Domestic Violence Articles
Here you will find articles that help you learn about what domestic violence is, how to recognize the signs, and the ways to seek help. You’ll learn how to help friends and loved ones who are enduring abuse. Domestic violence is a taboo topic, but the more we openly discuss it, the better likelihood that people will get the help they need.
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
Domestic violence is the purposeful infliction of harm on friends or family. Often, victims of domestic violence are in abusive relationships with an intimate partner. The relationship is controlling in nature, and the victim may feel trapped. Some additional forms of abuse may accompany any physical abuse that a person faces. Some people may associate domestic violence with bodily harm. In addition to physical damage, survivors can suffer mental harm, including emotional abuse.
Victims of domestic violence experience various forms of injustice, such as power and control, sexual violence, and domestic abuse. These dynamics are painful for the victim and draining on their mental and physical energy. Domestic abuse from a partner threatens the quality of life for everyone involved. Victims of domestic violence experience severe trauma that needs to be addressed in therapy. It's essential that they seek help for their mental health. Even if victims of domestic violence get out of the abusive relationship, they can still suffer from the psychological repercussions for a lifetime. Additionally, it can be challenging to get out of an abusive relationship in the first place. A victim might fear for their lives, their safety, or the safety of their kids.
Sexual violence may be combined with other violent acts in an abusive relationship. A person who is sexually abused is being harmed mentally and emotionally as well. Sexual violence from an intimate partner can be very confusing for the victim. Your intimate partner is supposed to love you and encourage you to grow, yet victims of domestic violence who are also victims of sexual violence experience the opposite. Being in an abusive relationship with an intimate partner is often heartbreaking as much as it is life-threatening for victims of domestic violence.
The words that you hear from your partner, their family, or their friends may convince you that it's "all in your head."' They will try to convince you that you're overreacting. Rest assured that your feelings and experiences are real. Trying to convince someone that their reality is false is an example of gaslighting. Abusers use gaslighting to control and manipulate their victims. With this technique, they can control the victim, including what they think and perceive to be real. It can be complicated by family members or your partner themselves. That is a common strategy used to keep victims silent and complacent. Abusers use gaslighting as a way to make you question your sanity and stay in the relationship. You won't leave if you feel helpless and out of control. Unfortunately, abusers are generally master manipulators, which is just one of the many reasons that it can be so hard to get out of an abusive relationship. It's important not to shame a victim of abuse because, as much as we don't want to believe it, it could happen to anyone.
Forms of abuse
The abuse that your partner inflicts on you may not always be physical or sexual. Abusive individuals combine tactics to keep their victims under their control. Many forms of abuse can pair with domestic violence, including a variety of emotionally or verbally abusive tactics such as manipulation or name-calling. An abusive partner may tear you down to the point where you believe that you cannot function outside of the relationship. However, that is not true. Recognize this as an abusive tactic that your partner is using to keep you in the relationship.
Get help for domestic violence
There are many resources available for victims of domestic violence. You don't have to suffer alone. The national domestic violence hotline, founded in 1966, is available any time day or night. Victims of domestic violence can contact the national domestic violence hotline at https://www.thehotline.org via their online chat option or call 1−800−799−7233.
Victims of domestic violence should know that when they contact the hotline, everything discussed is confidential. If you are being abused, this is a resource you can use to get help.
Healing after abuse
Getting out of an abusive situation is difficult and traumatic. If you have a history of abuse or domestic violence, it is essential to seek the help of a mental health professional. A therapist can help you work through your trauma. Coping with the after-effects of domestic violence is no easy feat, and you do not have to go through it alone. Talk to a licensed counselor or therapist online or in your local area and get the help that you need. The mental health professionals at ReGain are here to help you work through any non-immediate mental health concerns you have.
If you are in immediate danger, contact the national domestic violence hotline. Your conversation with the hotline is entirely private. That is crucial so that the victims feel safe enough to get the help they need. In addition to the national domestic violence hotline, you may also contact the police or an organization in your area. Remember that your safety is the most important thing and that you must put your life and (if you have kids) your children's lives first. You can get the support that you need. It may feel scary, but taking that first step and talking to an online counselor can help.