“You can have a pet zebra and put that zebra into a small cage every day and tell the zebra that you love it, but no matter how you and the zebra love each other, the fact remains, that the zebra should be let out of that cage and should belong to someone who can treat it better, the way it should be treated, someone who can make it happy.”
People come together in a relationship because they have some level of understanding of each other’s feeling, habits, preferences, and can manage with the available resources to be companions. This implies that they must be able to put up with each other’s faults and weak points; above all, they must love each other! This feelings should not be borne out of pity or just convenience, it must be love solidified in trust. So, why do people in the name of being in a relationship go through mental torture, verbal, physical and sexual abuse? Does it have anything to do with family background, mindset and orientation of the opposite sex or behavioral problems which predispose one to abuse. All these factors will be discussed in detail but in today’s article, I want to focus on the signs that will serve as pointers in detecting a victim most times, ladies’, in an abusive relationship.
Watch out for the signs
Vickky was my next door neighbour from undergraduate days, she is what most girls then, called ‘snob’, always keeping to herself and rarely associated with other students. However I had an encounter with her one night, and understood her persona. I was about shutting my books to prepare for bed when I heard a frantic knock on the door that sounded so calm as though the intruder was trying not to be heard. Though, a bit scared, I went to answer the door as it was about 10:30 and I wasn’t used to having visitors at that time, she was the last person I expected to be at the door. When I opened, she came in and made her way straight to my bathroom carefully shutting the door behind her, not quite long, a tall, handsome, macho young guy who I noticed shared her one room apartment came to my door… I bet you I was in for more drama that night. He rudely requested I provide his girlfriend or perhaps ‘slave’ threatening to deal with me when I alerted other neighbours, and that was just the beginning.
I’m sure just as I was able to, you too could connect the dots by discovering several signs portrayed by the victim. Signs like Depression, melancholy, fear, insecurity, lack of trust amongst others which are listed and discussed in detail below.
Fear: 99% of victims in an abusive relationship are constantly under FEAR. Fear of being bullied and abused. They lack confidence in themselves and most often display signs of inferiority complex lacking courage to stand up to their abusive partner or open up to people around.
Secretive: This is usually the case of people who naturally, are not melancholic, in a bid to escape being abused, victims take up this temperament. They become very secretive of their problem sometimes too, out of shame they lack the will to share experiences with peers.
Isolation: As a friend you could easily identify a victim when she unusually isolates herself from you her family and other friends, if the victim intentionally avoids you and lacks the confident to open up why, then you need to get her help.
Depression: This is a very significant condition most victims find themselves in. they become very moody, sad, and withdrawn. They lack zeal to be proactive and might not do well in a given task, in secret, you find them crying most likely in the closet and would frequently wear a frown or look serious even if everyone around them is laughing…
It’s important to note that all these psychological behaviors are absolutely not the victims fault. So it is important to understand and help if you notice these abnormal traits in your loved ones. Most times they are made to believe the abuse they receive is their fault so it places them on the defensive part, so rather than attacking and preventing themselves from being bullied they prefer nursing the injuries obtained or even make excuses for the abuser’s behaviour.
Regarding these signs I’m sure you should be wondering what keeps the victim from confiding in loved ones and also what prevents her from leaving the relationship. All these will be analyzed and tips proffered in our next week’s edition.
Written By: Perpetua IBEZIM