Walking Away From An Abusive Relationship

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You Are Not Alone

Domestic abuse is by no means a black and white, easily defined act. It can take on many forms including physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse.

While it can be easy to pass judgement on those in abusive relationships and question why they don’t leave, it must be acknowledged that the problem runs a lot deeper.

Usually, domestic abuse works in a cycle in which the perpetrator will make the victim feel as though they deserve the situation they are in by using guilt as a manipulating force.

But, if you’re stuck in a relationship that shows any sign of abuse, please know that there is a way out and there are people to talk to that can help.

The psychological effect that abuse can have on a victim is hard to understand unless you are in the situation yourself.

There are many misconceptions about being in this type of relationship. Here we clear up some of the most dangerous myths about intimate partner violence.

1. If someone abuses you, its an obvious decision to leave.

Domestic violence is a complex situation where there can be extenuating circumstances. For example, if the victim is economically dependent on the perpetrator and can’t afford to raise a child without them, then it makes it a lot harder to leave. Plus, abusers are usually very manipulating and can be extremely charming and loving when they’re not in ‘abuse’ mode. They also tend to bring down victim’s self-esteem and ignite their insecurities so much so that victims begin to believe that they ‘deserve’ the abuse.

2. Domestic abuse is rare.

If you’re in an abusive relationship and you feel as though you’re alone, please know that you’re not. The unfortunate reality is that 1 in 4 women will experience relationship violence at some point in their life, be it emotional, physical, sexual, financial, spiritual or verbal. It’s ok to reach out for support – you are not alone.

3. Domestic abuse is always physical.

This couldn’t be further from the truth and unfortunately, a lot of emotional abuse is simply ignored or dismissed as a bad mood or ‘just words’. Emotional abuse can cripple your self esteem, leading to depression and isolating you from family and friends. Of course, it goes without saying that sexual abuse can be emotionally and physically crippling.

If you’ve found yourself in a relationship that you deem abusive, or your situation with your ex has turned abusive in any way since you separated or divorced, then please reach out and speak to someone. Walking away from someone you love – even if they abuse you – can be an extremely hard thing to do. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and help is within easy reach.

The organisations below are available to help at any hour of the day:

U.K
National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
24 hour free hotline
www.refuge.org.uk/
Victim Support Helpline
0845 30 30 900
24 hour free hotline
www.victimsupport.org.uk/

USA
Stop Relationship Abuse
Toll Free Phone: 800-799-7233
24 hour free hotline
www.stoprelationshipabuse.org
National Coalition Against
Domestic Violence
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
24 hour free hotline
www.ncadv.org/

AUSTRALIA
1800 Respect
1800 737 732
24 Hour free hotline
www.1800respect.org.au/
Lifeline
131 114
24 hour free hotline
www.lifeline.org.au/
Relationships Australia
1300 364 277
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm / Sat 10am-4pm
www.relationships.org.au/