In order to understand abuse in a relationship, we must first realize that abuse can come in many forms. It’s more than just physical; abuse can also be emotional and verbal. Once we understand abusive behaviors, we can then move on to finding ways to help ourselves or a loved one in an abusive relationship.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter your race, gender, or sexuality. Domestic violence is abuse that takes place in a romantic relationship. Abusive behaviors are used by a partner to maintain power and control in the relationship. The abuser’s purpose is to wear their partner down, making them feel as if they are nothing and that they deserve the abuse they receive.
“You deserve this”… is a common lie abusers will try to make their partners believe. But no one deserves abuse. An abuser will say you are not good enough, no one will ever love you, and you won’t succeed in life without them. They will get into your mind and make you think it is your fault. No matter the abuser’s reasoning, abuse is never acceptable.
If you are in an abusive relationship, know there is a way out! Once you have made up your mind and are ready to leave, consider having a safety plan. You may be scared, heartbroken, and exhausted, but YOU are still the best judge of your own safety, no matter how many lies you have been told. Safety plans include ways to remain safe while you are in the relationship, planning to leave, or have left. Creating an escape route and a preparedness kit are important first steps in the separation process.
There is hope! It’s time to take a stand! Whether it is for yourself or a loved one, we must come together as a community and shed light on victims and survivors. It is time to heal. Let us walk this path together. If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic or sexual violence, call or text 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) or chat 24/7 with an advocate at https://strongheartshelpline.org/.