Emotional abuse is prohibited in Iceland
Threats, humiliation, intense monitoring, and using control to make you feel bad, are all examples of emotional abuse. If someone around you makes you feel this way or if you are experiencing any of these things, you are likely in an abusive relationship. People who abuse others often try to excuse it by blaming the other person or make excuses like being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or stress. Remember, it is never your fault if someone abuses you!
The repercussions of emotional abuse can run deeper than physical abuse. Emotional abuse leaves invisible wounds that are often difficult to grasp.
It could be emotional abuse when someone:
- Doesn't respect how you feel.
- Creates an oppressive atmosphere at home.
- Yells at or threatens you or others in your home.
- Lies and manipulates or misleads you.
- Constantly criticizes you, your family or friends.
- Attempts to control you with sulking or silence.
- Tells you how and what to do.
- Becomes angry for little or no reason.
- Calls you belittling names.
- Harasses you via phone or in person.
- Restrains you in any way from seeing your family or friends.
Common threats against a foreign spouse
- The woman can be deported with a single telephone call, either by giving the police or the Directorate of Immigration false information, or because he has friends there.
- The man will get custody of their child or children because she is of foreign origin or that he will tell the authorities that she is an unfit mother.
There is no need to fear threats like these. Whether it concerns the right to stay in Iceland, which parent will have custody of children or something else entirely, is the decision of public authorities. They follow the law, examine the circumstances and instances of each case individually and base their decision on these factors. The result is never based on the wishes or claims of one person.
Cycle of violence
Violence in intimate relationships often follows the same behavioural pattern known as the cycle of violence.
- Tension builds up.
- At some point the tension is released in the form of physical or emotional abuse.
- “The honeymoon phase” follows where the abusive person is full of regret.
Then this vicious cycle repeats itself.
It is always best to talk to someone about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. If you want assistance, contact abuse support centres for free: Bjarkarhlíð in Reykjavík, Bjarmahlíð in Akureyri or Sigurhæðir in Selfoss. It doesn‘t matter how long it has been since the abuse occurred.
Additionally, everyone, both adults or children, can talk to someone for free at 1717 (Red Cross helpline).