By Roisin Maguire
When we think of abuse, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the physical abuse that may exist between partners. However, physical abuse is only one of many forms and abuse can exist between not only partners but family members and friends.
This form of abuse consists hitting, spitting, physically restraining people or any way that makes someone feel unsafe. This is the most commonly known and is often reported on the most as it is visible compared to many of the other forms which are invisible.
Financial abuse is about having power or control over someone. It could be preventing someone from having a job and or their own freedom, controlling the budget between partners, creating debt and unnecessarily spending money. Preventing someone from having a job is one reason why it is difficult to leave an abusive relationship because the person has no income and may not be able to survive without the other person.
Sexual abuse can exists between partners, friends and family. This can include rape or other sexual acts done against someone’s will. When it comes to relationships, sexual abuse can often be hard to notice. It can be evident in persuading someone into sexual intercourse, having sex when someone has not fully consented or removing a condom during sex without a partner knowing. Marital rape only became a crime in Ireland in 1990 therefore a person could legally have sex with their partner against their will.
Non-consensual condom removal is also known as 'stealthing' and essentially makes consensual sex non-consensual. Sexual abuse may also include the sharing of personal photos of a partner from a previous relationship and using these against them.
Emotional abuse is like using your words like weapons and sometimes may take longer to recover from than physical abuse. It consists mainly of name-calling and is very difficult to spot as there are no signs especially as this is most likely to happen behind closed doors or through text messages.
Mental abuse is similar to psychological abuse as it will leave a person questioning themselves. This often involves making a person doubt their own sanity and making them feel mentally unstable. It can involve one person telling their partner something and denying it shorty after and moving keys or hiding items. After a period of time this has damaging effects to a person’s mental health and a person may question if they would be able to live without their abuser. An abuser may call you "crazy" or make you feel this way until you believe it.
There are many platforms for people to get help such as;
Womens Aid - 1800 341 900
Safe Ireland - 09 0 6479078
Amen - 046 90 23718
Childline - 1800 666 666
Teenline - 1800 833 634
LGBT Helpline - 1890 929 539
For further information, you can visit our Helplines page.