Saturday, October 1, 2011

Abuse. What is it?

There are so many forms of violence.  Where do I begin?

Physical. Mental. Emotional. Spirit. Relational. Verbal.  Financial.  Social.

Senior. Disabled. Child. Adult. Life Partner/Spousal. Parental. Domestic. Work. Dating. Social. Sexual.  -ism's of every kind. Hate crime.

Battering.  Controlling.  Confusing.  Manipulating. Prejudice. Domineering.  Passive/Covert.

And the list goes on.

Where does it happen?

Everywhere.  From the bus to the shopping mall, from the home to the workplace, from the family to the global community.

Abuse cuts across all social categories and classes. It occurs in well educated high income areas and in low income working class areas; urban and rural.  In the homed and in the homeless.

Abuse happens in all races and religions.

Abuse occurs in families, extended families, in neighborhoods, schools, religious organizations, and community groups.  The type of community doesn't matter.  Brick and mortar, social media communities, telephonic, texting, face-to-face ...

... Both men and women can be abusive and it can occur in virtually all age groups. The old can abuse the young and the young the old.

Abuse standards may differ in various cultures, yet it exists. It occurs in virtually all countries as well.

Because it is often learned at an early age, it can be passed from generation to generation like a family disease. This is called the intergenerational cycle of abuse.  And because we learn it from our families and friends we interpret the behavior to be normal.

Abuse, in any form ... is NOT "normal".  It is NOT "loving".  It is NOT effective in generating life-long change.  It is NOT efficacious in transforming paradigms.

What is it?

"To hurt or injure by maltreatment; To assail with contemptuous, coarse or insulting langauge; an unjust, wrongful practice."
American Heritage College Dictionary

Along with the denotative there is connotative meaning as well.  To wit:

Behavior and words that are intended to be controlling or domineering; intimidating; stalking; neglectful; depriving; traumatic; mistreating; blaming; shaming; degrading, vituperative; profane; humiliating; isolating; diminishing.

Why do I ask you to recognize it and end it in your communities?

Because you are where change starts.

Do you recognize abuse?

Would you do me the honor of dialoging with me on abuse? Use the comment box below or connect with me on Twitter --> @LostAwareness

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