Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What does Verbal Abuse look like?

Here is a good article by Kristina Welker that asks what verbal abuse looks like--when covert or overt. So often people don't know they are being verbally abused and it takes something really pointed to figure it out. I remember my moment of clarity. My mother had come to visit and we we getting ready for the evening. My husband was watching TV in the other room. Mom suggested I take a bath (a pleasure I love) and I drew in my breath sharply as said, "I can't take a bath now because Steve is here." She asked me what that was all about and I explained that he didn't let me take a bath when he was home because it took time away from him. The look on my Mom's face said it all. She was horrified that professional, smart woman such as myself was in a position where her partner wouldn't "let" her bathe when she wanted to....needless to say it jarred me and I began to examine what I was accepting from this guy.

Kritina says that abuse is covert or overt--that they are unable to accept a partner as equal and find ways to put us down. Her article is worth reading and then ask yourself in what ways you accept abuse covertly and then overtly...
The verbally abusive relationship - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus: "Often I work with clients who are unaware that they are being verbally abusive. Many times it is overt … laughing while the spouse is talking. But, sometimes it is covert … giving the silent treatment."

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Unveiling the Fear of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

This was an interesting study on college women and their fear of being raped--it appears that women who saw themselves as "helpless" and who allowed others to verbally abuse them had much more fear of being raped than did women who saw themselves as strong and in control of their own space and selves. At Respect-me rules, and in our FREE workshop, that is exactly what we are teaching--STOP using the word "victim" and change that to "target." You are a target when being abused and you can stop it.

Read about the study here.
Unveiling the Fear of Sexual Assault on College Campuses: "Pryor instead found that how women perceived themselves had the largest impact on their fear. In particular, the women who perceived themselves as being helpless and weak were more fearful of being raped. Those who felt they were invulnerable and could defend themselves easily if attacked had the lowest levels of rape fear.
Pryor said, “To interpret this through a classical social psychological lens, the clustered perceptions women acquire about rape appear to have a self-fulfilling fear effect.” Although gender, prior trauma, and the stigma of rape did not directly increase fear, they acted as secondary influences by magnifying already existing fears in some women. Pryor also found that the younger women in the study were more fearful of being raped than the older women. This suggests that perhaps a shift in risky behavior and risky social networks to more controlled behavior and stable relationships diminishes a woman’s fear as she matures."

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