WHAT?? I know; everyone automatically assumes that leaving is the only solution. Leaving is by far the most effective way to stop abuse in its tracks. However, there are still a number of steps that can be taken to gain your power back even if you don't want to leave.
The four things you must know:
1. Abuse is about control, it isn't about hurting you.
2. The abuse has nothing to do with what you are or are not doing wrong.
3. It is not YOUR FAULT.
4. Admitting that you might be experiencing abuse isn't about finding a way to 'fix' the person who is harming you.
In healthy relationships trust creates a lasting bond between the two people. When a relationship is abusive, one person uses the trust of their partner to gain more control. This betrayal of trust is ongoing, appears in many forms and creates feelings of uneasiness or fear. Abuse is a betrayal at the deepest level, because the intimacy involved in trust is being used as a weapon.
Here are some resources literally available to anyone at any time:
1. Domestic Violence Hotline
This is a national number or online chat room, and you can call anonymously anytime you want or need to.
2. Online Therapy
If you want to talk to someone who has the experience that you need and can't do face to face therapy then online talk therapy might be a good option.
3. Safety Plan
A safety plan provides ANYONE experiencing any form of abuse with tips and tools that can help them be safer even if they do not want to leave. All domestic violence service providers have the resources on hand to help you with creating a safety plan.
4. Safer Space
Most people think of shelters at the only option for safe space. However, this can be pretty much any location where you can go to get yourself out of the hostility of the moment. You might use this space for a few hours or for a number of weeks. A safer space might look like a friend’s house, a hotel room, an RV or even your car.
5. Orders of Protection
Orders of protection can provide some additional space from an abuser. These work best if you are in the process of leaving or to help create a documented history of abuse.
6. Legal Aid
It is a good idea to get an attorney if you have any way to afford one. This is important even if you just have custody questions or are looking for answers before deciding what to do.
When children are involved abuse is ALWAYS a more complicated issue. Questions about child custody are not simple and will require professional assistance. How you can best protect your children should NEVER be left to the advice of friends or family.
8. Substance Abuse
Sometimes victims are afraid to report abuse because of their own non-disclosed substance abuse problems.