Recovering from Dating/Domestic Violence

Being the victim of violence in an intimate relationship can be very traumatic. You have chosen to love and trust your partner and s/he has betrayed you with violence. At the same time, there are often positive aspects of the relationship that may lead you to still cling to that relationship, believing your abuser loves you and will eventually change. These two sides of a violent relationship may make it very difficult to know if you really love your partner or not, or if you want to stay in the relationship or not. In fact, most survivors of relationship violence report that they do not want the relationship to end, they just want the abuse to stop. You may experience mixed feelings and feel a sense of responsibility. You may have told yourself that if only you could make things better, the violence would stop. It is very hard to accept that you have no control over your partner’s behavior, but it is ultimately more healing to recognize that no matter how confused about the situation you are, the fact remains the violence is not your fault

Recovering from a violent relationship is a process that takes time. You may experience depression, fear, self-blame, feelings of responsibility, difficulty concentrating, and helplessness, as well as the physical injuries associated with violence. Since abusive relationships are about power and control, survivors often have difficulty taking control of their lives back, particularly if the abuser has managed to isolate them socially or economically. There are, however, a number of services and organizations designed to help victims survive the abuse and move on with their lives.

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