If you are being abused

Are you being abused by the person you’re together with?

IS YOUR PARTNER JEALOUS?

Is the way the person you’re with treats you affecting your health? Does your partner cross your boundaries and exploit you emotionally, physically, sexually or digitally? Are they very jealous? Being abused or exploited is never acceptable, no matter what the reason is. If you want support and help, or just to talk about it, you can chat with us, and we can also help you to take the next step if you want to meet someone and talk more. You can be anonymous. At the moment we can only guarantee support and information in Swedish, and in most cases in English.

It can be hard to see yourself as a “victim” or someone who has been “subjected to abuse” but being subjected to emotional, physical, sexual or digital abuse says nothing about who you are as a person. You have done nothing wrong. No matter what the person you’re with says or claims. No matter how jealous they may be. No matter whether you think you “only have yourself to blame” or that you’ve “provoked them” into the abuse. You might feel that the person you’re with is right when they say you’re “confused, hysterical, stupid, useless and that no one will believe you”. We believe you. There’s nothing strange or unusual about you if you feel worthless or can’t put into words what you’ve been through. We will help and support you.

TRY TO THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN SAFETY – TAKE YOUR FEAR SERIOUSLY

If you’re worried about what the person you're with might do to you, or to someone else, take your fear seriously. We are here to support you and help you to protect yourself and to get away from what you are going through. Think about whether there are any other people around you that you could tell.

WRITE DOWN WHAT IS BEING DONE TO YOU

You may not feel right now that you want to report the abuse to the police but you may want to do so later. If you do, you’ll need proof of what you have been subjected to. Telling other people around you what is going on is one way, but it’s always a good idea to write down what is happening to you, whether you tell other people or not.

Write down times and places and a description of how the person you’re with is abusing you. Save texts and images of threats and other things like that. If you can, seek medical help to document any injuries. If that’s not possible, take photos of your injuries yourself, with some kind of object next to them to show, for example, how big any bruises are. For example, put a lighter beside the bruise. All these facts can be used in a future police report even if you don’t want to report it just now.

If you’re worried that the person you’re with will find what you’ve written down and saved if they often go through your phone or have the password for your accounts, you can create a new, special mail account and send everything there, but remember to delete the mails in your send box from your “ordinary” account along with any images and screenshots from your phone after you’ve sent them. 

YOU NEED A COUNSEL FOR THE PLAINTIFF – AND IT DOESN’T COST ANYTHING IN SWEDEN

Chat with us and we can tell you more about how to file a police report, what happens next and what you need to think about. At the moment we can offer support and information in Swedish and in most cases in English. You can also read more here..

It can be good to know that you have the right to have counsel for the plaintiff and that you should already have one for the first police interview, and, if possible, when you file the police report. A counsel for the plaintiff represents the victim of a crime and doesn’t cost you anything. If you have been the victim of abuse in an intimate relationship you may have been subjected to different kinds of crime, such as assault, intimidation, molestation and rape. Read more about what these crimes involve here..

CHILDREN TOGETHER?

Maybe the person you’re with wants you to have children quickly. You might think this is proof that they “believe” in your relationship or that they want to show they will change. It’s not uncommon for someone who is abusive or controlling to want to have children so they can tie you to them even more closely, and not least to be able to exert even more control.

Sadly, having children together doesn’t mean the abuse will stop or become less frequent. In our experience, the opposite is unfortunately often true. The abuse begins, or gets worse, when one party is pregnant. It can even be aimed directly at the baby in the form of blows or kicks to the stomach.

If you are abused by someone with whom you are expecting, or already have, a child you must seek help immediately. Children see and are affected by abuse. They hear, see and are sometimes physically a part of it, for example if they are being held by one of the parents.

Abused while living with honor-related violence and oppression

When someone comes from a controlling family with strong beliefs and/or honour based norms, they may not have their family’s support to leave an abusive partner, as divorce and separation may be seen as something that brings shame. If the partner hasn’t been accepted by the family to start with, this may lead to the person who is being abused becoming even more isolated and in need of support from outside the family. The relationship in which they are being abused may be the very reason that they have broken all contact with their family.

Another problem can be that the person they are, or have been, in a relationship with threatens to reveal things to the family that they know the family will not accept, making it a part of the emotional abuse. For example threatening to spread rumours or show pictures which can make it difficult for you to leave, report or seek help.

It can feel difficult to seek help if you are afraid of being met by ignorance or prejudice, such as if you only talk to a controlling parent, they will understand the situation. Perhaps you are afraid that your relationship will be exposed if you tell someone. But getting support and being able to talk about what you are experiencing is often very important and if for various reasons you can’t talk to friends or family, there are other places you can turn to. 

On ungarelationer.se we have knowledge of honour-related violence and we are here for you if you want to talk about your experiences, regardless of what they look like. You can always be completely anonymous and we listen to you. Chat with us here..  Here you can read more about abuse in young people's relationships and about different forms of abuse.

Abused when you have a disability

Having a mental, physical or learning disability can mean you are dependent on other people, aids or medicine in your daily life. A partner, for example, can be an important emotional or physical support. But it can lead to an imbalance of power that they can abuse emotionally, physically, sexually or financially. A partner can also use the person’s aids and medication to perpetrate abuse, for example by hiding them.

It can be even more difficult to seek support after you have been subjected to abuse or assault if you’re met with ignorance and prejudice. An example of prejudice is when other people think that people with physical disabilities don’t have an active sex life and so they can’t be subjected to sexual abuse. This is obviously not true. Unfortunately, someone with a disability can be subjected to the same types of abuse as other people, and there are strong indications that they are much more likely to be subjected to abuse than people who don’t have a disability. 

Regardless of what you feel or what you’ve been through, it can be important to have someone to talk to. Here at ungarelationer.se you can chat with volunteers who know that abuse can, sadly, affect everyone, also those with a mental, physical or learning disability. We can give you support and information via the chat in Swedish and often in English.. Here you can read more about different forms of abuse.

Abused when you are LGBTQ+

While the abuse might look the same regardless of the gender or sexuality of the abuser or the victim there are some differences..

Homophobia and prejudices may mean that someone who is LGBTQI+ is abused in other ways. The abuser might threaten to “out” the other person if they haven’t already come out or are not open about their sexuality or gender identity. What’s more, people whose family doesn’t accept them, or who have moved from a small town to a bigger one so they “can” be open about their sexual orientation, may be more isolated and dependent on their partner from the beginning. They may have a lot of mutual friends which can make it more difficult to tell their friends about the abuse.

It can be difficult to seek help if you are scared of being met with ignorance and prejudice, such as that a girl can’t be abused by her girlfriend. Here at ungarelationer.se and many other support centres for LGBTQI youth, we know a lot about what it means to be LGBTQI. Chat with us if you want help or support or just want to discuss your thoughts about what kind of a relationship you’re in. We can give you support and information via the chat in Swedish and often in English.