That annoying little word that most try to ignore and/or pretend doesn’t exist. We avoid the pretty blonde at the water cooler on those days that she does her hair in ways to hide a bruised eye and/or face.
We tuck our heads and march on when we see a frustrated parent yelling obscenities at a child while striking them.
We scoff at the stay-at-home dad whose wife belittles him because the kids interrupted her conference call.
We ignore the mom who’s husband begrudgingly hands over a small stipend each week, effectively controlling her spending.
These are all situations that showcase some form of abuse, none of which are acceptable, all of which are common. Be it physical, emotional, psychological, verbal or economic/financial, they are all ways for a person to exercise control, destructive and all too commonly ignored.
Breaking from an abusive relationship isn’t easy. Often times, the abused doesn’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem.
They make excuses for a partner’s behavior; explanations that usually paint themselves the instigators. “Oh, he didn’t mean to hit me. I broke his father’s pocket watch.”, “It’s not abuse because she doesn’t hit me. She just yells and swears a lot.”, “Oh he’s not really controlling; I spend too much money on myself.”
And men are just as affected by abusive relationships as women, and unfortunately there aren’t as many resources available for them. It’s no secret that majority of the cases of reported domestic abuse claim female victims, but men suffer from the adverse affects of domestic abuse, as do children.
So how do you deal with relationship abuse?
First things first; don’t make excuses for your abusers. If they’ve placed you in a situation in which you have to ponder if it was abusive or not, it probably was, and they were wrong, not you.
The quicker you can acknowledge that you’re in a situation that’s best left in the past, the quicker you can find yourself on a path to recovery.
Utilize all options available for you. This means the police, shelters, community centers, friends and family, etc,. Never be ashamed or afraid to seek out help or alert someone if you are going through any form of relationship abuse.
It’s not always easy to break away from an abusive relationship, and sometimes, a little help is necessary. Lots of shelters/centers are in place to actually help victims find jobs and safe housing.
Another option for handling abuse is quite simple, but not as easy as one would think; talking about it. It’s easier said than done seeing as how victims of abuse are reluctant to speak about it, particularly men. But talking about the impact of relationship abuse as well as acknowledging it and its effects on you is quite therapeutic. Either with a friend or family or a professional, talking does help.
Join a support group! Meet and talk with other victims. Many victims of abuse sometimes find themselves suffering in silence under the misguided belief that they are the only ones being made to deal with said abuse.
Support groups are a great source of inspiration; comprising of members who are survivors of abuse and people who are attempting to break free of it.
And of course….if all else fails……
LEAVE!! It doesn’t matter how much time is invested, how long you’ve known each other, what money has been spent……….
It doesn’t matter if you feel you owe someone; nothing should stop you from leaving an abusive relationship.
If all other methods are exhausted and you know without a doubt that the abuse is likely to continue, get some professional help and LEAVE!!
Above all, victims of domestic abuse should realize that they can’t change their partners.
Trying to stay in an abusive relationship with the hopes that things will ‘get better’ is subjective, and could have calamitous results.
Never think that any abuse you’re subjected to is warranted.
You have the right to live a healthy, happy life, without abuse, and full of love.