What is abuse? Is it just the physical act of inflicting pain on the other person or merely the show of physical violence? No. It is not. Abuse is just not physical; it is mental too. Abuse can be physical, mental, or sexual, and it needs to be addressed.
As the world is progressing, people are becoming more aware of mental health issues and the need for good mental health. The primary hindrance to good mental health is an abusive relationship.
Here are certain tips which might help you to get out of an abusive relationship.
Read the Signs: An abusive relationship starts like any other relationship, and even before you understand it becomes abusive. A happy relationship should be a safe home and not a war zone. Notice your surroundings, notice the changes in the behavior of your partner and their actions.
Acknowledgment: Acknowledge the fact that the dynamics of your relationship have changed. It may be small things like changes in their tones, a tendency to joke about your insecurities, or a controlling attitude and curbing your freedom.
Fight for Yourself: Do not succumb to the demands of your partner. At some times it may feel like possessiveness, but too much of anything is bad and tends to become unhealthy real quick. Voice your opinions out and take your own decisions.
Communication: Communicate with your friends and family about the problems that you face and the mental or physical torture you are going through. Do not isolate yourself and suffer in silence. Share your problems. You are not a burden for others and your problems are not trivial.
Self Confidence: Do not lose your self-confidence in the process of dealing with an abusive relationship. You have to tell yourself that is not your fault and you are not to be blamed. When your partner tries to pass on the blame to you, stand up for yourself.
Documentation: Keep a record of all the wrongs that have been done to you. Documentation is very important for the legal procedures and the law believes in proofs. Maintain a journal, make sure you are heard. Note everything down, however much irrelevant or minor it may seem. Take pictures of the bruises and cuts caused by your partner and keep a tab of how regularly it is happening. Proofs backed by an accurate timeline are shreds of very good evidence in a court of law.
Prepare Yourself: Prepare yourself emotionally as well as financially for the future ahead. Getting out of a relationship is hard, it is even harder to let go of the good memories. Make yourself emotionally strong and do not keep your emotions to yourself, share them with trusted people. Vent out your emotions and do not hold back. Arrange your finances for the road ahead and take your financial decisions yourself. If you are financially dependent on your partner, start looking for new career prospects. No job is considered to be small when you are satisfied with it.
Go to a Therapist: Do not feel ashamed to seek help from a professional. Letting go of a relationship and a person you love is difficult and it is only human to feel devastated. Do not let this feeling engulf you. Talk to a therapist, seek their help to get out of the situation. Take the necessary prescribed medicines, if required.
Make Time for Yourself: Take time out for yourself and find your hobbies. Read a good book, listen to your favorite songs, and do everything that makes you happy.
Do Not Listen to What Others Say: The society we live in is a weird place. They will try to demoralize you and bring you down. Pay no heed to them. Do what you think is the right thing to do.
Call for Help: Do not think twice before calling for help when things go out of hand. Keep a list of emergency contacts, and keep them on your speed dial. Do not wait for things to escalate, call as soon as you feel the forthcoming danger.
Keep an Emergency Backpack: Pack a backpack with all your essentials and daily needs and hide it away in a safe place. Running away from your abuser is not escaping from your problems, but it is defending yourself.
Do Not Blame Yourself: Tell yourself it is and it was never your fault. There are moments when you will down and question your self-worth. Do not give in. Do not let the moments of self-doubt take over you or give you second thoughts. You are not responsible for your partner’s abusive behavior.
Do Not Lose Your Belief in Love: Love is an amazing feeling. Just because one relationship did not work out, do not give up on love. Give life and love another chance. Everyone deserves to be loved.
Do Not Think about Self-harm: No amount of physical pain can ever help you ease the pain inside. There will be times when the pain inside you will become unbearable and you will feel like it is the end of the world. Do not let these thoughts dwell on for too long as they lead to the thoughts of inflicting self-harm. Self-harm is never the answer to the problems faced by you.
Talk to Government Organizations: Seek help from organizations who specialize in helping the people in need. Do not hesitate to seek help from external organizations.
Self Help Centres: There are a lot of self-help centers where victims share their experiences and gain moral support from each other. Never feel that you are alone in this. You are not alone and there are a lot of people who will help you. You just need to ask for it. You are not irrelevant and your feelings matter.
Be Positive: When you decide to walk out of an abusive relationship, there are going to be a lot of negative thoughts racing through your mind. Stay positive and focus on your well-being. You are not being selfish; you are doing what is right for you and your happiness.
Travel: Treat yourself to a vacation. Rejuvenate yourself and take your mind off of things. A change of weather and a holiday from the monotonous life is an amazing way to distract yourself. Relax and give time to yourself.
Meditate: Find your peace of mind through meditating. Let all the negativity go and gain all the positive energy to start afresh.
Find Safe Places in the House: Walking out of a relationship takes time. If you live in the same house with your abuser, find safe places in your house where you can hide when things get rough. Take refuge in your safe place and call for help as soon as possible.
Self-Defence: If you come into regular contact with your abuser learn to defend yourself. When an injury is being inflicted on you, try to block the attack. Learn the techniques of self-defense from the internet or a trained person. Being able to protect yourself is of utmost importance.
Call the Police: Domestic violence or domestic abuse is a serious concern in our country, especially for women. Society has taught women to endure these traumas to save their families. Let go of these stupid societal pressures. Whenever you face any such abuse, immediately call the police and report your abuser.
Consent: Sexual abuse or marital rape is also a very serious concern. Make sure you are touched only when you have given your complete consent to this action. If anything is done to do against your concern, report it immediately. There is no shame in standing up for your rights, however difficult it might seem to be.
Shout for Help: Shout for help from your neighbors or your nearby organizations. They will be the first people to come to your aid and rescue you from your abuser.
Be Aware: If you are living with your abuser, be aware. Notice the red flags and steer clear of them. Alert all the emergency contacts and maintain distance. Do not engage or provoke. Your safety comes first.
Take Precautions: After walking out of the relationship your ex-partner might try to reconnect with you. Take all the necessary precautions and inform the police about any such event. They might try to harm you again.
Do Not Go for a Rebound: After walking out of your abusive relationship do not go into a rebound relationship. Give yourself time. The trauma of your previous relationship will haunt you and do not let that trauma sabotage another relationship. Take time out for yourself and find happiness in yourself.
You Cannot Help Your Abuser: Normally, you would want to be there for your partner and help them lead a better life. However, it is not probable for an abuser to change his nature or his behavior. By giving another chance to your abuser, you are not only exposing yourself to more trauma but also perpetuating your abuser’s issues. The result is that your abuser takes you for granted and with every passing day you become more vulnerable.
Love Yourself: Everyone deserves to be happy and to be loved. Love yourself and accept yourself as who you are. Tell yourself that you deserve to be treated rightly and with respect. Do not let the trauma of the abuse demoralize you. You deserve a safe and happy life.
Adopt a Dog: Dogs love you unconditionally and act as great therapists. They will help you get out of the trauma and will protect you fiercely. If you are living with your abuser train your dog to protect you whenever necessary. A dog brightens up your life and brings unexpected joys and goodness.
Be an Example to Your Children: Tell your children that it is not okay to be in an abusive relationship or to be an abuser. From an early age teach them to good human beings and instill the basic morals of humanity in them. A child does not bridge the gap between you and your abuser. Do not put your child through that trauma at such a tender age.
Make New Friends: Try and communicate with new people and make new friends, who do not judge you based on your past. Connect with new people, learn from their experiences, and help them as much as you can.
Confide in a Trusted Person: Share your daily experiences with a friend, a relative, or someone you trust. Take advice from them and consult important decisions with them. The victim might feel overwhelmed at times, and it is during these times that the trusted individual will be of immense help. You can ease your burdens by confiding in the person you trust and sharing your experiences with them.
Do Not Trust Your Abuser: Your partner may claim that he/she has changed completely and may even apologize to you for the experiences of the past. As much as you would want to believe your partner, do keep in mind not to let your guards down as it is highly probable that your partner might relapse to abusive behavior after a certain period of time.
Do Not Feel Ashamed: If you are in a same-sex relationship and have not come out yet, do not feel ashamed to do it. Do not put your mental health at stake for the sake of society.
Take Things Slowly: If you want to be in another relationship and get the intimacy that you need, take things slowly and wisely. Do not rush into things just for the sake of it. Take your time. Decide what you what and move on slowly.
Do Not Give Up: Do not give up on your hopes, aspirations, and your dreams. Hold on to your goals and ambitions. One abusive relationship does not mean the end of life. Break free from the trauma and emerge victoriously into the canvas of freedom.
Let Go Of the Past: Sometimes holding on hurts more than letting go. Let go of your partner. It is difficult, but not impossible. Yes, it will hurt. It will break your heart into a million pieces. At the end of the day, it is your life and you have to take care of it. Move on with your life and take lessons from your past experiences.
Be You: Most importantly, never change the way you are. Do not become an abuser from the trauma of your previous experiences. Be kind. Be compassionate. Help the people around you who are going through the same trauma. Life goes on.