Friday, April 18, 2014

When Does Fighting in a Relationship Cross the Line of Domestic Abuse?

Believe it or not when you’re in an abusive relationship you normally aren't aware of it. Couples fight, that’s nothing new there is bound to be disagreements when you’re spending almost all of your time with another person. But, statistics show that one in four women will experience domestic violence in at least one relationship throughout her lifetime.
As a former victim of an abusive relationship, I wasn't aware of my situation until I was out of the relationship and able to reflect back on what I went through from an outsider’s point of view. When you’re in a relationship with someone who is physically or emotionally abusive it’s as if you’re in a complete daze. You are aware of the anger and hurt that is building up inside of you but it is not worth all the trouble it would take for you to leave. There have been times when I've tried to leave, countless times, but the ending result was always staying so my significant other wouldn't commit suicide.

“I'd lost myself in the abyss of someone else's tyranny...again.” 
Cassandra Giovanni, Love Exactly

So how do you know if you’re in an abusive relationship?
The first step of getting out of an abusive relationship is recognizing that you are in one. It can be hard to uncover whether certain situations in a relationship are abusive or just argumentative. The number one indicator of an abusive relationship is if there is a pattern that is established. If your significant other is constantly putting you down or even putting his or her hands on you then that is a huge sign.

Another way to evaluate whether you’re in an abusive relationship is to ask yourself these questions:

Does your partner….
§ Embarrass you with put-downs?
§  Make you feel afraid?
§  Control who you see and when you can see them?
§  Tries to control what you where?
§  Doesn't want you to spend time with your friends and family and tries to control that?
§  Controls your finances and or takes your paycheck?
§  Threatens you?
§  Threatens to commit suicide if you try to leave?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above then it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your relationship. Try looking in as an outsider; it’s important that you don’t let your feelings cloud your view. That is when you will truly see what you are dealing with and you will have a chance to save yourself.

The best part is that you don’t have to do it alone.

There is a lot of organizations and hot lines out there to help women who feel trapped inside abusive relationships. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available twenty four seven and is completely confidential. You can reach them at 1-800-799-7233. They will help you develop a safety plan uniquely tailored to you that will help you remain safe while leaving the relationship. You can also visit the website which will help you evaluate whether you’re in an abusive relationship and what the next steps are for you to take.

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