“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” This is a very famous quote, and it relates to this topic so much. In my last post Screams of Silence part 1, I gave you the red flags of an abuser, and I gave you an guide on how to get out. As most victims will tell you, the nightmare isn’t always over as soon as you leave. In fact, statistics show that it sometimes takes a victim to leave their abuser several times before they are done for good. The chart below explains the common cycle
Before you start having a panic attack, I’ll explain why. First, being in an abusive relationship can be very traumatic, even if no violence ever takes place. Second, can you imagine what it’s like to have to start completely over? As I pointed out in my last post, many abusers intentionally make it so the victim is dependent on them, so many victims have to learn how to be on their own. And realistically, the victim may end up homeless if they don’t have anyone they could trust to take them in.
Another big tactic used is manipulation. From exploiting personal issues, to gaslighting, to promising that they’ve changed, the victim tends to believe that the situation is truly their fault, or that the abuser has really changed. Of course this is not true, it is never your fault that a person puts their hands on you, and unless they’ve gone through extensive rehabilitation, an abuser usually never changes.
If you are in an abusive relationship, do not let this discourage you. Yes, leaving is going to be hard, but putting mental state and your life in danger is much worse. And there is help available. Most domestic abuse hotlines offer help in finding pro bono legal aid, therapy, even safe housing. There is also help available for abusers – if they want it. But that is to be left to professionals, do not stay in an abusive relationship because you’re convinced you can “fix” your abuser. If you are a victim, do not be ashamed, do not feel guilty, you can have your life back. There are people there for you, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
For more information on domestic abuse, how you can prevent it or help someone going through it, log onto to thehotline.com or call 1-800-799-7233. If you fear that your life or someone else’s life may be in danger due to domestic abuse, please call 911 right away.
Written by: Tiara Letrice, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad