How to Overcome Family Violence
Family violence can cause both physical and psychological damage. Family violence is when a family member mistreats, abuses, or neglects another family member. This violence can include physical, emotional, and sexual forms of abuse. Family violence can create high levels of anxiety and fear, and you may terrified to tell anyone about the abuse, because you're constantly being threatened. Overcoming family violence is possible; you do not need to live your life according to someone else's violent rules. In order to overcome family violence, you must first break the cycle of violence and then seek out the resources to recover from violence.
Breaking the Cycle of Violence
Identify signs of violence.Some forms of violence are subtle, and you may not even realize that you are a victim of abuse if you have been dealing with it for a long time. If you suspect you might be a victim of family violence, but are unsure, see if any of the following scenarios sound like your current situation at home:
- Being called names that are meant to put you down and make you feel poorly about yourself.
- Being discouraged from participating in daily activities such as social events, school, or even work.
- Being blocked from seeing friends and family.
- Having a partner that acts highly jealous, verbally and even physically expressing their controlling feelings.
- Having a partner who tries to maintain high levels of control over your life.
- Having a partner who gets very angry or physical when drinking or using drugs.
- Being physically harmed.
- Being forced to have sexual interaction against your will.
- Being blamed for violent behavior, and told that you deserve it.
- Being threatened in any way, especially with a weapon.
Acknowledge the violence to begin addressing it.The first step to addressing family violence is accepting the fact that it exists, so that you can face it appropriately.
- Violent abuse comes in many forms, so it's important to recognize the signs of abuse to stop them early on.
- Because abuse gets progressively worse over time, it can be essential to stop it as soon as possible.
- Although abuse may begin with something somewhat innocuous like name-calling, it can easily progress to a singular physical event, and then develop into full-blown violent abuse occurring on a regular basis.
Break the cycle of violence to escape from harm.Breaking the cycle is the first step you can take towards dismantling an endless pattern of violence and trauma.
- If you are currently suffering from family violence, you may recognize this cycle:
- You abuser threatens you, saying that they'll be violent with you.
- They physically become violent.
- They apologize.
- The cycle repeats itself.
- The cycle will get worse and worse, until your life or children's lives may be at risk.
- The longer you stay, the worse your emotional and psychological state will become.
- You may end up feeling helpless and depressed, so it's important that you stay strong, breaking the cycle before it escalates.
- If you are currently suffering from family violence, you may recognize this cycle:
Tell someone that violence is occurring, to gather support.The first step to breaking the cycle is telling someone about the violence that's occurring, to rally other people around you and gain reinforcement.
- Seek help from someone you trust: a friend, family member, or healthcare professional.
- Although it can be challenging to speak about the violence and abuse, you will instantly feel a sense of relief.
- You now have someone on your side, looking out for your best interests.
- Building a support system is the best thing that you can do for you and your children.
Create a plan of action to structure your response to the abuse.Once you decide to break the cycle, you will need a plan of action.
- Make a call to a loved one when your abuser isn't around, so that you're safe.
- You can either make a call from a pay phone or a friends house.
- If you do not know where to go, call a shelter. They will provide you with the information and support you need.
- You will need to pack a bag that has some extra clothes, a bit of money, your medications, and anything else that you and your children may need.
- Keep this bag in a secure place or pack before you leave.
- You will need to know exactly where you're going before you do, because the last thing you want to do is leave without a plan.
- If you don't plan properly and make a definite exit, you may end up back where the violence occurs and find that it gets worse, since you took action without your abuser's knowledge.
Protect your location.In order to make sure that you can leave safely and won't be tracked down by your abuser, protect your location and ensure that you travel undercover.
- Use your home phone and mobile cautiously. Your abuser may look into your phone records to see who you have contacted. This may give clues about where you and your children are located.
- You want to avoid that violent environment and avoid being kidnapped or forced to come home.
- Be careful online. Be careful which sites you look up at your home before leaving. If your abuser sees that you're contacting shelters, violent behavior can turn deadly. Clear your viewing history if you need to look up information from home.
- Make sure there are no GPS devices in your car or attached to your phone. You do not want the abuser to track down your location.
- Don't tell too many people about your location. If your abuser reaches out to mutual friends, they may find out where you have gone.
Take legal action.It can be frightening to press charges, because you might fear for your life, but it can be a surefire way to avoid future violence and make sure that your abuser faces justice.
- If you call the police, they will help you move forward.
- If you want to press charges, you need to stay strong.
- Without your co-operation, there may be a lack of evidence.
- Some abusers will plead guilty, but others will continue onto court.
- In this case, you will more than likely be called as a witness.
- With the proper support, you can and will be able to go through with this process.
- Legal measures are generally a good idea when children are involved, because you should gain custody of your children to ensure that they do not live in a high-risk environment.
Recovering After Family Violence
Seek out counseling and mental health therapy to begin recovering.There are many services available to help both you and your children work through the abuse, allowing you to fully heal.
- If the issues surrounding your abuse are not discussed and resolved, you could wind up in another abusive relationship.
- Although your abuser may be gone, the violence in your life could stay with you if your mental condition is not addressed properly.
- There are various options in terms of counseling options, some of which are listed below.
Look into narrative therapy.Narrative therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on you being the expert within your own life, rather than being told what to do by a therapist.
- This approach thinks of problems as separate from the person themselves.
- Narrative therapists focus on the skills, values, beliefs, and abilities that you have, in order to make change in your life.
- This can help you re-discover your abilities, and provide you with hope for the future.
Maintain mindfulness to stay present in your life.Mindfulness focuses on experiencing the present moment in time.
There are various ways to incorporate mindfulness into your life, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reductions.
- Meditation is often incorporated into mindfulness therapy, in which you focus purely on the present.
- This can help you move away from fearful or anxious thoughts and emotions.
Try out group therapy to empathize with others.Group therapy is a great option to provide additional support during your recovery.
Move on from the past to lead a healthy and happy life.Moving on after an abusive relationship can be challenging and may take some time, but you can and will return to a normal, healthy life.
- Many people find that being on their own can be challenging at first, but it will get easier with time.
- You may need to look after children, go back to work, and re-adjust to normal life.
- At first, you might not feel confident, and may have a hard time coping with daily tasks.
- You may feel isolated, or may feel guilty for leaving your abuser.
- Each case is different, but no matter what you feel, you are always better off outside of an abusive relationship.
Keep a journal to reflect on your progress.Keep track of everything you manage to do.
- If you had a good day at work, write about the tasks you completed.
- Perhaps you took your children to school or paid all your bills.
- No matter what happened, write it down.
- This is your way of giving yourself credit for all that you accomplish.
- This is your reminder that you can do this on your own.
- You do not need a partner to help you, especially one that harms you.
Continue seeking support.Continually seek local support through community centers and mental health facilities.
- Making sure that you remain consistent with your mental health care is a great way to avoid continued emotional pain.
- Group therapy can be a great option.
- Keep educating yourself to identify potential trouble in the future. You don't need to educate yourself right away, but once you feel ready to learn, it can help to learn more about abuse.
- When you're ready, start reading up on abuse.
- This will help you understand the dynamics of abuse, and validate your feelings and decisions up until this point.
Reward yourself.You deserve to enjoy the life you're living, so don't be afraid to treat yourself every once in a while.
- You do not need to buy anything expensive, just something that you appreciate and enjoy.
Set goals to motivate yourself.Make realistic goals and tackle each one at a time.
- Work at your own pace and achieve your goals.
- Reaching your targets is highly rewarding.
- Perhaps your final goal is dating again.
- You can reach that goal, you just need to take the proper steps when you're ready.
QuestionMy daddy hits me when he drinks too much. What can I do to stop him? He's scaring me and my mum.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf it happens again, call 911 (emergency services) and the police will help you and your mother. In the meantime, you should talk to a teacher or other trusted adult about the situation in your household. A home with a parent who drinks too much and has been violent is not a safe environment.Thanks!
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