For three years, Joanne* stayed with a man who shamed, blamed, threatened and manipulated her. When she realised she was being emotionally abused, she ended the relationship. And now she’s working to get her self-esteem back.
“Like many people, I always believed that an abusive relationship was one in which there was physical abuse, like slapping, hitting or kicking. I didn’t know that a relationship was also abusive if one partner bullied, threatened, manipulated or neglected the other. Unfortunately, that was my last relationship, but because I didn’t see my boyfriend’s treatment as abuse, I convinced myself that everything was normal and stayed with him for three years.