Domestic abuse comes in all shapes and sizes. Abuse can be verbal, emotional, sexual, physical, financial and more. However, the media tends to portray only the most obvious type of domestic abuse: physical abuse. I believe that is part of the reason that people have a hard time understanding why survivors of domestic abuse don’t “just leave” as if it’s so easy. The narrow portrayal of domestic abuse also makes people less likely to be aware of other types of abuse that are far less obvious but just as damaging. An important example which is seen in a few of the tweets is gaslighting. Google it if you’re not already familiar with the term. I’d explain it myself, but I at this point in time I don’t think I can do the term justice.
The hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou highlights the subtler ways in which abuse can occur. I would encourage you to check out the hashtag.
Two important notes before you do check it out though: First, this of course carries a strong trigger warning for descriptions of domestic abuse. Second, I want to acknowledge the heteronormative tone of the hashtag. Domestic abuse can be perpetrated by and against any gender, and can happen in non-heterosexual relationships as well.
Here’s an article about the hashtag which features some of the tweets.