In the world today, abusive relationships seem to be prevalent. This has necessitated several organizations, health institutions and private individuals to educate the public about how to escape from an abusive relationship.
It is a well-known fact that victims of abuse are very vulnerable. They lack the capacity to make any beneficial decision. In fact, most of them don’t know how to end the interminable abuse from partners. In this article, we will highlight some proven and reliable steps that you will help you overcome an abusive relationship
- Acknowledge the Abuse: You may think because you are not being hit physically, you are not being abused. But here is the truth. Abuse is not only physical; it can also be emotional, financial, sexual or psychological. It involves the use of manipulative or forceful behaviors to wield control over the other person. It can be quite difficult coming to terms with this fact. But acknowledging this abuse could save your life in the long run.
- Document Everything: It is not easy to forget about all the pains you are experiencing. Yes, it is not easy. Getting out of an abusive relationship takes time and conscientious effort from the victim. Therefore, while you plan your escape, document all the times your partner was abusive to you in a note. If possible, record some of your experiences of what you are passing through. And also take photographs of any physical altercations between you and your partner. Ensure that these materials are kept far from prying eyes. The items will be useful in the long run if he decides to blackmail you. Or they could be admitted as evidence if a court case ever arises.
- Ask for Help: A modus operandi favored by abusers is isolation. They keep you away from friends and family so that you have no one to lean on when the abuse starts. Reach out to trusted relatives and friends and explain your present situation. There are also organizations that could provide shelter if you are finding it difficult to stay alone at home. Take advantage of the aid they provide. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. Most of them understand your predicament and will do everything within their power to make you smile again.
- Have a List of Emergency Contacts: Prepare a list of contacts that you could rely on in case your abusive partner wants to assault you. The list could include trusted friends or family members, or the police. Also endeavor to keep this list in a safe and secret place inaccessible to your abuser. If possible, memorize the contacts.
- Keep Money and Other Personal Things Aside: A time will come when you would have to leave your abusive partner in a hurry. Research has shown that informing your abuser of your willingness to leave increases the risk of you getting hurt. So have some money kept in a separate bank account that can readily be accessible to you in the event that you have to flee. Pack an overnight bag filled with clothes for you and your kids. Also include medications, toiletries, legal identifications, or copies of vital paperwork in your luggage. It is recommended that whatever you set aside should last for two weeks.
- Don’t Argue with your Abuser: Arguing with your abusive partner will do you more harm than good. Such actions might provoke the abuser more, thus encouraging the abuser to maltreat or assault you. Trying to explain to the person is like talking to wind. They will never yield to your explanations. In fact, most abusers often think that they are always right and you are always wrong. So, don’t argue with them. Even if they say 1 + 1 = 11, just agree with them for your own safety.
- Choose a Suitable Time to Leave: Plan to leave when you are sure that the abuser is not around. This is to prevent you getting hurt when you intend to leave the apartment. And if you want, you can always call the abuser later to explain why you had to leave. Please, don’t allow the abuser to know when you intend to leave. Doing so could put your life in danger.
- Block All Communication Lines: This is to prevent your abuser from contacting you. Not only your phone, block the cruel person on all your social media account. If the abuser has access to any of your social media account, change your passwords. And in cases of joint bank accounts, inform the bank that you are no longer a co-signer so that the financial institution can discontinue the account.
- Use a Mediator: Most abusers have been blessed with the gift of gab. With this, they could easily persuade you to return or do any of their biddings. To avoid the manipulations, use a third-party in whatever discourse you have with such person. Use a relative, a friend or a lawyer. Do not allow the abuser to pressure you into thinking that you have to talk directly with him/her.
- File Charges: This step should be taken when it is almost impossible to shake the abuser off. Gather all the evidence at your disposal to the court and file for a restraining order. Liaise with lawyers and the relevant authorities to ensure that you get proper information on how to file for a divorce. Doing this could grant you reprieve from the person.
- Pray to God: If you are the religious type, praying to God will really help you to overcome the abusive relationship. Although this might not work for some people, it can bring out positive results for you. Just go to a religious center, pray to God to change the heart of your abuser. Or better still, pray to God for the cruel person to just get out of your life.
Being in an abusive relationship could happen to anyone regardless of the race, cultural background or religious affiliation you belong to. We admit that it would not be easy for you to just quit the abusive. But for your sanity and peace of mind, you need to take concrete steps now.
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