• Robin Parry

Social Isolation

Maintaining family connections and contact with special friends is vital for our wellbeing and yet the eroding of these vital bonds frequently occurs in domestic violence relationships. It generally occurs gradually and imperceptibly with the new man (or woman) in your life finding fault with those people or redirecting you in a different direction. As you knit together as a couple you may not notice the lessoning of contact with the people you love.

In more mature relationships each party will recognise the importance of their partner’s key relationships and ensures their continuance by enabling ongoing contact. An abuser, being more possessive, locates his happiness in an intense connection with his partner that often exclude others. As she becomes more in tune with his emotional needs she is even more likely to be steered in directions that further erode her key relationships. It is quite common for abused women to be coaxed to move to an isolated area, relocate interstate or overseas for reasons that may even seem valid to her at the time.

It is better for women to test their relationship by holding fast to their other important relationships and see if the more needy partner can adapt to a life she also shares with her family and friends. Moving away from her broader support network is too often a recipe for sadness, isolation and disconnection amid ongoing domination.