Domestic violence affects men, women and children of all races and all ages. Once the victim is away from the situation, they find themselves vulnerable and angry. These steps will help you rebuild your life after ending an abusive relationship.
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Make sure your children are taken care of. Domestic violence affects parents and children. While it’s difficult for everyone involved, children tend to not completely grasp what is going on. If the child witnessed the abuse, he or she may be angry at you and your spouse. The best way to handle this situation is to get your child in therapy. Find a therapist that your child trusts and do what whatever it takes to help your child heal.
Find a counsellor. Now that your child has a therapist, it’s time for you to find one. This step is crucial because a therapist can help you rebuild many things including self esteem, trust and other relationship issues. Visit a local women’s shelter to find out if they have therapists on site or if they can refer you to someone who specifically deals with abuse victims. Once you’ve found a therapist, set goals and continue to go even after those goals have been reached. Start journaling. This will give you insight into your feelings and how you are progressing.
Rebuild your self esteem. When an individual is verbally or physically abused, it takes a dramatic toll on his or her self esteem. Abuse works in a backwards way. Often times if a woman is abused she will try to ‘be better’ the next time with the hope that the abuse won’t happen again. When it does happen again, she will feel like she did something to cause it. Slowly, this process tears down her self esteem until there is nothing left.
Don’t rush into a new relationship. For many domestic violence victims, the cycle continues long after one abusive relationship ends. Many victims find themselves in another relationship that is abusive. The best thing to do is to wait to get involved with anyone. You should have friends, but take some time away from the dating scene.
Utilise your resources. Many domestic violence victims utilise local resources such as shelters and therapists when the abuse is occurring or immediately after. Once they see the tiniest glimmer of hope, they decide they don’t need to use these resources anymore. They believe they’re fine. The best policy is to utilise these resources until the goals you set in therapy are met. Make this decision with your therapist, not by yourself.
Tips and warnings
- Spend time with your support system whether that be family or friends.
- Do your best to cut off contact with the abuser. Otherwise, the road to recovery is much more difficult.