Surviving Domestic Violence
Domestic violence and domestic abuse are serious issues that affect both men and women. They often go hand in hand, but just because you are not being physically attacked, doesn’t mean you aren’t being abused. It is important to know the signs and recognize when they are present in your life. Some of these signs include…
Jealousy over who you talk to.
Embarrassing or putting you down in front of others.
Finding faults, and correcting things you said or did after a social event.
Making you feel worthless / useless / devalued
Threatening you or your loved ones / pets.
Wants to be involved with and control everything you do.
Checks in often and regularly to see what you are doing, where you are, and who is with you.
Always wants you to do things with their friends and family.
Is not interested in spending time with your friends, family, or activities, and objects to you being involved.
Keeps money from you and doesn't put you on credit card accounts, checking and/or savings accounts.
Slams things, throws things, or breaks things when upset.
Punishes you, by abusing your children, or pets.
Makes all the decisions in your relationship.
Doesn't let you further your education, or work.
Requires you to work excessively while all the money goes to them.
Blames you for their mistakes.
Denies, or controls your access to medicine, medical care, or medical devices.
Pushes, slaps, restrains, kicks, punches, or in any other way physically hurts you.
Threatens to turn you into immigration for deportation.
Expects/demands sex, sexual acts you aren't comfortable with, or sexually assaults you.
Regardless of how long the relationship has been going on, the sooner you get out the better. The longer you stay, the harder / more dangerous it becomes to get out. The abusive partner will be more invested as time passes, and more determined to keep you from getting away.
Verbal Abuse is often used before the physical abuse starts or in conjunction with it. The abusive partner uses this to tear you down and make you easier to control / manipulate. The more they can get you to feel worthless, the more power they ultimately have over you. Do these examples sound like they would come from someone speaking out of love?
“Everything you say is stupid, nobody wants to hear it, you should just keep your mouth shut.”
“If you had done it right, then I wouldn’t have to be mad at you.”
“Why are you dressing like that, you look like a whore, do you want other people to think that’s what you are?”
“You can’t do anything right, you’re lucky I put up with you, nobody else ever will.”
Don’t let this bring you down, recognize this for exactly what it is, abuse. Someone trying to make you doubt yourself. Remember that you have value and worth, and that you don’t deserve to be treated that way.
Now that you know the signs and if you have decided to move on, here are a few things to help with the process.
SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE!!!!!!
Your Safety and the safety of your children are number one and not negotiable. Make a safety plan, know when the best time to leave will be
Have somewhere you can go that will be safe, while you put your life back together
Learn their triggers and how to avoid them, if you have children make sure they will be safe as well
Leave any nonessential belongings. You can buy a new wardrobe, you can’t buy another life
Respond with violence, unless you have to defend your life. It will immediately escalate things.
Let them know where you are going
Leave them anyway to find you. Pick up a pre-paid cell phone. If your car has a tracking device, disable it. Think of anything else that can be used to find you, and remove it from your life.
These are only a few of the things you can do when leaving an abusive or dangerous relationship. It’s a long hard road, but you don’t have to be a victim. You can take control of your life and make sure you are safe. No one deserves to abused or live in fear for themselves and their children or loved ones.
For additional information, resources, or help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TDD at 1-800-787-3224, or visit their website at www.thehotline.org.