Often a violent man will raise his voice to intimidate or threaten his partner. Others will choose to lower their tone to demonstrate their annoyance. It can be comprised of sarcasm, insults, yelling, degrading and humiliating words, blackmail, threats or brutal intimidating orders.
The objective: TO CREATE A CLIMATE OF TENSION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT A WOMAN IS IN A STATE OF FEAR AND INSECURITY SO THAT SHE WILL OBEY, ALL OF THIS, WITHOUT USING ANY PHYSICAL VIOLENCE.
Psychological violence is a series of contemptuous and humiliating attitudes and words that focus on denigrating intellectual or personal capacities such as the appearance and image of the victim. It can also take the form of isolation imposed by the man who, often motivated by jealousy, prohibits his spouse from associating with such and such a person, and/or limits her actions outside the house. He wishes to convey to her an image of incompetence and nullity. This damages her self-esteem and self-confidence, which allows doubt to settle in the mind of the victim and makes her feel responsible for the situation. The more socially isolated the woman, the more vulnerable she becomes to other forms of violence. In some cases, the abuser may use his spiritual beliefs to justify his dominance and power. This form of violence is very subtle and therefore sometimes more difficult to recognize. Example: “Look at how you look, no one will want you.”
When his wife still shows too much independence for his taste, he reverts to beatings, brutality or physical restraint in order to control her behavior and assert his domination. This type of violence manifests itself by the woman experiencing wounds of all kinds.
Example: Ties her up, shakes her, spits on her, slaps her, smashes her against the wall, kidnaps her, repeated beatings, burns…
It is perhaps the most difficult to identify and name. It was this type of violence that was experienced most frequently, because before 1983, rape between spouses did not exist under the law. The man forces his spouse to have sex with him or with other people. This sexual violence can have a psychological aspect because a man can intimidate or humiliate his spouse by comparing her to other women, women in magazines or in pornographic content. Some women consent to sex in the hope of keeping peace and avoiding violence.
The spouse can forbid his wife to work, or on the contrary, force her to work more than she can bear, or control the type of work that she does. Her activities are controlled and monitored so that she cannot make any decisions. He can leave her in ignorance of the family income and thus control what he will grant or not, because financial dependence constitutes a handicap to the autonomy of the woman. This leaves the woman fearful of being left with nothing if she leaves him.
Source: “La violence conjugale…c’est quoi au juste?” par le Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale.