Violence against women in close relationships

It is rare for violence to occur in the beginning of a relationship even when it arises later on. These relationships begin, like most others, with love. The relationships may even be extremely passionate since a controlling and/or violent man often courts women intensively.

The relationship changes step by step. To start off with, the man’s dominance and demands seem innocent and harmless. But with time, both the man and the woman change their behaviours as the man’s control and violence increases. The woman adapts and tries to avoid conflict by accepting the man’s demands. Resistance from her side often leads to increased violence.

The mistreatment often begins with psychological abuse, for example with insults or disrespectful comments which gradually makes the woman lose her self-confidence. Physical abuse may then follow. It is common that the woman becomes increasingly isolated, loses her social network and stops doing things on her own when the man dislikes it. He might even forbid her to see family and friends. Consequently the woman becomes more dependent on her abusive partner, who might in the end be the only social contact she has left.