Identifying and Freeing Yourself from Abusive Relationships
Abusive relationships are more common than most people realize. In many cases, victims of abuse don’t understand what type of relationship they are in until years of physical and/or psychological abuse have already taken place. Sometimes abuse can be worked through, but in the vast majority of cases, it is essential to get away from the situation the moment it is identified as abusive. The following information details the various types of abuse, as well as resources for how to get help.
Manipulation is a key tool for abusers. Abusers will try to manipulate their significant others in any way possible so that they can be the one in control. A partner that is manipulative often hides their behavior as acts of love or kindness. These people tend to show their manipulation through guilt tripping, attacks on their partner’s self-confidence, constantly shifting the blame, and the ability to rationalize away their behavior. In the event that a partner points out this behavior, it’s likely that the abuser will find a way to change the subject, lash out, or blame the victim. This is called gas-lighting and works to make the abused feel responsible for their own misery. While it can be hard to identify this on your own as the abused, seeking the help of a professional therapist when negative feelings are bogging down your life can help bring these issues to light and give you the validation you need to identify the reality of what your partner is doing.
Verbal and Emotional Abuse
While this sort of abuse isn’t obvious at first, it can be incredibly damaging to the mental health and stability of the victim. Abusive relationships don’t always center around physical violence. This abuse can be verbal or emotional and can happen to anybody, regardless of intelligence or strength of character. An abuser may engage in yelling, swearing, name-calling, intimidation, humiliation, ignoring, or gaslighting the victim. Emotional abuse can take the form of confinement, verbal assault, infantilization, and any similar treatment that works to diminish an individual’s sense of self-worth, dignity, and identity. This emotional abuse is known to be psychological abuse or chronic verbal aggression. While it doesn’t leave a visible mark, this behavior can create lasting emotional and mental scars. When faced with this kind of abuse, it is important to obtain a strong base of support from friends, family, and if it continues, a professional psychologist.
Physical abuse can be physically apparent, but many victims of domestic violence don’t initially recognize they are being physically abused. Oftentimes, the abuser may explain away their fits of rage or physical attacks as the fault of their significant other. In other cases, after the abuse, the abuser will apologize and promise to never do it again—but in most cases, this abuse is already part of a cycle that the significant other must escape. Physically abusive relationships escalate with time, and it is important to remember that any partner who is in control of their body would never lay a hand against someone they truly love and respect. Unless they have seizures or palsy, there is no excuse for your partner to physically attack you. If you are already deep in a physically abusive relationship and feel unable to safely escape, then it is essential that you seek the help of the police and a personal injury lawyer in order to get the protection you need and file a restraining order. Escaping a physically abusive relationship is difficult, scary, and should be done with professional protection to ensure the victim’s safety.
Resources for Protection
Breaking the cycle of domestic violence isn’t easy. Though an individual may want to get help, they are often threatened into staying by their significant other. For this reason, victims should seek out resources for protection as soon as they can. These resources include getting medical help, contacting law enforcement, or hiring a personal injury lawyer. Even if it feels like reporting incidents to the police won’t lead to anything helpful, even just having a legal record of incidents can be invaluable in court cases later on for things like restraining orders and recovery for damages. Physical attacks should be addressed by medical professionals, and mental abuse should be treated by psychological professionals. With their help and legal testimony, you can become free from any form of abusive relationship.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, today is the day to get help. While leaving won’t be easy, safety is the number one priority in this scenario. Never take threats against you lightly and report them the moment they occur. Doing so will give you greater protection in your efforts going forward and give you greater support as you recover from your trauma.
About the Author
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. Meghan also highly recommends that those who find themselves in an abusive relationship hire services like Siben & Siben LLP to file a personal injury case.