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Defining Abuse

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Some have not known how to protect themselves:


Logos/TimesUp.jpg
Time's Up!

Abuse
 
She sits on the bed,
her legs drawn up against her chest,
her arms wrapped around her calves,
her head down.
The tears stream down her shins
as she rocks back and forth
as his hatred washes over her.

And still he screams,
And still he blames,
And still he condemns.

Her tears only fuel his rage.
Her fears only feed his anger.
Her pleas only fan his fury.

So she stops and pretends to be brave,
faking the courage she must have
to get through to the morning,
to find her way to the haven she needs
but doesn't have.

And then he stops, and he consoles
and he begs for forgiveness
which she's too afraid not to grant
or at least to pretend she grants.

So she says, "It's ok. I know you don't mean it."
And she knows he doesn't that it's him he hates.
But that doesn't make the knife less sharp.
 
ABUSE IS MORE THAN HITTING
Other abusive behaviors include :
*Controlling or isolating you
*Exhibiting constant jealousy
*Abusing alcohol or other drugs
*Refusing to let you have money
*Restricting or controlling your activities
*Coercing or forcing sexual activity
*Embarrassing you in front of others
*Calling you names
*Threatening you or the children physically or *Financially
*Telling you that you are stupid or worthless
*Constantly demanding his way
*Ignoring your opinions or wishes
*Destroying your possessions
*Intimidating you by shouting, hostile looks, or hostile gestures

ABUSE TYPICALLY FOLLOWS A REPEATING PATTERN OR CYCLE:
Stage 1: Tension builds
Stage 2 Explosion of physical, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse
Stage 3 Calm; the "honeymoon" phase ; the abuser may show sincere remorse and promise sincerely to never do it again
 
Important things to do:
*Always keep a record of dates and times of incidents.
*Always report the violence to your doctor ensure that they record your injuries and all the details of the assault
*Always seek medical attention for any injuries - do not cover up the true cause.
*Always take legal advice
*Do tell your family and friends what is happening to you.
*Do not be provoked into retaliating
 
Domestic violence sometimes referred to as domestic abuse or intimite abuse occurs when a family member,partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another.
 
Domestic violence often refers to violence between spouses, but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners.
 
The term "intimate partner violence" (IPV) is often used synonymously. Other terms include wife or husband beating, battering, "relationship violence", "domestic abuse", and "spousal abuse".
 
Family violence is a broader definition, often used to include child abuse, elder abuse, and other violent acts between family members. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and classes can be perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is perpetrated by, and on, both men and women, and occurs in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.
 
Awareness and documentation of Domestic violence Domestic violence has many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation or threats of violence.
 
Physical: Are there signs of injury from hitting, punching, strangulation, kicking? Are there signs of damage to the home from objects thrown or destroyed “in anger”?
 
Emotional/Psychological: Do you hear yelling? Are insults, threats, or degrading comments regularly used by one partner to the other?
 
Power and Control: Is this a relationship where one partner has all the power and control? Is one partner kept from seeing friends or family? Is one partner extremely jealous about anything the other does or who they know? Is one partner overly possessive of the other? Does one partner control all aspects of family finance? Does one partner control what the other wears – how they act – where they can go – whether they can work?
 

Because I was called to testify at Julia's trial regarding my affiliation with a local group I feel a need to add an adendum and hope it only provides enlightenment and not negative feelings.
 
The following may not apply to you at all.  But if it serves to save and protect only one person then all is worth any ill feelings.  Because my testimony was involving BDSM it is important that people know what BDSM is and is not:
 
If you've ever felt the feelings expressed in Trish's poem, you have been abused.

A healthy loving relationship is not about hate, anger, rage, self-loathing, or destroying someone's self-esteem.  A healthy loving relationship promotes personal growth and healing.

If you've ever felt those feelings after an encounter with your partner, you have been abused. If you seek to elicit those feelings from your partner, you are an abuser. In either case, you should get help *now*.
 
I am extremely offended by comparisons between D/s and abuse. I've been on the receiving end of abuse. And I've been submissive to a Dominant man. They aren't even remotely similar experiences. It belittles the experience of abuse victims to cavalierly compare the abuse suffered in the past or continue to suffer today to D/s relationships because it's a convenient analogy. It's *not* a valid comparison. It's not a matter of comparing apples and oranges. It's comparing apples and poisonous snakes. One will nourish you the other will kill you.
 
And worse than that, it just angers me. Who are these people who say that a submissive has no power or choice at all? Where have you been?   Pull your head out to the sunshine and wake up.  Submissives are some of the strongest people I know. Only an abuser would make such proclamations.
 
All lifestyle submissives, even the TPE submissives, even the submissives who can't leave without permission from their masters have the freedom to leave. Hey! It's a fantasy world we live in. We can all say, "I want out," any time we want. What's going to happen if he doesn't agree? He's either going to have to re-work the relationship to keep us wanting to stay there or let go. This is not the antebellum South.  It's a relationship; *ownership* has responsibilities.
 
Submissives act from a position of power, as do Dominants. Abusers and their victims do not. My abuser still tries to abuse me, however his words no longer have any power in my life. He can tell me I'm a liar, worthless, stupid, that I wrecked his life, that he knows I'm not a decent human being until the day he dies, and I'll never buy into it. It no longer hurts me because i am no longer weak and afraid. I see through the garbage he tries to throw at me. It's bull. It's weakness and fear and self-loathing that motivate him. He's not a dominant, and I was NEVER his submissive. I acquiesced to his bullying. No dominant has ever even tried to bully me.
 
If I give of myself, I do so because I WANT TO. When I want to please, it's because I GET something from it too. Which is another difference. A submissive *can* please her dominant. An abuse victim can't do anything that will ever truly satisfy the abuser even temporarily. Submission is not placating.
 
I hesitate to use the terms *real* or *true*, but in this case they apply. *True* Dominants don't seek to destroy their submissive. A *real* Dominant sees value in his submissive. A *true* Dominant feels her submissives power and strength. And revels in it, explores it, nurtures it.  A *true* Dominant seeks to help his submissive over come her weaknesses, over come her fears and be all that she can be.
 
After a scene, you may feel energized, quiet, sore, exhausted, owned utterly and completely, or loved beyond belief. You will *not* feel defeated, disrespected, hated, loathed, or defeated. If you do, you're being abused.
 
The human brain is an amazing thing. It can eroticize things that just blow me away sometimes. But no amount of mental gymnastics can eroticize abuse.
 
I know that once this talk about abuse and D/s dies away, it will not be gone forever. It will rear its ugly head again when some clueless jerk who can't think clearly enough to find a better metaphor uses it again.
 
And I pray that intelligent people will be here to slap that silly person.
But in a loving, consensual way.;)
 

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