It’s Women’s Club Wednesday.
Today, we will be looking at verbal abuse and silent treatment as a form of domestic violence with a particular focus on partner violence.
Many people think domestic violence is just about partner violence, but domestic violence is a general term for violence from partners or family members and close relatives, no matter where the violence takes place.
Partner violence is the specific one which comes from a partner.
Talking about verbal abuse and the silent treatment, some people never raise their hands to beat anyone, but their words or their body language is deadly. Such abuse is more dangerous because no one can see the bruises or the ensuing scars, but they are there and are just as potent, if not more potent, as physical bruises and scars.
Women suffer domestic violence more. Women suffer about 60% of Partner Violence. So we need to talk about it.
If you are single, and the man is speaking to you without respect, insulting you and always showing you how wrong you are, you should realize that these are signs. How will such a man respect you when you finally get into the home with him as his wife?
Maybe he tells you how ugly your complexion is, or how bad you are compared to some other lady, or he complains that you are not enough. He does this more when he is angry and wants you to hurt as much as he is hurting.
Or is he the kind of person who punishes you by ignoring you when you annoy him or when you do something he doesn’t like. He knows you would be uncomfortable, he knows you will be beating yourself up, and he knows that you will beg him, so he gives the silent treatment. He doesn’t shout at you, he doesn’t lift a finger to physically assault you but he is killing you, emotionally.
If you are single and your man is as described above, leave. Just leave.
If you are married, it is a different ball game. The difference is not in the wrongness, it is definitely wrong. The difference is in the fact that some laws bind you both together and usually, the bond of affection is stronger in marriage. I mention this thing about bonding to show that I understand the fact that it is not as easy to just leave. I understand.
However, I also want you to realize that you are responsible for yourself. You are to protect yourself and protecting yourself involves fighting or taking flight, whichever is safer. The fact that you are married doesn’t mean you should allow yourself get destroyed in your home. The fact that you are married doesn’t mean that you cease to matter to the community, to God and to your family. Ask yourself if you are helping yourself by remaining in the house with the abuser. If not, leave.
Maybe you don’t leave the marriage immediately, but leave the environment to protect your mind, you leave to protect your sanity, you leave to retain your individuality and self-worth. You may work on the marriage, by seeing counsellors, praying, talking, but leave the toxic environment first if you want to solve the problem.
Many people may not agree that a married woman should leave her home just because a man is speaking to her wrongly. They may say, “He is not beating her, he is not cheating on her, so why should she leave? Let her stay and pray. Marriage is not easy!”
Words are powerful. Worlds have been created with words. The world we live in was created with Words. What we say is a kind of prophecy; it is a kind of building activity. Each word we say to someone either builds or breaks something within the person. When someone tells you that you are stupid, if he or she says it long enough, you begin to believe it and act it. If the person tells you that you are beautiful, if he or she says it long enough, you believe it and act it.
Someone may say she should rebuke it each time a wrong word is said, but the question is for how long? How long will you stay n a toxic environment without the toxicity snuffing out your vitality? How long can you hear someone tell you how useless you are without doubting your usefulness or relevance in life? Some people have committed suicide because they believe they were useless, following the consistent words of a parent or a respected individual.
Protect yourself from verbal abuse and silent treatment. The first time it is done make sure the person knows you won’t accept it. If it repeats itself, take action. We are to protect our minds with all diligence because if our minds get broken, we are broken. Someone said that the mind is the measure of the man, and I agree.
You are how your mind conceives you to be. The Good Book says, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” We can never be more than we believe ourselves to be. If you keep hearing that you are stupid, one day you will believe it. If you believe you are stupid, one day you will act stupid and the day you act stupid, you prove that you are indeed stupid.
If a man gives the silent treatment, try to encourage him to talk. If he continues, forgive yourself and go your way. Don’t let it disturb you. Adults confront issues and work on them. Adults don’t sulk and act like someone stole their sweets.
You want to be with an adult when it comes to relationships and marriage.
Recognize these subtle abusive manners for what they are, and take the necessary actions, or you’d wake up one day and find that you are a broken woman who is unsatisfied with life and you will wonder how you got there. Take care of yourself, set yourself free.
Finally, one major reason women stick to abusive men is that they have wrong views on marriage.
Next time, we will talk about the views on marriage which should change.
Need to talk to someone? Reach me at [email protected]