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Sunday 25 March 2018

Wrong mix: abuse and love


Family is supposed to be our safe haven. Very often, it’s the place where we find the deepest heartache –Iyanla Vanzant

BEING able to know the difference between a squeeze of love and one of abuse is the start of understanding that if someone loves you, they won’t abuse you. Believe it or not, in this current environment where it is expected that human beings, women in particular, be equipped with higher levels of wisdom and discernment, they still hold tightly to their abusers claiming undying love.

At the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN), we continue to work relentlessly with abused women to break that cycle of confusion that suggests “if he ain’t abuse me he don’t love me.” Ingredients for love include patience, kindness, respect, understanding and compassion whilst the ingredients for abuse are insecurity, low self-esteem, disrespect, hate and stupidity and therefore, the link between both is non-existent.

The coming together of two individuals to create an intimate relationship comes from a place of seeking love, affection and acceptance. However, what occurs in most circumstances, is the continuous blinding of the abused situation thinking that abuse has a place in the relationship because that’s the way the abuser has positioned the relationship. Women have and continue to share some of the most painful affirmations sought by their abuser such as “If I threaten you, will you still love me;” “If I hurt you, would you still love and remain with me.”

Frightening as these may seem, they are the realities that are endured on a daily basis in many relationships. This type of reasoning borders strongly on the premise of emotional advantage and selfishness on the part of the abusers. Surprisingly, this fate befalls women from the broadest social strata globally from housewives to professionals.

Continuing in such emotionally dysfunctional environments entwined with love notes, apologies, dinner parties, promises and make-up sex leads to mental instability and even falling prey to lifestyle diseases. It also dampers the self-esteem and self-confidence of abused victims as they become reliant on their partner for all the apologetic reasons. Therein lies the existence of the Stockholm Syndrome which relates to feelings of trust and affection in cases of abused and/or hostage-taking environments. It’s a cycle that needs not to be developed and if it already exists, needs to be broken quickly. Once this cycle gets stronger, the affected victims grow weaker at all levels.

Whilst we understand that your circumstances may be deeply dependent, the IWRN is today pleading with women to be vigilant and observant in terms of how they are being treated by their partner both verbally and physically; this is the only mechanism through which you can ensure that stability and human co-existence remain in check. If you require assistance with issues identified in today’s column feel free to connect with the IWRN via our Facebook page or email us.

Life is to live not to regret.

Sandrine Rattan is a communications and branding consultant, author, empowerment builder and president of the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) Contact: thecorporatesuitett@gmail.com or intlwomensresourcenetwork@gmail.com; https://www.facebook.com/IWRN1/


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