse can be using intimidation by making a person afraid by using certain looks, actions or gestures.  By smashing things around them or destroying things that are important to them.  Abuse can be the abuse of pets, to pets that are important to the victim. The displaying of weapons can be another form of intimidation.

Abuse can be using emotional abuse.  The constant put downs, making the victim feel bad about themselves, calling them names, playing mind games, making them feel guilty about perhaps overreacting about an incident.  These are red flags and should be noted that a relationship is an abusive one.

Abuse can be by isolation. The controlling of everything the victim can do and cannot do.  Who they see, where they go, limiting those they see and then using jealousy to justify the abusers actions. Abuse can be minimizing, denying and blaming.

Abuse can be using male privilege. Treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, acting like the ‘master of the castle, being the one to define men’s and women’s roles.  Abuse can be using economic abuse. Preventing the victim from getting or keeping a job, making them ask for money or taking their money and not letting them know about or have access to the family income.

Abuse can be using coercion and threats. Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt the victim, threatening to commit suicide, to report them to welfare, promise not to do it again and that they are overreacting, Hold something over their head that is illegal.

Abuse can be using children.  Making the victim feel they are a bad parent, using the children to relay messages to the other parent, threatening to take the children away from the victim.  All of what abuse is, isn’t just to do with what you can see.  It is also what you don’t see.  All of the above should be red flags that a relationship isn’t what it should be.  It should be a catalyst to get out, to get out of a relationship before it is too late.