The very wise Iyanla Vanzant said, “We set the standard for how we want to be treated. Our relationships are a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves.”, and nothing could be truer in such a delicate year for females.
From Justine Skye to Reese Witherspoon, thousands of women across several industries have opened up about their domestic violence experiences.
But how exactly did they come out of the other side?
Here are 5 steps we suggest you take if you want to leave an abusive relationship.
Get Past Your Denial. No woman ever hopes to find herself in an abusive relationship, hence why we often find it difficult to accept when it becomes a reality. Acknowledging that you are truly experiencing abuse is the first step towards turning your life around. Remind yourself of the quality of life you deserve and figure out how to make it happen.
Create A Support System: Nurture strong relationships with the people who know about your struggles, and be willing to involve them in your plans for the future. This could be your friends and family whom you trust can vouch for you, and will provide encouragement and moral support at all times. Additionally, ensure that they can also offer a safe space when you feel lonely or feel endangered.
Seek Out Professional Help: Sometimes, you might need a trained professional to get you out of your abusive relationship and provide you with the resources needed for progression. If you feel as though friends and family aren’t well-equipped to assist you, do not be ashamed to call a domestic violence hotline. They can provide information on shelters in your area, which may offer one-on-one and group therapy sessions.
Seek legal assistance: Every victim of domestic violence has the right to press charges against their abuser if they wish. If you’d like to take this route, have a professional correctly walk you through the process of getting a protection order. Rules can vary depending on what state or county you live in, so be sure your order sets clear consequences for various circumstances that might come up, including when your abuser tries to contact you.
Plan in advance as much as possible: Different women walk away from abuse in different ways. For some women, their perpetrator could be somebody who simply doesn’t care if they leave, while others could be dealing with someone who turns to stalking and violence when you escape.
Take a moment to assess your own individual situation. Will you be in danger if you leave your abuser? If so, we suggest you take proactive precautions ahead of time. Set up a code word with your loved ones and ask them to always call the police if they don’t hear from you for 24 hours. That way, when you’re in a crisis situation, you have a plan in place to make decisions quickly and safely. Additionally, be sure you have put together an emergency bag with all your necessary supplies and documents, should you need to make a sudden escape.
You may be afraid of what your abusive partner will do, where you’ll go, or how you’ll support yourself or your children. But don’t let fear of the unknown keep you in a dangerous, unhealthy situation.