It’s abuse. What now?
TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MENTIONS OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE.
From the 25th November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to the 10th December (Human Rights Day), there is the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence Campaign, focused to raise awareness on pressing issue of domestic violence against women and girls from all over the world.
I have decided to publish content on the subject for the next 16 days, in order to reach as many people as we can and spread some informations that can be helpful to many people who are suffering from domestic abuse.
Recognising that your relationship has taken a dark-twisted turn is hard; nobody wants to face the reality that your partner – the person you once loved and trusted – might actually be damaging you psychologically and physically.
It’s hard to break the cycle. It’s hard to ask for help.
There is shame, fear of repercussion, fear of being ridiculed. Fear of not knowing what’s the next stop.
Some people feel like they have no choice in ending an abusive relationship, because they simply can’t see a chance of surviving outside of that kind of damaging relationship.
They think, “What if I break up with him and nobody wants me?”
“What’s going to happen to my kids, at least they have a roof and food every day”
Or. “What are they going to think of me?”
Especially for victims of abuse who fall back into their relationship, asking for help is a delicate and extremely difficult situation.
I have read about and talked to survivors of domestic abuse and I have written with you a few small steps that can be taken to walk out of an abusive relationship. HOWEVER, DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT A PROFESSIONAL, AS THEY ARE TRAINED TO GIVE YOU THE SUPPORT THAT IS SUITED TO YOUR SITUATION.
HOW TO GET OUT OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Recognize the abuse.
The first step is to recognize that you are suffering from an on-going form of abuse. If you are unsure whether your relationship is abusive, this might help.
Have a safe exit plan.
It is fundamental that you make safety your first priority when leaving the relationship; in fact 70% of domestic violence accidents happen when the victim of the abuse attempts to leave, therefore it is extremely important that you have a well-thought plan on how to make your way out of it.
3. Talk to someone you trust.
Abusive relationshipS will steal the confidence in yourself and your desire to be around people, but it is important that you talk to somebody you trust about the situation you live in. Talking to a friend, or a family member can only give you support that you need through a tough time like that, but it can also strengthen your personal safety and it is a sheltered step closer to leaving the relationship. Be careful with who you choose to talk to, as you can’t afford to have people fuelling any kind of drama in your life at a delicate time like this. Only people you can trust with your life.
4. Talk to a professional.
Thankfully, there is a wide range of professionals and organisations who will be willing to give you the support that you need. Google your local domestic violence’s support centre, or simply call the helpline number if you feel like you need to be more anonymous.
Don’t be afraid to sound stupid, or in the way; people are trained to help other people like you get out of horrible situations and live the life they actually deserve.
5. Have a money plan.
Set money aside like an emergency plan for your leaving. Especially if you’re leaving with the person who abuses you, or if you depend on them; your worry about your finances will set you back from leaving the relationship.
If you don’t have money, talk to somebody you can trust and explain to them the situation, they will understand.
Money will help you taking the first steps in gaining your independence and life back after the abuse.
6. Be careful of your searching history.
In the digital age, your abuser is more likely to be aware that you could be searching for articles like this one. For your own safety, delete all of your browsing history, text messages and screenshots, in order for them to not catch you and cause even further abuse.
If you want to be 100% sure that your history won’t come up, Google Chrome offers the option to browse the internet under Incognito Mode.
7. Be ahead of their schedule.
They have absolute control and power over you, so they will know 100% what you’re doing at all times; or at least they would imagine it.
Knowing what your abuser is up to and what their schedules might be like can help you in planning your escape and in understand when it’s the best time to get out.
8. Keep the evidence.
The violence you have had to endure might be triggering undesired emotions, but keeping an account of what your abuser has done to you will be significantly helpful in ending the abuse inflicted upon you and potentially on others.
Keep a dairy, take pictures, write anywhere you can exactly what happens, as it can enforce your word against them.
You might relive the horrific moments again, so you might want to be with a professional or a trusted friend when doing that, in order to ensure your mental strength as well.
COMMIT TO IT. BELIEVE IN IT.
You will find so many reasons not to and complications in leaving a person who has no care in the world for your life; but you have to believe in yourself.
Depending on the gravity of the abuse you have endured, it might be hard to find that confidence in your own voice, therefore why it’s important that you open up to trusted people, or professionals, that can help you in supporting your decision.
You deserve better. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be treated like the person you are. You deserve to be loved like a person.
And it will be hard to leave, but your life will start right past that decision again.
There are thousounds of organisations and communities ready to welcome you and your kids into a safer environment and they will give you the support you need to rebuild your life one step at the time.