What is a Battered Woman?
A battered woman is someone who has been the target of abusive behavior by a man who is not a stranger to her. The type of abuse most often associated with the term “battered woman” is direct physical attack. This is also called domestic assault because the woman is physically attacked by someone she lives with or has lived with at some time.
Violence in your home may make you feel ashamed or “less than.” You may have come to believe that violence has only happened to you and that no one will believe you or understand what it is like. Your abuser probably tells you that you deserve it.
You do not deserve to be abused! You have a right to live without terror and mistreatment. You don’t have to suffer in silence. There are people who care and who specialize in helping people who are going through what you are experiencing.
Is someone you know a battered woman?
Many women resist thinking of themselves as battered, but if you can see how this term might apply to your situation, you may be one step closer to making change possible in your life.
Physical abuse includes being held or tied down, locked in a room and kept from leaving, being locked out of the house or left in a dangerous place. It is abusive for your intimate partner to refuse to help you when you are sick or injured, or drives recklessly to terrorize you when you or your children are riding with him.
Abuse can happen to anybody. It doesn’t matter where we live, what race we are or what income or religious group we belong to, someone we love or have trusted can hurt us.
Domestic violence victims are also psychologically and emotionally abused. When an intimate partner threatens to use physical force against you, whether or not he actually assaults you, this is a form of psychological battering. A threat in itself is an attack on you. This is especially true if this partner has hit you at least once before and you are afraid he will do it again.
Threats of physical violence take away your sense of safety, security and well-being, and play on your fear of being hurt physically. An abuser may also threaten to hurt your children, friends, family or pets if you do not go along with what he wants. He may actually do them harm or destroy your property. Threats and actions like these terrorize you and make you feel helpless.
You may find yourself forced to go along with what he wants in order to protect yourself or others you care about. Isolation – not allowing you to leave the house … keeping you away from friends and fa
Sexual Assault and Rape:
Hope Harbor Home is proud of its partnership with Rape Crisis Center – Brunswick, a program of Coastal Horizons Inc. Many victims of domestic violence are also sexually abused by their batterers. Rape Crisis Center – Brunswick has counselors, support groups and a range of advocacy programs for these victims. Services are available to victims of recent and past sexual assault. Hope Harbor Home will help you access the services of Rape Crisis Center – Brunswick if you are also a victim of rape or sexual assault.
Family members or caretakers can hurt us in many ways and at any age, whether we are sick or healthy. We can be hurt through physical, emotional and financial abuse or neglect.
Some of the ways family members or caretakers can hurt us:
- Control what we do, who see or where we go
- Threaten to leave or institutionalize us
- Call us names
- Steal money, medication or other things from us
- Hurt our pets
- Hit, shake, push, burn or choke us
Is there a pattern?
When family members or caretakers hurt us over and over again, it may indicate a desire to have power and control over us, to limit or influence what we say and do, and to take advantage of us to get our money, property, possessions or medicines. This type of abuse in later life is domestic abuse, even if it isn’t committed by a spouse or intimate partner.
Will the abuse stop by itself?
Most types of abuse tend to get worse over time without some outside help to stop it.
Hope and help are in reach.
Hope Harbor Home addresses family violence issues affecting people who are age 50 and older. Our service, which are free and confidential, include:
- Information and referrals
- Safety planning
- Support group
- Emergency shelter