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There are many reasons why people in Maryland decide to enter into therapy. At Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, one of the common reasons why patients come to us is that they are domestic abuse survivors and are having difficulty processing all the trauma that has happened to them. If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact our office to speak with an individual therapist Bethesda MD families trust and find out how we can help.

Domestic Abuse

The statistics on domestic abuse are shocking. According to national data, one in three women and one in seven men are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). Domestic abuse, IPV, or relationship abuse is a pattern of behaviors by one partner in an intimate relationship in order to maintain control and power over the other.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. IPV does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter your gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or economic background, anyone can be a victim. IPV is not just physical violence, such as slapping, pushing, hitting, or choking. It can take on many forms, including:

  •       Emotional abuse
  •       Financial abuse
  •       Physical abuse
  •       Psychological abuse
  •       Sexual abuse

A therapist Bethesda MD  patients recommend knows there are warning signs that indicate that a person could be an IPV abuser and every person should be aware of these signs, especially when entering into a new relationship with someone. Some of these signs include:

  •       The partner accuses the victim of flirting with other people and/or cheating on them
  •       The partner blames the victim for everything that goes wrong
  •       The partner consistently demeans the victim in private and/or in public
  •       The partner controls all the finances
  •       The partner controls everything the victim is allowed to wear
  •       The partner controls how the victim is allowed to act
  •       The partner engages in gaslighting the victim
  •       The partner exhibits constant and extreme jealousy
  •       The partner exhibits possessiveness
  •       The partner exhibits very controlling behavior
  •       The partner has a quick and explosive temper
  •       The partner is unpredictable in their behavior and attitude
  •       The partner sabotages the victim’s attempt to go to work or attend college

Cycle of Abuse

For many domestic violence victims, the abuse occurs gradually, often without them even realizing what is happening. This is in large part due to the cycle of abuse that takes place:

  1. Tensions begin to build up. The victim usually senses this tension and tries their best to placate the abuser.
  2. There is an incident. The incident can involve emotional and/or physical abuse and often involves anger, arguing, intimidation, and threats.
  3. After the incident, reconciliation takes place and the abuser may apologize. There are several ways the abuser may handle this. They may blame the victim or find excuses for why the incident occurred. Many abusers will also downplay the incident or even deny it happened.
  4. The next phase is commonly referred to as the honeymoon period because everything is calm, the incident is no longer discussed, and everything is “wonderful.”

Let Us Help

If you are involved in a domestic violence situation or you have recently been able to free yourself from your abuser, it is important that you take the time to heal and understand you are not to blame for what has happened to you. Call Lindsey Hoskins & Associates to schedule an appointment with a compassionate Bethesda MD individual therapist.