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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

"When do relationship problems become abuse?"

17 replies

PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 18:09

Discuss.

I am doing a presentation on this at work, would be useful to have some other perspectives.

Thank you Smile

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 18:14

I am going to sort the kids out, and have a bit of a read through some stuff and will come back for your wise, intelligent and thorough views on this matter shortly, ok? Grin

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 19:05

a bit too heavy for a monday night eh? Grin

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colditz · 18/10/2010 19:07

i think a relationship problem becomes abuse when one party is reluctant to mention the problem to the other because of the possible repercussions.

eg - gambling is a relationship problem, it becomes abuse when the other partner is frightened of being hit or shouted at if s/he mentions that it is a problem or asks questions about money.

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ThePumpkinofDoomandTotalChaos · 18/10/2010 19:09

when you are living in fear? when you are restricted in your normal day to day activities because of your partner (whether it's work/financial/socialising)

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foreverastudent · 18/10/2010 19:10

When they are predominantly one sided, especially when the power balance has slipped form one side to the other.

If someone has broken the law then it is always abuse. For emotional/financial/verbal psychological abuse the frequency, duration and effect should be taken into account.

An objective test should be appplied.

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 19:14

foreverstudent can you give me an example of what you mean by an 'objective test'?

thanks for the responses so far.

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 19:15

forever a student sorry Blush

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dittany · 18/10/2010 19:19

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

foreverastudent · 18/10/2010 20:04

Well I mean that someone's own subjective view of whether or not they are being abused is not necessarily accurate.

There are lots of women who would answer 'no' if you asked them 'are you being abused?'. But if you delve further you discover that their partner has slapped them when they've been drunk/jealous. Sometimes if a woman can attribute the cause of the abuse to some external factor (alcohol/their own behaviour) they wont classify thier partner's behaviour as abuse as they can see it as 'reasonable/justified'.

I've seen it woork the other way in cases of female to male violence.

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 20:06

would you say, that in some relationships, there are some elements of what could be considered abuse, if in a context with other elements, factors, but on their own may not result in an 'abusive relationship'? I am thinking, jealousy and the need to check on partner's whereabouts, while this can be indicative of abuse, it is always abuse, if it comes from a deep-rooted insecurity that both partners are aware of, and accept, or are working on? or, perhaps, issues of trust due to previous relationship failures/trust issues (thinking maybe jealousy of male attention due to previous affairs of a partner).

I am wondering how blurred the definitions can be, or whether it is always clear cut, and when is the line crossed. That is what I am struggling with. As foreverastudent said, there are always clearcut black and white, yes that is abuse type situations - physical violence being the main, but i am wondering about the more subtle forms of abuse. When does it change?

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 20:08

and is abuse different to relationship problems, or is it a potential follow-on from relationship problems. ie, can a relationship problem lead to abuse, end up as abuse, or would it always have been abuse, just not identified as in the early stages, and thus always different to the normal relationship problems that people experience?

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foreverastudent · 18/10/2010 20:17

No, the same rules have to apply across all relationships. Trust/jealousy etc have to be dealt with seperately they cannot be used as excuses for doing things that would constitute abuse in a 'normal' relationship.

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 20:23

thank you, i find it helpful to sound my ideas out, discus, exchange, revisit etc with other people, but this was sort of sprung on me so i am less prepared than normal, and have no colleagues around to bounce ideas off at this time of day! DH has been helpful but has a very different viewpoint (although tbh rather useful!) to me, and we don't always agree.

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homemade · 18/10/2010 20:29

I've recently used the definition for harm as "a single, or repeated behaviour which goes against human or civil rights", this is from the Adult Support and Protection Act.
As you say, it is subjective to people and circumstances. If one or other partner is distressed by a problem and it is not resolved then it might develop into abuse. There again, it depends on the behaviours which come out of it and patterns being set which might then become abusive. For these, you might have to delve a long way back in the persons history and development. Sorry, I think this sounds a little garbled:)

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homemade · 18/10/2010 20:30

Sorry, I should also have mentioned the balance of power and control in a relationship too.

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PavlovtheWitchesCat · 18/10/2010 21:22

thanks all. I am almost done. almost. Another couple of hours. Then done and bed!

But will be up for a while yet so keep your thoughts coming.

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EvilAntsAndMiasmas · 18/10/2010 23:37

Hi Pavlov

From my limited experience/knowledge it becomes abuse when one partner starts to alter their own behaviour because an element of fear has crept into the relationship. Partners should never be afraid of each other. You may avoid behaving in a certain way because you are considerate of their feelings, but if it crosses over into doing something/not doing something because you are afraid of the consequences, that is a good sign of abuse in my book.

(Hope this makes sense - wine inside [hgrin])

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