Stage 1 – Denial: The start of the Relationship
She will start this on an emotional high – she is being promised the most wonderful relationship ever. She may think that “she has died and gone to heaven”.
As he starts to become controlling and violent she will deny to herself that her partner’s behaviour towards her is domestic abuse. She is dealing with each incident as a “one off”, quickly dismissing it as a mistake!
Issues & Feelings
- Ecstatically happy one minute and worried and anxious the next.
- Feeling guilty because she must be doing something wrong and he has started to tell her it is her fault.
- Feeling unable to talk to anyone for fear of betraying him – especially if he has manipulated himself into the family’s good books.
- Over time she may have to deal with bewilderment about the sudden changes in him.
- Feeling betrayed by family and friends – because he has started to isolate her by lying about them or maligning them.
- Self doubt because she did not see that family and friends were ‘no good for her’ – this may happen more and more as she loses her sense of true reality and buys into his skewed perspectives.
- Conversely she may be very happy because he is making family and friends also believe that he is wonderful.
- Nagging from family and friends who can see him for what he is.
- Self doubt because her judgement of him is being questioned.
- Hurt and angry because family and friends don’t like him
- Torn between him and family and friends as both may be forcing her to choose.
- Feeling abandoned by family and friends.
- Worrying about how to ‘help him’ deal with the problems he says are causing this.
- Beginning to be afraid of him.
These are just some of the issues and feelings that victims of DV will go through during the Denial Stage.
These observations have been made by Warwickshire Domestic Violence Support Services.