Guest Author - Kelli Deister
Everything the abuser does is to help them to gain control over their victim. Control comes in many different forms; however, one form in particular has the greatest impact on the victim.
Many people think that the control is only physical, mental, or sexual. I beg to differ. The main form of control is emotional control. Think about it. The abuser might beat their victim into submission. They may physically beat their victim until the victim complies with whatever the abuser wants. The abuser might also sexually assault their victim in order to gain control over them. The fact is that even though the abuser gains control over their victim mentally, physically, or sexually, they mainly gain control over them emotionally.
Victims of child abuse must walk on egg shells around their abuser. They are constantly aware of their abuserís mood. The victim knows when they can talk and when they must remain silent. The victim knows when the abuse is coming. They do everything they can to avoid being abused, regardless of the form of abuse. What it all boils down to is that control equals fear.
The victim will not do certain things, out of fear. For instance, the victim will not speak because at that moment they know that if they do, they will be hurt very badly. On the contrary, there are some things that the victim will do, also out of fear. An example of this is when the victim is being sexually abused. They will allow their abuser to do whatever they want to them because they are extremely afraid of them.
Fear is powerful in the sense that when a victim lives in fear, their abuser has control over them. They will be constantly aware of their surroundings, out of fear. For children, this is especially sad because their awareness of their surroundings can even carry out onto the playground at school. They are constantly in a state of awareness, due to the fear. Another example is that the victim will not tell anyone what is happening, out of fear. Even though a counselor at school may notice that something is wrong, the child will not talk about it, out of fear. Iíll never forget what happened to a little girl that was being abused, and the scenario was released to the media. The police went to her house to check on her and when she answered the door, they asked her if she was being hurt and she said no. Her abuser was standing right behind her. What else is she going to say? Of course, she is going to say no! She was afraid. She was being controlled.
All of these scenarios may be due to fear, but the main thing to remember is that the abuser has control over the victim, in every aspect. Emotional control is a powerful tool of the abuser. The abuser knows exactly what he or she is doing. Their goal is to have complete control over their victim. It is what they are striving for.
Remember, if you ever become aware of a child that is being abused, confront them about it gently. Let it be on their terms. Give them the time to speak about it. In the meantime, alert the authorities about your suspicions. The professionals are trained on how to deal with the control factor, as well as the fear that the child is under.