1 in 3 Women throughout the world experience physical or sexual abuse.

Women all around the world experience abuse in many different forms. 36.6% of abused women in the world, are in an African country.

In a close relationship, it can often be confusing to know when you are being abused. Especially if your partner says he loves you, pays for things for you and gives you attention. Abusers often go through “nice” patches to ensure the relationship continues. This loving behaviour displayed by your partner does not justify their abusive behaviour.

The abuser usually goes through a cycle, repeating the behaviour.

  1. Tension Building Phase – this is the phase where tension is built up, this could be from an argument.
  2. Abusive Phase – this is where the abuse escalates. Verbally, emotionally, physically, and/or sexually. The abusive phase can last minutes to days.
  3. “Nice/Honeymoon” Phase – this is when the abuser apologies, buys you gifts, tells you how much they love you and promises to never hurt you again. Often the abused forgive their abusers in this phase.

As the relationship progresses, usually the abuse does too. The abusive phase becomes more severe, and the cycle becomes shorter. There is a shorter time between the “nice” phase and the abuse phase, therefore the abuse is more frequent.  Then the “nice” phase stops altogether.

Intimate partner violence can be domestic abuse, sexual assault, verbal and emotional abuse, coercion and stalking. Violence and abuse can cause emotional and physical damage that can last long after the abuse has ended.

Signs of abuse come in many different variations. Control over your body is one sign, when you are told when to use medication or contraceptives. Physically hurting you or threatening to hurt you or your loved ones. Forcing you to have intercourse or other intimate activities, are all forms of abuse.

The abuser can isolate you, so that you cannot see your family or friends. The abuser also plays on your emotional factors, for example: you staying in the relationship, by hoping the abuser will change, you having low self-esteem due to the abuse, and believing you deserve the abuse and feel hopeless. Social embarrassment also plays a role, whereby you do not want to speak out for fear of being shamed or the desire to protect the partner.

Domestic abuse (intimate partner violence) happens in relationships from people who are married or dating, former and ex-lovers, couples who live together but are not married and same-sex couples. Nearly 23 million women in the United States of America are sexually abused by their partner.

There is no acceptable excuse for abuse ever! The abuser is the only person causing you pain and is the only one that can make it stop.

You are not alone. Being abused is never your fault!

Help us support survivors of abuse

Donations are always appreciated, but there are lots of great ways to get involved.

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