Sometimes starting the journey of learning to love yourself can be difficult – especially if you are in a situation with a partner who is putting you down, ridiculing you, calling you names, threatening you, physically abusing you, sexually abusing you, manipulating you, hiding your things, taking your things, telling you what you can and cannot do, and/or making you feel crazy. All of these examples are examples abuse. Abuse affects a person’s self-esteem, confidence level, level of self-worth, access to resources, and mental and physical health. (In this blog post, I use “survivor” to refer to people who have been and are victims of domestic violence. I use “he” to refer to the abuser and “she” to refer to the survivor to reflect the majority of situations. That being said, domestic violence is not only in heterosexual relationships and not only perpetrated by the man. People in homosexual relationships or other LGBTQ relationships experience domestic violence, as well as men in heterosexual relationships.)
Whether you are in an abusive relationship, leaving an abusive relationship, out of an abusive relationship, or thinking you might be in an abusive relationship, the following resources may help you in some way.
Immediate Danger (US): Call 911
MidWest US: Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) Help Line: 608-251-4445 or 800-747-4045
US: The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.
Why Does He DO That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft – This book is amazing. Some women I know call it their bible. Bancroft had been working with abusive men for over 15 years when he wrote this book. He tells of their motives, patterns, mind-sets, and characteristics. This book is useful for determining if you are in an abusive relationship and for trying to understand why your abuser does the things that he does.
Emotional Abuse: http://www.bandbacktogether.com/emotional-abuse-resources/
Quizzes, Getting Help, Helping a Loved One, And Everything In Between- http://www.loveisrespect.org/
For Teens – http://www.thatsnotcool.com/
These are not all the resources out there – obviously – but they are a good start to understanding your situation or the situations of a loved one.
“WHAT KIND OF HELP COULD I GET?”
- Emergency Shelter
- Someone to Listen/Talk to/Safety Planning (Help Lines)
- Meet with an Advocate in Person – Safety Planning
- Legal Advocacy – Help with understanding and navigating the Legal System
- Support Groups
- A Safe Place for Your Pets
Taking care of you starts with you.