Understanding psychological abuse and how it affects parenting

By Anette Doren, family health educator, Marquette County Health Department

Domestic violence is a significant public health problem that can have devastating effects on our families and on our communities. Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior that one person in a relationship uses to control the other. This abusive behavior can be physical, psychological, sexual or financial. The most severe cases are inevitably discovered. However, psychological abuse frequently goes undetected by authorities, family and friends, and even the victims themselves. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) 48.4 percent of women and 48.8 percent of men have experienced at least one psychologically aggressive behavior by an intimate partner. What is psychological abuse? Does your partner:

• Threaten to harm you or your children?

• Constantly swear and yell at you?

• Blame you when things go wrong?

• Demean you in public or private?

• Ignore, exclude or isolate you?

Rejection, ignoring, exploiting, isolating and threatening are all signs of psychological abuse. Although everyone is guilty of these behaviors once in a while, it is the repetition of the behavior, when the behavior is repeated consistently and frequently, that defines psychological abuse…

To read the full story, please pick up a copy of this months Marquette Monthly at one of our distribution outlets.

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