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Vox pop: Abuse in relationships

Abuse manipulates the truth and makes you doubt your own thoughts, sometimes even your sanity

2022 Feb 10, 8:00,

What do you think makes a relationship abusive? Does physical abuse only count as an abuse? Or is emotional and verbal abuse also an abuse?

Though it may not be openly talked about, but a majority of people have either experienced or know someone who has been in an abusive relationship. Toxicity and abuse between couples are almost normalized nowadays. An abusive, manipulative and toxic relationship can affect an individual severely in many ways. A controlling, and possessive partner often make their abuse look like affection. But is it really love? People from several fields have voiced their concerns about abusive relationships.

Astha R.L Rana, graduated from Amity University Delhi, India

Abuse is definitely not just limited to physical, it also includes both sexual and emotional abuse. Physical abuse is more like evidence to violence, since we can clearly see the bruises. Whereas, emotional abuse involves verbal abuse; yelling at you, insulting you or swearing at you. They make you doubt your own thoughts, and even your sanity, by manipulating the truth.

Though I have not been in an abusive relationship, I’ve seen many couples abusing one another. We all get aggressive, possessive and controlling every so often, but we should know when to stop. Toxic people are the ones who are abusive, unsupportive and unhealthy emotionally.

I cannot be with someone who tries to take control over my life or freedom. Back in the day, I used to believe that couples needed each other's permission before doing something. But as I am growing up, I’m realising how childish I was. I am understanding life and relationships better. Love, for me means sharing happiness, trusting them, and setting them free.  

Amit Gharti, Electrical Engineer, Retain Engineering Pvt. Ltd.

I think there should not be any kind of abuse in a relationship. If anyone is in an abusive relationship, then I would definitely suggest they get out of such a relationship, no matter how hard it is. Physical abuse is not the only form of abuse. I believe that verbal abuse and giving them mental stress is also a part of abuse.

I don’t agree with the fact that only females are abused in a relationship. Obviously the majority of abused ones are females because of our the patriarchal society. This has led to men believing that they have the upper hand. However, men are also victims of an abusive relationship.

A partner I was involved with in the past had a habit of lying and manipulating me. She had a toxic behaviour and often tried to control me. I struggled because of the mental and emotional abuse that I was facing.

Though it is not easy to make a relationship stronger as every relationship has its ups and downs, all we can do is be ourselves. Loyalty, proper communication, and trust; these are the main bases of good relationships. It is also very important to be able to comprehend and understand what your partner is going through, what they are trying to say and whether they are happy or not.

Laxmi Shrestha, Field Officer at Prabina NGO

In my belief, physical, mental, verbal, and emotional, all these are abuse in a relationship. I’ve not been in an abusive relationship but if I can’t sleep when I’m sleepy, or if I go on field visit for a few days with my male colleagues and I have to constantly argue with my partner and then they try to make you emotionally low, that's mental abuse for me. 

Abuse in relationships gives you so much stress, you can't even function properly. I believe that one should try to explain themselves. If that doesn’t work and the relationship is still toxic, then it’s better to cut off the toxic relationship.


Physical Abuse relationship abusive toxicity affection controlling possessive Violence manipulating freedom Happiness trust mental stress patriarchal society loyalty proper communication argue
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