The rise of domestic abuse is leading to an alarming spike in mental health problems in both men and women across the country. Furthermore, numerous individuals who have experienced domestic violence struggle to find methods to cope with the trauma. As a Life Coach for Victims of Domestic Violence, I'd like to shine the light and discuss the repercussions that arise from surviving an abusive relationship.
When abuse is conducted by an individual who has promised to protect and love the victim, it can come off as a petrifying shock. Many victims may respond by initially ignoring that the abuse took place and write it off as a one-time occurrence. Once abuse turns into a repeated problem, numerous victims will still find ways to excuse their loved one from the abuse being inflicted on them, while other victims are simply beaten into submission so harshly that begin to feel as though they have no power to leave.
An abuser’s only purpose is to obtain all sense of control over the abused – domestic abuse can take many forms, including economic, emotional, psychological, and physical. Though women tend to be the staple image of domestic abuse, it can affect anyone regardless of their race, gender, and sexual orientation. The biggest problem with abuse is that regardless of the person’s education level or socioeconomic standing, the individual can still fall victim to domestic abuse.
An abuser’s only purpose is to obtain all sense of control over the abused – domestic abuse can take many forms, including economic, emotional, psychological, and physical.
For most individuals who haven’t been victims of domestic abuse, it can be extremely difficult to understand why a victim simply doesn’t leave their abuser. And then, it becomes all too easy to make assumptions about the victims who continuously choose to stay in these types of abusive relationships. When in reality, one of the biggest obstacles experienced by a victim is whether they are able to safely escape their abuser. For victims, it is incredibly terrifying having to choose to spend the night with their abusive partner or resulting in having to spend the night in the streets and having the abuser find them the following day, especially if they have nowhere else to go. Decisions to escape tend to worsen when there are children involved, the victim may feel as if they won’t ever be able to leave their current situation.
Domestic violence is thought to be an individual or family issue, but it is far more complex than this – truth is it is a problem that affects our society. Children raised in households of domestic abuse grow up with severe traumas, impacting their schoolwork, overall mental wellness, and the different ways in which they interact with friends, family, and loved ones at a later age.
Additionally, survivors of domestic abuse tend to experience issues trying to obtain financial support from an abusive spouse. There are times, however, where the abuser is tied economically to the victim, making the whole situation nearly impossible to leave. And when it comes to low-income families, as one could imagine, the problem aggravates making the individuals think there is no other choice but to stay.
The damages caused by domestic abuse have the potential of leaving permanent scars, alter a person’s demeanor, and changing their character for the rest of their life. Seeking proper treatment completely turns a person’s life around such a distressing event and gives the individual the chance to recover and come out stronger.
ART Therapy International commented that “on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States alone, equaling approximately 10 million men and women each year”.
If these numbers weren’t already alarming, domestic violence has the potential to unfold an unimaginable number of emotional and psychological ripple effects, including panic attacks, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and depression.
Not to mention, domestic violence can be fatal for the victim; women can be both intentionally and unintentionally murdered by their partners, losing their lives as a result of the injuries inflicted by their attacker.
Victims who have gone through the painful experience of domestic abuse can find it difficult to even keep a job, due to underlying psychological traumas. Which in turn can make it difficult for them to support themselves or even their children.
The good news is that there are qualified individuals and programs that proactively address this dangerous problem that affects our society and help people who have been in a domestically abusive relationship and professionals who can help them get past this difficult situation and come out stronger in the end.
Survivors who have made the decision to leave a violent home or relationship can find immediate help via counseling, which can provide immense support for the victim, and possibly their children, with their emotional and psychological needs, and eventually provide them with the drive, tools, and power to move on with their lives.
It is never too late to speak up and get the help needed to leave a violent home or partner – the sooner the victim can take action, the better the results will be in the long run for all parties involved.