There is a hidden beast within many relationships, the victims all to often suffer in silence, they are slowly isolated from their friends, their support network and even their families. The effects of a Toxic relationship' can completely destroy one's self-esteem, confidence and even the will to live.
It all creeps up so very slowly, normally with flattery, open displays of affection and public seduction, this is how it is so very often missed by those closest to the victim, who may actually be envious of the attention the victim is getting. However, beneath the surface, there is a festering emotional and very sinister agenda.
The coercive abuser begins by seizing on every opportunity to find fault with the victim, their actions, their behaviour, their friends and their families. The exploit those situations to gradually alienate them, leaving the victim increasingly alone.
Gradually, it can all seem normal to the victim, apart from the fact that they cannot do right for doing wrong, they eventually begin to question themselves, actually believing that they may be at fault. The more they believe that they may be to blame, the more they are subjugated to the will of the abuser and that is the slippery road to an emotional, psychological and even physical prison sentence.
I would highly recommend reading through this checklist, courtesy of 'Living Without Abuse'
Read over the following bullets. Answer honestly and without justifying your partner's behaviour (don't say "Well, she's not like that ALL the time," or "It's only happened once or twice--" if it happened at all it's an issue!). Simply answer yes or no. Even 3-4 yes's mean it is time to get out and get with someone who treats you with the respect you deserve. Does your partner:
Hearing multiple versions of the "same" story? Do their friends tell you things about your partner that you've never heard, or that your partner flat-out contradicted? Half-truths and selective memories often mean they're shaping the "truth" for you. This is a major red-flag for manipulation, and you best get to the bottom of it.
Cutting you off from the friends and family helps her/him gain dominance over you. Then, because they are so terrible, they make you think that it's your decision to leave them. If they're constantly talking behind your friends' backs, making jokes about your family, or making a big scene every time you leave to be with pals, then screw that relationship and move on.
If your partner is protective of you, that's sweet. If they're bizarrely over-protective, it's scary and super annoying. Does she/he interrogate you if you aren't home exactly on time, or if you go out for any reason? Do they question you too intensely about why you were talking to another person? Does your partner tell you that you don't care about them if you spend time with a friend?
A little jealousy is normal, even cute. But it shouldn't affect your daily relationships. Jealousy means they don't trust you. And if they don't trust you, they aren't worth dating.
It's okay for your partner to be two hours late, but you get attacked if you're five minutes off schedule? It's "perfectly innocent" when they flirt but you're accused of infidelity for saying "Hey?" If you save money then you're being too stingy, if you spend it you're careless with money. No matter what you do, you are at fault -- and this kind of bullshit can't stand.
These are just games meant to screw with your head, and are common in controlling-manipulative relationships. You're not going to win, so don't play the game. Get out!
He/she does something that is totally unacceptable then asks your forgiveness. They tell you they realize they were wrong, and promises to change. They seem utterly sincere and convincing — and this is what makes them such master manipulators. They're using you -- the compassionate, kind one-- and turning your kindness against you. Watch for the bad behavior to resume as soon as they believe they have you hooked and complacent again. Then watch as they apologize again, rinse, and repeat.
Coercive behaviour can frequently become physical, although the damning effects of psychological abuse do go unnoticed.
Here are some statistics courtesy of the 'Living without abuse' website visit them HERE
In addition, approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months, 200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide
It has been estimated that domestic abuse costs the public £23 billion per annum. This includes the cost to the criminal justice system, to the health service, to social care and to housing. It is widely accepted however that this figure is an under-estimate as there are so many costs that can not be measured.
The Home Office estimates that each domestic abuse murder costs the country just over £1 million and totals £112 million per annum.
Further statistical information is available from the British Crime Survey Statistical Bulletin.
For those in need of help, call LWA directly on their Outreach number 0808 80 200 28