In some relationships, women and men experience abuse from their partners. This situation is absolutely not a normal one, although women experienced it more frequently (1 in 5 in Austria). They have the possibility to end it (Advising center for women and men). Remember: You are not to blame for the abuse and violence done to you and you do not “deserve” it. Do not remain silent about the situation. Only the offender should be ashamed, not You!
It could be hard to separate from your partner since the perpetrators often use the following strategies: confessions in love after the abuse; “reconciliations” through sexual acts; threatening with a suicide; promises that they will change; Appeal to your conscience and pity.
What is abuse? You live in an abusive relationship when you experienced one of the following:
- Physical abuse: Pushing, slapping, kicking, punching, beating, choking, scratching, burning, hear ripping, locking up, abuse with knives, beaten with objects, homicide, murder.
- Sexual abuse: Harassment, grope, force or induce to vaginal, oral or anal sexual acts, pornographic recordings, watch pornographic films, sexual acts with other people;
- Rape: All sexual acts, that were unwanted are considered abuse and are punishable even in marriage!
- Mental abuse: Disrespectful behaviour, swear, insult, threaten, shout/scream at, ignore, humiliate, declare crazy and stupid, forbid things, ridicule in front of friends, family or in public. Also, terrorize with e.g.: constant phone calls, waylay, control, send threatening letters, not letting you sleep, threats of abuse against children, family or friends, your loved ones or loved things to destroy, torture pets, threatening with a suicide.
- Social abuse: Forbid contact with family, meeting friends, going out. Determine and control when and where You can meet with others, taking your telephone, listening to phone calls, spy on, follow.
- Economical abuse: Taking or selling money or valuable items, robbing/stealing, determine how much money you can spend and what can be bought. Prohibiting operating with Your own bank account, send You to work and take the income, not allowing You to work, so you do not have own money.
In case you need to leave your home immediately, take the following things with you:
- Your documents and the documents of your children.
- Clothes, school materials, Your children’s favorite toys.
- House/Flat key.
- Personal valuables.
In Vienna, there are four women’s shelters, where affected women and their children can live. The 24H hotline of Vienna’s women’s shelters is: 05 77 22
The Vienna women shelters (called Wiener Frauenhäuser) also have an advice center with advisory and assistance in German, Turkish and English on: 01/512 38 39. Consultations are anonymous and free of charge for everyone.
There are places all over Austria, where you can receive different types of help when you are in an abusive relationship.
Do not forget, that you have the right to integrity, freedom, and safety. Your nationality, religion, incomes etc. do not matter!
In any case, you have the possibility to change Your situation.