Face of Patriarchy Abuse of Power and Control


WORLDWIDE SCANDAL "Violence against women is the greatest human rights scandal of our times. From birth to death, in times of peace as well as war, women face discrimination and violence at the hands of the state, the community and the family. Violence in the family is endemic all over the world; the overwhelming majority of victims are women and girls." (Amnesty International)

  • In the USA, for example, women account for around 85 per cent of the victims of domestic violence.
  • Domestic violence is the major cause of death and disability for European women aged 16 to 44 and accounts for more death and ill-health than cancer or traffic accidents.
  • The Russian government estimates that 14,000 women were killed by relatives in 1999, yet the country still has no law specifically addressing domestic violence.
  • In South Africa, more women are shot at home in acts of domestic violence than are shot by strangers on the streets or by intruders
  • In the UK, emergency services receive an average of one call per minute about violence in the family.
    Too often, violence against women in the family is considered a private matter and not treated by the authorities as a crime. However, all governments are responsible for protecting their citizens from abuse, whether committed by officials or by private individuals (“non-state actors”). If a state fails to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence against women with sufficient diligence, then it shares responsibility for the abuses. (Taken From http://www.futurestyle.org/archives/w/woman-stopViolence.htm)

A spiritual abusive marriage comes from a distorted interpretation of the Bible as with abuse of authority based on what the Bible stated on Ephesians 5:22-24:

Wives submit yourselves to your husband as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife,… now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior designed to exert power and control over a person in an intimate relationship by using coercive behavior, intimidation, threatening, harmful and/or harassing behavior. Domestic violence includes a manifold of abuses such as physical, sexual, emotional and/or psychological and spiritual (Silen-Perez 2006)

Physical Abuse

is usually recurrent and usually escalates in both frequency and severity. It may include the following:
  • Pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, and kicking the victim.
  • Holding, tying down, or restraining the victim.
  • Inflicting bruises, welts, lacerations, punctures, fractures, burns, and scratches.
  • Strangling the victim.
  • Pulling the victim’s hair or dragging the victim by the victim’s hair or body parts.
  • Assaulting the victim with a weapon.
  • Inflicting injury upon pets or animals. (FCADV)
  • Using the force and/or punishment to obtain submission and obedience because of the person distorted used of God’s word.

Emotional or psychological abuse may precede or accompany physical violence as a means of controlling through fear and degradation. It may include the following:
  • Threats of harm
  • Physical and social isolation
  • Extreme jealousy and possessiveness
  • Deprivation of resources to meet basic needs
  • Intimidation, degradation, and humiliation
  • Name calling and constant criticizing, insulting, and belittling the victim
  • False accusations, blaming the victim for everything
  • Ignoring, dismissing, or ridiculing the victim’s needs
  • Lying, breaking promises, and destroying the victim’s trust
  • Driving fast and recklessly to frighten and intimidate the victim
  • Leaving the victim in a dangerous place
  • Refusing to help when the victim is sick or injured
  • Threats or acts of violence/injury upon pets or animals (FCADV)
  • Using God’s word and authority to intimidate blame and condemn.

Sexual abuse in violent relationships is often the most difficult aspect of abuse for women to discuss. It may include any form of forced sex or sexual degradation:

  • Pursuing sexual activity when the victim is not fully conscious, or is not asked, or is afraid to say no.
  • Coercing the victim to have sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmittable diseases.
  • Engaging in unwanted sexual contact that may result in torn, stained, or bloody underclothing; difficulty walking or sitting; pain, itching, bruising, or bleeding in genital areas; unexplained venereal disease or genital infections (FCADV).
  • Using God’s word “the wife body belong to her husband to take sexual gratification is the same as raping your wife.

See Power and Control Wheel