Domestic abuse looks different in every relationship. For some, it's physical, but for many, it's a combination of other forms of non-physical violence. This month I want to share with you some insight into social abuse, one of the most common forms of intimate partner abuse.
Often social abuse involves not being allowed to visit your family, make friends, catch up with neighbours or attend social gatherings. It may also involve the perpetrator forcing you to relocate to a remote region where family connections are made impossible. Further to this, it could mean calls and other forms of communication with friends and family are banned outright or are allowed with a high degree of monitoring.
Social abuse can also include the perpetrator constantly criticising your friends and family members or even publicly humiliating them, or you. For some people it may also include deliberate acts to destroy your personal or professional reputation.
Social abuse is vast and extremely destructive. It is one of the hardest forms of domestic abuse to deal with because its sole aim is to isolate and destroy someone, slowly and mercilessly. As with all forms of abuse it's often overt but, very often, it's covert. People are living with this form of control day after day... many times not even making the connection to domestic violence.
If your partner is controlling you, shaming you, humiliating you or isolating you.... you do not have to put up with it. This form of abuse, as with all forms of abuse, is a violation of your human rights. Help is available. If you're a female over the age of 18 you can reach out to me for support via the contacts below. Alternatively you can contact 1800 Respect on 1800 737 732. These counsellors are available 24/7.
- Erica is a women's health counsellor in private practice. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, on 0412 707 242 or via socials @shecounselling.