Abuse has many faces for women

Abuse has many faces for women

When women come to Shine for help after a physical assault, it’s often revealed that they’ve also been psychologically abused for years, says Jill Proudfoot.

Jill is client services manager at Shine, the charity which has made it its mission to stop domestic abuse in New Zealand. She says psychological abuse encompasses all the strategies used by a person who wants to control someone else, make sure they can’t exert their own free will, and create fear and anxiety about what might happen next.

It can take the form of threats, intimidation, constant texting to see where the person is, monitoring email activity, checking finances and online presence. Isolating a person by cutting them off from their friends, or spreading rumours about them, such as saying they have mental health issues, is also common.

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“I’m the safest I’ve ever felt. I’m now sleeping through the night. I walk freely without fear. He knows there’s a whole lot of support for me and he can’t do it anymore.” a Shine client