Falling in love often happens without thought or intention. The butterflies pick up, the feelings intensify, and before you know it, the man in your life has swept you completely off your feet. No one ever expects that love to turn sour, but sometimes even our best instincts about people turn out to be wrong.
You Are Not to Blame
Safe Passage, an advocacy group providing shelter, legal support and counseling to victims of abuse, encourages women to remind themselves frequently that they did not deserve to suffer abuse. No one does. The blame for your abuse rests solely with your abuser. Only he is responsible for the physical and emotional turmoil he has made you endure. Do not start making excuses or finding reasons to blame you after abuse occurs, because you did not deserve this.
Only You Can Change
No matter what he says, your abuser will likely hurt you again according to non-profit website HelpGuide. You cannot expect to be able to change him, but you can change yourself. Despite how dependent you may feel on this relationship, you do not have to stay in a situation where someone is abusing you. As long as you stay, you have no control over whether or not he hurts you again. Choosing to leave is the only way you can ensure your safety, and this is a step that only you can take.
You Are Not Alone
One in four women will suffer domestic abuse, according to Lynn Rosenthal, who is The White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. Through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, emergency services are available to victims who decide to escape domestic violence situations and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, fields 22,000 calls each month -- calls from women just like you looking for help. If you are feeling scared and unsure, call that hotline to find out more about the services available to you.
Depression is a common symptom of domestic violence, often presenting itself in the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to psychologist Susanne Babbel, in the Psychology Today article, "Domestic Violence: A Power Struggle With Lasting Consequences." Feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness are typical among victims of abuse, and people who feel this way need to address these feelings with professional help. If you feel that you are succumbing to depression that results from abuse you have endured, seek the help of a psychotherapist who specializes in domestic violence. Together, you can worth through the feelings that accompany the trauma you have endured.
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