What is domestic abuse?
The National Coalition Against Domestic violence describes domestic abuse as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” Domestic abuse is often characterized by physical abuse, accompanied by emotional abuse, dominance and controlling behavior.
Who’s affected by domestic violence?
Everyone! Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It’s an epidemic that affects men and women of all ages, in every community in every nation across the globe. Domestic abuse impacts people of every age, gender, socio-economic status, religion, race, educational background and nationality. It occurs in heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships.
What are some of the early warning signs of domestic abuse and violence?
There are many early warning signs that are associated with domestic abuse, including:
- emotionally controlling behavior and intentionally harming the victim’s self-confidence and self-esteem;
- controlling the victim’s money, actions and relationships;
discouraging the victim from maintaining relationships with family and friends;
- engaging in violent, frightening behaviors such as pushing, slapping, choking, grabbing and hitting;
- threatening to harm you, your children, your pets or your property;
- dismissing his or her abusive and/or controlling actions;
- and intimidation.
These are just some of the warning signs of domestic abuse.
What is the first thing women need to know after they leave an abusive relationship?
It’s important for women to understand that things will get better. Domestic violence survivors are often left feeling hopeless and at rock bottom. These women and men are often in a place where the abuser has stripped away their confidence and sense of self, in addition to hijacking, controlling and defining virtually every element of the victim’s life. Survivors must re-claim control over their own emotions and their sense of self; then they must work to re-establish control over other areas of life, including their relationships and career.
How is a survivor’s sense of self impacted by domestic violence?
Domestic abuse survivors are often left devastated, with all of their self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth systematically stripped away by the abuser. This leaves the individual vulnerable, with the only semblance of identity defined by the abuser. Therefore, it’s essential for survivors to understand the importance of emotional healing and working to re-gain their sense of self-love. Domestic abuse survivors must start from scratch to re-define a sense of self, while also recovering a sense of self-confidence and self-love. This is perhaps the single most difficult and the most important element of domestic abuse recovery.
How is a domestic abuse survivor’s relationships with others impacted by the toxic relationship?
Domestic abuse survivors are often forced to alienate friends and family in a systematic cycle of abuse that leaves them emotionally dependent upon the abuser. This provides the abuser with optimal control over their victim. Once you escape the abusive relationship, it’s essential to re-establish meaningful relationships with family and friends, as the support and love can really help the survivor to rediscover their sense of self. These relationships also provide survivors with the strong support system they need to go from surviving to thriving.
What are some of the emotional healing steps women can take after leaving an abusive relationship?
An abusive relationship can impact every aspect of a woman’s life and healing is a process. Even a relationship involving domestic abuse entails a sense of loss when the relationship ends, so there’s a grieving process that involves feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and ultimately, acceptance.
Therefore, it’s important to process these feelings of grieving, while also working to heal feelings of depression and re-build the self-confidence, self-worth and self-love that was destroyed by the abuser. Counseling and support groups are important elements of the healing process.
It’s also important to mend the relationships with family and friends; relationships that are often thrust aside while the woman is engaged in the abusive relationship.
Why do women need to create a vision for life transformation after leaving a domestic abuse situation?
When an individual is involved in a relationship involving domestic abuse, the abuser often controls virtually every aspect of the victim’s life, from her relationship with others, to her career, and her sense of self. All areas of the victim’s life are influenced and largely defined by the abuser. To truly recover from the domestic abuse situation, the survivor must re-claim control over these areas of her life. It’s essential for the victim to feel empowered to the degree where she feels comfortable creating a new vision for her life, career, relationships and her sense of self.
What support is available to women who are currently in or recently departed a violent or domestic abuse situation?
There are many resources available to women who are currently in a situation involving domestic abuse. In the U.S., victims can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) to obtain referrals to resources in their area.
Domestic violence survivors can also visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website at TheHotline.org.
Domestic abuse victims can find resources, information and other tools by visiting the official National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at NCADV.org.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 888-656-4673
The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: 866-331-9474
Quote by Author and Life Coach Robert Moment:
“We can improve domestic abuse and domestic violence prevention through education,empowerment and awareness”
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