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Story #3 on domestic violence

Female Love

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 4 years. I love her very much. We met while I was working at Tim Hortons and she would come in for coffee every morning on her way to work. This is my first relationship with another girl. I always knew deep down that I was a lesbian, but it took me my first date with Laura to really realize that I preferred women. At first I didn't realize it, but as time went on, people around me pointed out that there might be something toxic in my relationship. Let me explain:

To begin with, Laura always tells me that I have beautiful hair, which is very nice of her. However, the day I wanted to get my hair cut short, she immediately told me: "You cut your hair, I'll cut you from my life! No kidding! You would definitely look really ugly with short hair. You're already not very feminine, you never wear makeup... At least with your long hair I think it gives you a look. Many of my girlfriends are wondering what I'm doing with you...but hey, it's not just the look that counts! Anyway, trust me, it would be a really bad idea to get your hair cut." At this point, I replied that I was okay with it, because I wanted her to continue to think I was beautiful.

Another day, we were with two of our friends and I told them I was thinking about going back to school. Both of our friends looked happy for me, but when I turned back to Laura, she was laughing and said, "You going back to school? Come on, everyone knows you're meant to work, not study! You'll never be able to! Come on, you haven't even finished high school! At that moment, I thought she was right, because I had only my 4th grade, so I quickly forgot about it.

On another occasion, we were having other friends over for dinner and I was in charge of dinner, as Laura had to finish later that night. I had spent the afternoon cooking! When she arrived, the first comment she made, in front of everyone, was: "Yark! It smells so bad! Ahhh it's my girlfriend who cooked! That explains it! Should we order instead? Look, if you're going to make something that looks so disgusting, let it be next time! Frankly, you could have made an effort!" I didn't say anything, because maybe it's true that I'm not very good in the kitchen... By dint of hearing her tell me, I'm starting to believe her...

Also, it's not uncommon for her to berate me about my clothes in group. She often says things like: "Fix your shirt, your bra is showing! You don't have much to hide, but still, show some respect for yourself! You're really tough" or "Yes, she's still wearing the same sweater, as if she didn't have any other clothes". She often laughs at me with others, but when I tell her it makes me sad, she tells me I'm exaggerating.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you too, but you remember how Laura was my first blonde. Well, I wasn't her first girlfriend. During a dinner at a restaurant with her brother and his brother's girlfriend, she said out loud: "She's not good at sex, but I should be able to do something with her! I'll tell you all about it, see if you would have found her as pocket as I did!" I felt humiliated and quietly asked her to stop talking about it. She said: "Shut up! He's my brother! You can't stop me from talking to my brother! He and I tell each other everything!" Seeing her reaction, I decided to let it go, because I didn't want her to get mad.

In our victim's explanation, what type(s) of abuse is she experiencing in her relationship?

  1. Verbal abuse

  2. Emotional abuse

  3. Social abuse

Answer: 1 and 2

Emotional abuse is a series of contemptuous and humiliating attitudes or words that are intended to demean and/or manipulate the victim.

Examples include:

  • Denigrating the victim's intellectual abilities or appearance,

  • Criticizing the victim's parenting or cooking,

  • Making negative comments to her in public,

  • Commenting on or criticizing her sexual performance,

  • Letting her believe she is incompetent

  • And pretending she doesn't exist for several hours or days

This is a subtle form of abuse and is therefore more difficult to identify. It often begins with comments that don't seem so serious. The victim then wonders if he or she is right to question his or her partner's attitude. With time and repetition, the victim begins to believe that his or her partner is right and feels increasingly powerless. This form of violence has devastating effects on the victim's self-esteem and self-confidence.

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.

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