3 Suggestions to Escape an Abusive Relationship

Abuse in relationships has no specific parameters or circumstances under which it occurs. This issue crosses racial, economic and social boundaries and is devastating in all forms.

couple fighting abuse

Recognize and acknowledge the abuse

One of the first suggestions to escape an abusive relationship is to first identify that abuse is occurring. Abuse may not always be physical, or obvious. Constant criticism and belittling that result in the target becoming sad or distraught is emotional abuse. Being forced to perform sexually, even within marriage, is sexual abuse. Mental abuse can take the insidious form of targeted behaviors to maintain an imbalance in a relationship where the victim feels anxious, depressed or hopeless.

Along with recognizing an abusive relationship, the victim must realize that the abuse is not her or his fault. There is likely not anything the victim can do or should have done to prevent or allay the abuse. The abuser is completely at fault and that individual must take responsibility for his or her actions in order to address the issue.

Keep escape plans secret

The next thing that can be done is keeping escape plans secret. As tempting as it may be to let the abuser know that freedom is close, doing so may place the victim in immediate danger. Abuse is often about control, and if the abuser sees his or her ability to control the situation slipping away by impending escape, the abuse may escalate. Keeping plans to escape an abusive relationship may be difficult, but not impossible:

• Keep a secret postal box to receive information and mail related to your plans

• Use a computer that is not kept inside your home so all the details cannot be easily accessed by the abuser

• Do not tell anyone else of your plans. Keep details on a “need to know” basis and only inform anyone who can be trusted and is detrimental to implementing your plan

• Keep your known activities as regular as possible so that there will be no out of character behavior on your part to alert your abuser

Maintain confidence and strength

Anyone who has made it far enough to create a plan to escape an abusive relationship is stronger than they may think. However, to make escape a reality, one must also keep in mind that there will likely be more obstacles to cross. Friends and family who do not understand the stronghold that abusive relationships may have on victims will likely not be supportive. Sometimes, law officers are equally unsupportive, displaying combative attitudes when confronting an abuse victim about an abuser’s actions towards them.

Hold steady and maintain confidence in the midst of the battle to escape an abusive relationship. Everyone encountered will not be difficult and ultimately, escape will be a reality. A new life is waiting on the other side.
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