How to Recognize Abuse in Your Family

July 16, 2020 11:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The thing about domestic violence and abuse is that abusers rarely come with a warning label—which is how many people end up in abusive relationships. Everything seems great at first, and in fact, you may be treated the best you’ve ever been for months or even years—but at some point, the relationship turns abusive. It’s hard to wrap your head around, so you justify this new behavior as a result of job stress or difficulty adjusting to changes. And yet, it never stops.

Learn to recognize the signs of abuse in your family—and if you are in an abusive relationship, please seek domestic violence and abuse counseling in Yakima, WA. We can help you either recognize the signs of abuse so it never happens again, or help abusers confront their behavior and make the necessary changes to have a full and healthy life.

The cycle of abuse

Abusers typically operate in cycles, because if they came into the relationship physically harming their partner, shouting degradations or other behaviors they exhibit later on, no reasonable person would stick around. Instead, they wait for you to be lulled into a false sense of security, and then begin the abusive behavior.

When called out on their behavior, or when you threaten to leave, you’ll often get tearful apologies and promises to change. Their behavior improves long enough to make you feel like they really have changed, and then the cycle of abuse starts over again.

Yellow flags

“Yellow flags” is the term for problematic behavior that could be normal if it were an isolated incident, but when taken in context points to a greater pattern. For example, your abuser could tell you sad stories to make you feel sorry for them, or encourage you to spend even more time with them. These things are normal in healthy relationships, but they’re often the first signs of abuse in unhealthy ones—they groom the victim to make them feel like the abuser just needs a little more care to heal.

Orange flags

Orange flags come when the relationship is more developed and the abuser has the victim’s trust. It could be manipulative statements like, “If you loved me, then you’d do this,” further isolating them from family and friends or starting to make cutting remarks that destroy their self-esteem. Your friends and family may express concern. You might be concerned yourself, thinking, “This isn’t right, but they’ve had such a hard life—I’ll give them a chance.”

Red flags

Red flags come once the victim is conditioned to accept abuse. It could be anything from physical violence to systematic emotional, sexual and verbal abuse. You may not have any friends left. The abuser might threaten to commit suicide if you leave. But when you stay, they treat you better—at least for a while.

Identifying these yellow, orange and red flags isn’t as easy as it seems, especially if your abuser is a family member. In this situation, it’s crucial to get help from a domestic abuse counseling facility in Yakima, WA. Call Apple Valley Counseling Services LLC today to book an appointment.

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