The Importance of Awareness
The problem with a lot of abusive relationships is that the “abused” becomes unaware that he or she is in an abusive relationship. They become completely unaware of the power dynamic within the relationship and how it is being used to control them.
Without awareness of the power dynamic, one can not change the power equilibrium for the better.
Where abuse is physical or sexual, awareness is more likely.
Emotional abuse, however, can be extremely difficult to detect. This is usually for two reasons:
- Emotional abuse works by affecting the abused’s self esteem. Once the self esteem is significantly affected, the abused begins to believe that he or she deserves the abuse, that it is their fault and doubts their own understanding of the power dynamic within the relationship.
- Emotional abuse can be masked by cultural ideology or the concept of romance within relationships.
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