Are You in an Abusive Relationship? There is Hope
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 20 people are abused every minute by someone they love. This adds up to millions of individuals every year who are the victims of domestic violence. Contrary to what many believe, domestic violence is not gender-specific. It affects both genders, although women are usually on the receiving end. In addition, many children witness domestic abuse, which is traumatizing for them. If you are involved an abusive relationship, you are not alone, but you may be wondering what can be done. Is there hope? While no one said it would be easy, there are steps you can take, no matter what side of the domestic violence you are on, to escape this situation.
For the Victim
If you are in an abusive relationship and looking for a way to escape, there are some important things to keep in mind. You want to ensure you and your children’s safety above all else. Here are tips, some of which are from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- Do not let your partner know you are planning to leave.
- Make a safety plan while you are still living with an abusive person. This plan includes deescalating situations, having an escape route, using a signal word to indicate to your children to get help, minimizing injuries if you cannot escape an escalating situation, and keeping your car fueled and ready to go at any hour.
- Document evidence of physical injuries with pictures, journal accounts, and telling others.
- Develop a plan about where you will go once you leave.
- Stash away money if possible so you will not be tempted to return.
- Learn a skill, trade, or take classes so you can secure a good-paying job to support yourself.
- Research what resources are available to provide aid to you and your children.
- DO NOT research on your own computer or phone, there is no way to permanently delete the search history and if discovered, this could pose a great risk to you. Use a friend’s computer.
- After you leave, immediately get a protective order. Use the documented evidence of injuries sustained to back up your claims.
- Only tell trusted family or friends of your whereabouts.
- Get a new phone number and make sure it is unlisted so no one can obtain it.
- Make changes to your regular routine and the route you normally take to places like work, your children’s school, church, and so on.
- Notify your children’s school and everyone within close proximity of your home about the restraining order and provide pictures of the abuser.
- Consider changing your children’s school.
- Take steps to make your home more secure.
For the abuser
If you are the person who is on the abusing side of this issue, there is hope for you too. Surely you feel remorse once the situation has calmed down and you realize what you have done. You need to take appropriate steps to create a happy home once and for all. You can change if you truly put forth the effort. Here are tips to guide you.
- Admit you have a need. Don’t blame anyone but look inward and realize you need help.
- Seek immediate assistance for your problem. Caring counselors are available that will help you get to the root of your problem.
- Keep all of your counseling appointments even if you start to feel better. Many people think their problems are over after just a few sessions because they feel better. However, the work of change is just beginning.
- Determine it within your own heart that this time will be different. Believe in yourself to change. If you stick with anger management counseling and other forms of help, you can change.
If you have found yourself on the other end of the law due to a domestic violence situation, your first step is to get bailed out of jail. Then you can begin the journey of healing. For help with your bail, contact us today.