Are You In An Abusive Relationship?
No relationship is perfect. We all have disagreements and arguments with our partner. However, if you have found your way to this page and are reading this, you may be at risk of being involved in an unhealthy and abusive relationship. You might be thinking, “but how do I know for sure?”
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Are you ever afraid of your partner?
- Do you feel as if you are “walking on eggshells” with your partner?
- Do you feel isolated from your friends and family?
- Has your partner ever physically harmed you, your children, or your property?
If your answered “YES” to ANY of these questions, it’s time to seek help.
The emotional stress that comes along with being in an abusive relationship can be overwhelming. Anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and more are all common when one is the victim of an abusive, unhealthy relationship. These relationships can take everything out of you, leaving you feeling drained, unmotivated, unsure of where to go from here. Maybe you are feeling like there is no way out. There is.
Learning exactly what domestic violence is the first step to making a change. You DESERVE to be happy, healthy, and most of all SAFE. Let us help.
What Exactly Is Domestic Violence?
The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence as “Domestic Violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.”
In simpler terms, domestic violence is words or actions that are used with the intent to harm, manipulate, or control your partner. There are different ways one can be abused in relationships, meaning there are different forms of domestic violence.
Any behavior that is physically aggressive, withholding physical needs, or threatening physical harm as a means to control or manipulate their partner. Examples include: hitting, punching, slapping, biting, choking, wtc. Threats of these behaviors are also considered physical abuse. The use of any/all weapons, threatening the use of any and all weapons. Withholding physical needs examples are interrupting/depriving sleep, depriving food, preventing care if injured, etc.
Emotional & Verbal Abuse
Any behavior that induces their partner’s vulnerability, insecurity, fear, or question their character and worth as a means to control or manipulate their partner. Examples include: name-calling, humiliation, accusations, blaming, gaslighting, isolation from peers/family, put-downs, criticism, threats, shaming, stalking, excessive yelling, screaming, foul language, and more. It has been said that consistent exposure to emotional abuse can be just as detrimental/more consequential than physical abuse.
The use of sex/sexual behavior as a means to force, control, manipulate their partner. Examples include: forcing sex, withholding sex, belittling/making fun of partner’s sexuality/body, infidelity as a means to manipulate, forcing non-consensual sexual acts on partner, and more.
Any behaviors involving finances as a means to control or manipulate their partner. Examples include: controlling income, monitoring spending, allowing an “allowance”, preventing partner from working, limiting access to funds, keeping hidden accounts, lying about money, etc.
How Can Therapy Help?
My process of Domestic Violence Therapy is designed to help the individual or couple change past abusive behaviors. My goal is to help you recover and begin to build a happier, healthier, and safer life and relationships through the following objectives
Therapy can be a great outlet to help you begin to recover from your past experience with domestic violence. Going through such a traumatic experience takes time, energy, and the right type of support to begin the healing process. Therapy can provide you that support you need, help you feel heard, and most of all, understood. Coping with loss of a relationship, whether abusive or not, is never easy. The time and space to begin coping is available to you to use at your own pace. You don’t have to go through it alone.
Once a healthy level of processing has been done, therapy can beneficial in helping you to learn more about the specific behaviors, actions, and words that may be creating the abusive culture you experienced (or are experiencing) in your relationship. Together, we can begin to work on skills, taking accountability for your own actions, and begin making the necessary changes to avoid abuse and strive for a healthier, stable relationship when you are ready. Learning to set healthy boundaries, develop healthy conflict resolution skills, and start to take control of your behaviors and actions is beneficial in all areas of your life.
Going through an abusive relationship can take something away from you. Maybe you have lost confidence in yourself or your relationship? I am here to help you find the strength and power within you to begin creating goals, envisioning a future you may have lost sight of. An abusive relationship does not have to be the end, and I can help you find your strength to keep moving forward.
My goal is to help get you to a place where you are inspired to begin taking action. You have processed, learned, and feel empowered to begin this process. Together, we can identify steps to take to reach your goals and find solutions to help you begin to rebuild the life and relationships you both want and deserve. You can begin to work towards those goals and begin seeing the progress take affect in your life and future.
Staying Safe: If I Leave
Find A Shelter Near You
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) can help you find safe, stable outlets and shelters near you for you and your children.
- Women in Distress of Broward County – 954-761-1133
- Goodman JFS of Broward – 954-560-8303
- Aid To Victims of Domestic Violence (AVDA) – 800-355-8547
Prepare Your Belongings
You may need to have certain belongings ready in case you decide it is time to leave or you and/or your children are in danger. Some key things to think about preparing are:
- Legal Papers
- Emergency Numbers
- Medications/Health Needs
- Hotline Number
- Local Shelter Addresses
- Family/Friends Numbers and Addresses
- Other Necessities
Leaving a domestic violence relationship can be a long, scary, and draining process. Don’t go through it alone. There is help and support to get you through it!
Protecting Your Children
Having children with your abuser can make it even harder to leave. Children can be used as a way to assert power and control over you. Your children are victims too.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has your partner abused your child?
- Has your partner used your child as a way to control or manipulate you?
- Has your partner threatened you or your child with legal action, custody, or harm?
- Has your child humiliated you or belittled you in front of/to your child?
- Has your partner prevented you from seeing your child as a way to punish you?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, you, along with your child, are being abused.
Domestic Violence in the presence of a child has severe negative emotional, behavioral, and even physical impacts on the child. This is considered child abuse. If you are in fear that you and your child are being abused, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
- All Emergencies: 911
- Local Shelters (Information Listed Above)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233
- Legal Support – Consider Consulting with Legal Aid to Explore Safe Options
- Florida Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE
- Online Abuse Reporting: http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/abuse-hotline
Safety Planning: A safety plan can be essential when keeping you and your child safe. The National Domestic Violence hotline provides a through checklist and Safety Plan for you and your child to stay safe, covering areas such as: planning for violence in the home, planning for unwanted/unplanned visits, planning to leave, and how to speak to your children about these difficult matters.
There Is Help
If feel you are in an abusive relationship and you would like to learn more about therapy for Domestic Violence, call 954-391-5305 ext. 9. I offer a free 15-minute confidential phone consultation. I can help you determine if my services are the right level of support for you or guide your to your best option/higher level of care if necessary.