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Maid Series & Horrifying Statistics. How To Identify Financial or Emotional Abuse?

Right now one of the top series on Netflix is Maid, which details the journey of a young, single mother that escapes an abusive relationship and the struggle she then faces to support herself and her young child. And while known actors such as Billy Burke and Margaret Qualley take on the roles, this was a story and situation that would be familiar to many women around the world. In fact, the one that is featured in the Netflix series is based on a memoir by Stephanie Land. However, Land is one of many women who struggle with domestic abuse in one or more of its forms. And while some to this day consider this a taboo topic in polite conversation or something to be ashamed of, just how big of a problem is it, and are there ways to spot the signs? Read on to find out more about the show and the reality that 1 in 3 women around the world will face at some point in their lives.

Maid - Top Netflix Series

On October 1st, Maid, which stars Margaret Qualley as Alex, as well as Nick Robinson, Andie MacDowell (who actually is Margaret’s mother in real life), and Billy Burke, among others. It tells the story of a young woman who along with her little daughter, runs away from her husband, of whom she was dependant, and ends up at a facility that helps victims of abuse. Through the show, she comes to a realization that she herself has been a victim and learns about the help that she can get. Throughout the show’s runtime, we see Alex try and navigate a load of forms to fill out in the hopes of qualifying for her, her struggles for custody of her daughter, and many other obstacles are thrown her way before she is able to turn her life around. Many internet users had claimed that watching the young, single mother struggle to make a life for herself and her young daughter Maddy was exhausting and difficult to watch, let alone live through. Read on to find out more about the woman whose story was portrayed in the show.

Maid - Real Life Story

Yet for many women around the world, this is something that they had gone through. Even the story that inspired the Netflix show was based on what Stephanie Land had gone through. Land had escaped an abusive relationship and lacked any support from her family. As she revealed in her memoir, at one point she was on seven different forms of government assistance as she, a single mother without child care, worked the only job available to her, cleaning houses between 2008 and 2016. All that time, as she worked scrubbing people’s houses clean, she got through thanks to the love for her child and a dream that one day she could be a writer. And so, when she did publish her memoir “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and A Mother’s Will to Survive” it reached the New York Times bestseller list in 2019 and later the basis for the Netflix show. Speaking with CNN about her experiences, prior to the show’s release, Stephanie had said that for her, seeing her story on the screen felt validating and a relief to see her experience be shown in an authentic way. She had also touched upon the stigma and misconception that comes with people who are in poverty and struggling and hoped that the series and her story show people that it is difficult to get through the hoops of the system and it’s not as easy as “going out to get a better job”.

The Reality For Many Women

In a way there are many people who see the topic of domestic abuse as a taboo topic that should not be discussed in polite conversation. Yet this is a reality that men women around the world face. According to estimates published by the World Health Organization, globally about 1 in 3 women have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. That is about 30%. Furthermore, almost one-third (27%) of women aged 15-49 who have been in a relationship, report that they have been subjected to some sort of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner. And if that in itself wasn’t terrifying enough, WHO had also reported that globally, as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners. While the abuse in itself is horrific, it is not always physical, so make sure to read on to find out what other kinds of abuse there are.

Maid - Top Netflix Series

Domestic Abuse Is Not Just Physical

As it was showcased on the Netflix show, domestic abuse doesn’t necessarily have to be physical, which is why in many cases women don’t even know that they are being abused by their partners. In some cases, they don’t seek help until the abuse gets physical, despite the fact that there might have already been some red flags. Controlling behavior, for example, is a way for the abuser to maintain dominance over the victim. The belief that they are justified in this behavior, and in most cases, the resultant abuse is the core issue in domestic violence. Often it is very subtle and almost always insidious and pervasive and can be something such them unexpectedly checking up on their partner which, according to the Arizona Coalition to end sexual and domestic violence, can at first be seen as a loving gesture but it could also be seen as a sign of jealousy and possessiveness. The abuse experienced can be either physical, verbal, sexual, psychological, or even economic when a woman is either totally financially dependant on their partner or they are the one in control of her finances, which is something that is highlighted in the show.

Maid - Real Life Story

Effects Of Domestic Abuse

There are many ways in which experiencing abuse in a relationship affects a person. One of the main ones is victim-blaming. According to statistics released by the LAPD as much as 53% of women in the United States alone, who had been physically abused by their partners, who stayed in the relationship, have experienced self-blame, trying to reason that they did something to deserve what had happened to them. And because of this, and the social stigma surrounding the topic, it has also been reported that most cases of domestic abuse never get reported to the police. But abuse can have many other effects, not just physical. As per the CDC, the cost of intimate partner abuse which involves rape, physical assault, and stalking, has exceeded $5.8 billion each year, costing nearly $4.1 billion in direct medical and mental health care services alone. Though the economic effects also touch the people involved as it was reported that victims of domestic abuse lose out a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year, and because of this between 21-60% of them lose their jobs for reasons stemming from it, such as the aforementioned loss of workdays. Though sometimes there are some red flags that can be looked out for in relationships, so read on to find out what some of them are.

The Reality For Many Women

Abuse Relationship Red Flags

It has often been reported that in many abusive relationships, the warning signs have been evident relatively early in the relationship and often they may only become clear in hindsight or be easier for others to see. They are often swept under the rug, ignored, or wrongly explained and while at the start they might be subtle, slowly they increase to full-blown abuse. We’ve already talked about controlling behavior and how it is most often the core of an abusive relationship. New Directions, which is an organization that helps victims of domestic abuse, had highlighted that many of the red flags include Jealousy, Quick Involvement, such as not long after starting a relationship the couple gets engaged or moves in together or there are pressures for commitment. Others include unrealistic expectations for their partner and their lives together, blaming others for problems even when they are really the ones to blame, blaming others for feelings, being disrespectful or cruel to others, using playful force during intimate relations, or even changing their behavior within seconds from being nice and calm to angry and hot-headed the next. Those are just some of the many red flags that there can be in relationships, but as we have mentioned before, they often get overlooked or ignored.

Domestic Abuse Is Not Just Physical

Getting Help

Many victims of domestic abuse have stated that one of the hardest things to do was getting help. That could be for various reasons, either they were scared, didn’t realize that they were in an abusive relationship to start with, or their partner had so much control over them that they were unable to do anything without raising suspicion. While there are many organizations around the world that help people out such as domestic violence hotlines, victims don’t always have the option to freely reach out to get help. One of the most famous and talked-about cases of someone getting help without their abuser knowing was from 2019 when an unnamed woman in Ohio had called the police, asking for help but was pretending to order pizza. While at first, the officer was confused as to what was going on, he had later caught on a through simple yes and no questions, was able to find out more information to help the woman. There are many organizations to help women get out our such situations, though when it comes to getting other support, such as financial aid, things aren’t always as easy. So read on to find out more.

Effects Of Domestic Abuse

The Difficult System

One of the things that have been highlighted by the Netflix series Maid, has been how difficult it can be to get through the system to get support from the government. Some of the more illustrative scenes show Alex trying to apply for assistance and showcase the many different hoops that people have to jump through to qualify for a particular program. This is an issue that around 37 million people in the US alone have to navigate through, solving jigsaw puzzles just to secure some aid and then worry about making just little enough to be eligible for these schemes, but also not too much so that they would lose them. There have been cases where some women were struggling to provide for their children with what they were earning, however, their income was just a little too high to qualify for food stamps or other aid. What the show had also highlighted was the need for many documentations, some of which, the women applying for the help either didn’t have or were not aware that they would need something like that. This is also something that Stephanie Land knows too well and talked about in one of her interviews. When asked if she thinks the systems are designed in a way to help people she said that she doesn’t think so. Land said that the people in charge can say that the number of people signing up for unemployment is down and that everything is getting better but as she said, that is not the case. She highlighted that this can mean someone’s paperwork got lost and so they were kicked off the support, or all of the reevaluation paperwork got too difficult to fill out, or that they were missing some slip of paper that they needed. During the CNN interview, she had said, “There are a lot of reasons why people go off government assistance, and it's usually not because they now suddenly have the resources where they just decided to jump off the welfare cliff. I think it's because they are fatigued at being in the system.”

Abuse Relationship Red Flags

Not Just Women

While most domestic violence help adverts or even articles are aimed towards women, it is also worth pointing out that men can also end up as the victims of domestic abuse. According to official statistics, one in 6-7 men will be a victim of abuse in their lifetime, and in the domestic abuse crimes that had been recorded by the police, 26% were committed against men. Yet, as statistics prove men are less likely to seek help. The ManKind Initiative, which is a UK organization that helps men who are victims of domestic abuse, had revealed that 61% of men who call their hotline have never spoken about their problems with anyone else and 64% claimed that they would not have called if the helpline was not anonymous. They had also highlighted that there isn’t as much help in these cases aimed towards men as according to SafeLives data only 4.4% of victims being supported by local domestic services are men.

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