Domestic violence is a topic I have not seen discussed on the forum, but surely it has or does effect some of us. Because it is such a sensitive topic, I am not asking for personal explanations, just your anonymous votes.

*** TRIGGER WARNING: VIOLENT BEHAVIORS ARE DESCRIBED BELOW WHICH MAY BE DISTURBING OR UPSETTING ***

For the purposes of this poll, the following actions fall under the umbrella of domestic violence in the moderate to severe range.

PHYSICAL:
shake/grab with bruising
hit/punch, closed fist
kick
restrain person against wall/floor/bed/furniture
brandish weapons
press weapons against body part
choke/strangulate
abuse while pregnant
any injury requiring first aid or medical attention

EMOTIONAL:
threatens violence or revenge
obsessive
threatens child abuse
treats partner like servant
intentional belittling or threatening in front of kids
fantasizes killing others
threatens to kill partner
abuse is unexpected/unpredictable
often threatens suicide
stalking
makes partner do illegal things

SOCIAL/ENVIRONMENTAL:
inconsistent employment
isolates partner from friends, family, repeated moves
controls or limits access to money
prevents partner from getting or keeping a job
threatens to hurt others
destroys partner's property
punches wall or windows
throws objects at or near partner
deprives partner of sleep, food, or medication
hurts/kills pets
past history of assaulting peers
past history of abusing child

SEXUAL:
demands sex or sexualized touch
demands partner strip
demands partner view pornographic material
withholds sex/affection
threatens partner to watch or have sex with others
forces sex
attempts sex while partner is sleeping
masturbates on or near partner
forces sex in uncomfortable/distasteful positions or places
forces sex after beating
uses objects or weapons to hurt during sex
Original Post
MH
Just wanted to let you know that the poll for question #2 will be skewed since you are forced to answer all three questions. You could add in another answer such as "Said no to question 1" but editing it now will reset the poll. Just wanted to mention it.

Very glad you are asking the question.

AG
Sorry about that. I did not realize that we are forced to answer every question. I wonder if it could be accurately assumed that all those who chose "NO" on the first question most likely also chose "NO" on the 2nd question, since a "YES" answer on the 2nd question would make less sense in that instance? So far, however, it appears to not matter as no one at all has voted YES on the 2nd question. So even those who have experienced domestic violence are selecting the "NO" answer. At least up to this point...
Just out of curiosity, was the list from somewhere or something you wrote yourself?


I think, maybe, for a lot of the people who answered yes to abuse, but no to reporting, it may be a case that they never (or did not for a long time or until reading this poll) consider their experiences as falling under abuse.

Also, as far as reporting it...I took that to mean a formal report vs telling a therapist, pastor, friend, etc. So, I wonder if those answers might have been a bit different for people if it were, "Did you ever tell anyone?" or maybe if people were asked if they even realized what they experienced could be classified as abuse. I know in my case, being here has been really eye-opening as far as what is "normal" and "OK." Hope I'm not triggering anyone with these sort of statements, but identifying the reality that people accustomed to certain things often see them as normal and don't even think to tell anyone about them.
Hi Yaku, the list was not something I made up myself. It came straight from a "Risk Assessment" worksheet that my T uses for both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. It is an area that she specializes in. She is contracted by the state to provide court-ordered domestic violence counseling in 3 counties, and is 1 of only 2 T's who is authorized to do it in the county where I live.

The list was an eye opener for me as well, and actually I did not include any of the milder offenses listed on the worksheet, only the moderate and severe actions. My T says that often people who have grown up witnessing domestic violence in their childhood homes tend to be more accepting of it in adulthood as well and either do not think such actions are "bad enough" to be reported, because they are so used to being treated that way, or else they doubt they have any power to stop it or that the authorities will take them seriously. Any of the actions which were listed in the first post qualify as "reportable" to authorities, although admittedly some are hard to prove unless you have some sort of evidence such as a witness, marks or bruises, or a confession.

As far as what I meant by reporting the abuse, I was talking about reporting it to authorities, not just telling a friend or therapist.
Thanks for the clarification, MH. I didn't think you "made up" the list, but maybe condensed it from research or something. I don't know if it had to do with things in my FOO, but I totally would not have noticed a lot of the less obvious ones (especially things that don't leave evidence) as domestic violence, personally. I'm not saying they aren't, but just that it wouldn't have occured to me at all. It seems to me it would be nice if that information were standard education in family/health classes in school and in pre-marital counseling, etc. If you grow up in a family that isn't "normal" or where such things aren't discussed at all, how would one even know?
Hi,

Just want to quickly put my two cents in here, which is that some (but by no means all) of these things are abuse *only* in certain contexts - eg masturbating on/near a partner might be part of a perfectly normal, healthy sexual relationship. There is nothing abusive about that unless it's done without consent. The key with what's listed here as sexual abuse is force and/or lack of consent - not the acts themselves.

Consent is something a lot of people assume is straightforward, but for those who have grown up without permission to say what they want or need and have that respected, it is confusing. Consent is voluntary and active participation in an activity, or voluntary, clear permission for an activity . This might or might not be expressed verbally, but I would say in any situation where there's ambiguity around this, verbal permission is a must.

There are other parts of the list I think qualify as abusive only in certain contexts, but the contexts are harder to define: in particular, for inconsistent employment and withholding sex/affection. Obviously not everyone can control whether they are employed all the time, and in a healthy relationship there is space for partners to choose NOT to have sex or be affectionate when it's not right for them. I agree there are situations when these choices or circumstances can be used abusively, though.

Hugs and my sympathy for everyone who has dealt with these abuses or is dealing with them

Jones
Very good points, Jones. I had a similar discussion with my T about some of the items on the list, but I failed to mention it here, so thank you for clarifying that.

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