Are you living with an abusive partner?
Actor Amber Heard filed for divorce from her husband, Johnny Depp, recently, claiming that the Hollywood star had abused her. Abuse in relationships is not confined only to celebrities. Almost every day, newspapers report stories of people who go through physical, emotional or sexual abuse in relationships. Psychiatrist Gittanjali Saxena says generally, people who subject their partners to any form of abuse suffer from issues related to power and control. “The abuser could also have had a pampered childhood, in which the parent allowed him or her to do whatever they wanted. So, he or she now wants a partner to do what the parents always did,” she says.
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
Strangely, many people continue to be in abusive relationships for years. Relationship expert Praney Anand says there could be multiple reasons for this behaviour. “Sometimes, there is a lot at stake in a relationship or a marriage — children, finances, social pressure and legal implications. Some people also become accustomed to this way of life. The fear of ‘What next?’ might stop people from taking steps to protect themselves,” he adds.
Anand reveals that at times, people cope with abuse to a point that they do not even realise what is happening to them. He says in such situations, it is important to talk to a friend or a family member.
IMPACT ON THE CHILD
Abusive relationships are harmful for children that they may have. Relationship counsellor Shyam Mithiya says watching either of their parents abuse one another impacts children mentally. “Sometimes, children start believing that one person is abusing the other because of them. If the abuse continues, children can become depressed,” says Mithiya.