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Story #2 on domestic violence

Opposites attract

François and Sophie are a couple in their twenties. They have been a couple for 2 years and have been living in an apartment together for 3 months. François has a more spontaneous and sociable temperament, while Sophie is more quiet and shy by nature. They don't mind, because they say that "opposites attract" and they find that they complement each other well. Usually, they spend their free time together listening to TV shows or taking long walks. But Saturday nights are sacred for François, he goes out to the bar with his friends. Sophie takes the opportunity to read a novel. Sometimes Sophie receives invitations from her friends, but her shy and quiet nature means that she rarely wants to join a group and prefers to relax alone at home or with her boyfriend.

One evening when François comes back from the bar looking far too drunk to be allowed to drive his car, Sophie asks him :

- Honey, did you really take your car back to the apartment?

- Hell yes! What's the difference?

- What's the difference? Well, it does when you look that drunk! You could have been arrested or hurt!

- And how would you know if I'm too drunk or not? Ms. Prude who never drinks and never does anything with her life!

- Well okay, you won't talk to me like that now.

- Oh yeah? How do you want me to talk to you first, you fucking bitch? I think it's more you who should stop talking to me before I write to all your friends that you lie to them every time they invite you to do something and you refuse! You are so flat!

- Ok that's enough...

- That's enough when I decide! Why don't you go get me another beer, I don't feel like going to bed. You've made me too angry!

In this situation, what type of abuse is Sophie experiencing?

  1. Verbal abuse

  2. Psychological abuse

  3. Social abuse

Answer: 1 and 2

Verbal abuse is anything that is heard, such as a partner raising his or her voice to intimidate his or her partner, and such as threats in low or high voices, insults, blackmail, and orders given. Regardless of the voice or words, the victim recognizes the threatening tone. Unfortunately, in order to prevent the threats from being carried out or the climate from deteriorating, people tend to end up obeying the demands of the perpetrators. They are thus graded into fear and insecurity.

Emotional abuse occurs in a variety of ways including:

  • constantly criticizing the victim

  • belittling the victim

  • distorting reality to change their perception

  • making them doubt themselves

  • manipulating her emotions

  • isolating them socially

What about alcohol? Does it explain the violence?

It should be noted that alcohol is a risk factor for domestic violence, but it is not an excuse. A person does not become violent because he or she drinks. However, the violence that a person exhibits may be revealed during episodes of drinking, as alcohol can have the effect of removing inhibitions.

Alcohol abuse is one of several risk factors for committing partner violence. However, alcohol use is not a sufficient condition to explain spousal abuse and cannot be an excuse for aggression and violence.

(Source :

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