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Survivor Stories: I was a male victim of sexual abuse
Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner consists of more subtle actions or behaviors than physical abuse. While physical abuse might seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep. Studies show that verbal or nonverbal abuse can be much more emotionally damaging than physical abuse. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner may include: Stalking is harassment of or threatening another person, especially in a way that haunts the person physically or emotionally in a repetitive and devious manner. Or stalking can take place after a partner or spouse has left the relationship. The stalker may be trying to get their partner back, or they may wish to harm their partner as punishment for their departure. Regardless of the fine details, the victim fears for their safety. Stalking can be on the phone, in person, or online. Stalkers may never show their face, or they may be everywhere, in person. Stalkers employ a number of threatening tactics: If someone is tracking you, contacting you when you do not wish to have contact, attempting to control you, or frightening you, then seek help immediately. Cyberstalking is the use of telecommunication technologies such as the Internet or email to stalk another person. Cyberstalking may be an additional form of stalking, or it may be the only method the abuser employs. Cyberstalking is deliberate, persistent, and personal. Spamming with unsolicited email is different from cyberstalking. Spam does not focus on the individual, as does cyberstalking. The cyberstalker methodically finds and contacts the victim. Also like spam, you cannot stop the contact with a request. In fact, the more you protest or respond, the more rewarded the cyberstalker feels. The best response to cyberstalking is not to respond to the contact. Cyberstalking falls in a grey area of law enforcement. Enforcement of most state and federal stalking laws requires that the victim be directly threatened with an act of violence. Very few law enforcement agencies can act if the threat is only implied. Regardless of whether you can get stalking laws enforced against cyberstalking, you must treat cyberstalking seriously and protect yourself. Cyberstalking sometimes advances to real stalking and to physical violence. How likely is it that stalking will turn into violence? Stalking can end in violence whether or not the stalker threatens violence. And stalking can turn into violence even if the stalker has no history of violence. Women stalkers are just as likely to become violent as are male stalkers. Those around the stalking victim are also in danger of being hurt. For instance, a parent, spouse, or bodyguard who makes the stalking victim unattainable may be hurt or killed as the stalker pursues the stalking victim. What is economic or financial abuse of a spouse or domestic partner? Economic or financial abuse includes: What are the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship? The more of the following questions that you answer Yes to, the more likely you are in an abusive relationship. Examine your answers and seek help if you find that you respond positively to a large number of the questions. Your inner feelings and dialogue: Fear, self-loathing, numbness, desperation Are you fearful of your partner a large percentage of the time? Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt? Have you lost the love and respect that you once had for your partner? Do you sometimes fantasize about ways to kill your partner to get them out of your life? Are you afraid that your partner may try to kill you? Are you afraid that your partner will try to take your children away from you? Do you feel that there is nowhere to turn for help? Are you feeling emotionally numb? Were you abused as a child, or did you grow up with domestic violence in the household? Does domestic violence seem normal to you? Does your partner have low self-esteem? Do they appear to feel powerless, ineffective, or inadequate in the world, although they are outwardly successful? Does your partner externalize the causes of their own behavior? Is your partner unpredictable? Is your partner a pleasant person between bouts of violence? Does your partner have a bad temper? Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or kill you? Has your partner ever physically hurt you? Has your partner threatened to take your children away from you, especially if you try to leave the relationship? Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, especially as a way of keeping you from leaving? Has your partner threatened you at work, either in person or on the phone? Is your partner cruel to animals? Does your partner destroy your belongings or household objects? Does your partner try to keep you from seeing your friends or family? Has your partner limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car? Does your partner try to stop you from going where you want to go outside of the house, or from doing what you want to do? Is your partner jealous and possessive, asking where you are going and where you have been, as if checking up on you? Do they accuse you of having an affair? Does your partner verbally abuse you? Does your partner humiliate or criticize you in front of others? Does your partner often ignore you or put down your opinions or contributions? Does your partner always insist that they are right, even when they are clearly wrong? Does your partner blame you for their own violent behavior, saying that your behavior or attitudes cause them to be violent? Is your partner often outwardly angry with you? Does your partner objectify and disrespect those of your gender? Does your partner see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person? In my workplace, what are the warning signs that a person is a victim of domestic violence? Domestic violence often plays out in the workplace. For instance, a husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend might make threatening phone calls to their intimate partner or ex-partner. Or the worker may show injuries from physical abuse at home. If you witness a cluster of the following warning signs in the workplace, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse:
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