A lot of people are in one abusive relationship or another without actually knowing so. There are different kinds of abuse in a relationship or marriage, and unless you know this, you can’t escape them.
There is also a chance you know what you’re going through, but you are scared to leave or you have no idea how to. If you’re that person, here are some tips that you’ll find helpful.
IDENTIFY AND RECOGNISE THE KIND OF ABUSE YOU ARE CURRENTLY UNDER
The first step is to identify the type of abuse you are under. As simple as it sounds, it can be very hard and exhausting actually to discover the kind of abuse you may be experiencing.
At times, we may need to step back from the problem in order to identify the issue at hand. When the word “Abuse” is used, one of the first things that come to mind is the physical form of abuse.
There can also be sexual abuse even in a sexual relationship. Don’t be shocked. Once you don’t consent to an intimate touch or physical intimacy with your partner, but you are however being forced to engage in the act, then that is sexual abuse.
If the kind of s*x that your partner forces you to engage in isn’t the kind of one you are comfortable in or the type that you don’t want at all, but you are being forced into it, then you are also sexually molested and abused.
Another form of abuse you must identify is the financial abuse. This is by far one of the most difficult kinds of abuse to identify. Most times, it occurs when your partner often forces you to give up your financial control.
Stop making excuses for your abusive partner. It is time to recognise what it is and call it by its name – Abuse.
Once you are fully aware that you have been abused and you are able to identify the kind of abuse you have been experiencing, then you are free to move unto the next step.
KNOW THAT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT
Understand that it is not your fault:
Experiencing any form of abuse is not your fault. Abuse has never been the fault of the victim nor would it ever be. Once you can understand this, you are on your way to being free. Most people usually resist change until they know they are becoming very uncomfortable in their present conditions. Most times, all they need is a big push.
Sometimes, that big push that they need is in the form of the realisation and the understanding that what they are going through isn’t exactly their fault. One thing you must stop doing as the victim is giving excuses for the behaviour of your abusive partner. No matter how much you think low of yourself, no matter how much your self-esteem has suffered, you really don’t deserve the kind of treatment that you may be getting from your abusive partner.
YOU MUST DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
If you are in an abusive relationship or marriage and you probably have had kids, then it is essential you document every transaction, every pain, every hospital visit and so on in order to have adequate protection from authorities.
You will need all those documents as pieces of evidence to show how much you and your kids may have suffered under the abusive partner. Even if you don’t have kids, it is still essential you document everything as this will earn you a hearing from the appropriate authorities.
One of the tricks most abusers use is the fact that they almost always look gentle souls to the outside world; however, they are “monsters” in the home. Once you can make the world see them for exactly who they are on the inside, once you can dispel the illusion they give to the outside world then you would be able to protect yourself adequately.
Documentations of these events don’t have to be extraordinary. It can always be as simple as keeping a few journal entries that adequately describes the incident of the abuse as well as the date(s) when the abuse happened, keeping receipts of drugs bought to treat yourself and maybe the kids and so on. If you can, you can decide to even go further by creating videos and audios that were recorded discreetly while the abuse was going on.
If you have bruises and cuts, and other bodily harms, you can always ask for pictures of the area to be taken before you seek for medical attention. You can as well use the medical records as a form of evidence later on.
Ensure that you keep these pieces of evidence in a safe place and if possible, never let the abuser know that you have something against them. Keep the records in a safe place, and when you realise that there is a threat on your life and possibly that of the kids, you can always report to the police and other authorities in order to ensure your safety and that of your kids.
If you ever have to go to the court of law, with all your records and pieces of evidence, you would surely have enough that will enable you to have the custody of your kids and also have a restraining order against the abuser or possibly put the abuser behind bars.
ALWAYS KEEP AN EMERGENCY BAG
If you realise that you are in an abusive relationship, you need to ensure that you are ready to leave at any time. You can always ensure this by an emergency bag that will contain all that you need to survive for a few weeks or maybe months.
It doesn’t have to contain much but make sure that it includes the necessities such as toiletries, a few change of clothes, enough money, any medications that you or your kids may be on, copies of keys that you may need as well as those records that you have kept securely.
You may also need to keep a valid identity card for identification, your birth certificate, and any other relevant document that you feel you must take along with you. Ensure that you hide this bag in a place that you quickly grab it while running away.
If you have kids, ensure that you pack the same thing for your kids and take them along with you. Remember, you are doing this because an abuser can be unpredictable and the abusive situation can quickly spiral into a life-threatening condition.
Having this emergency bag will ensure that you don’t need to start looking for the things you need to take along most especially when the situation has become a life-threatening one.
ALWAYS SET ASIDE MONEY
This particular point is critical, especially when you are in a financially abusive relationship and if you don’t have a lot of work experiences. All abusive relationships mostly come to an end, but it may be disastrous for you and your kids if there is no money for you all to fall back on.
If you are under a tight leash financially by a partner who abuses you and your finances, then you probably may need to save something small every week. Ensure that all your savings, either huge or small is kept in your emergency bag.
If you possibly have very little job experiences or you haven’t worked a day in your life, it will be wise for you to start learning a few legal job skills which you will need when you finally decide to leave the relationship.
FIND A WAY TO CONTACT BOTH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Ensure that you find ways by which to alert your family as well as your friends of what you are passing through. If you are in an abusive relationship, then you need people to support, encourage and strengthen you and no one does it better than your parents, family as well as friends.
Each and every time you were abused by your partner, the most appropriate people to let know are your family and friends. They are the ones who will always support you in almost everything.
However, one of the most dangerous tactics used by an abuser is to cut off communications between the victim and the victim’s family in order to make sure that what they say is key in the life of an abused victim.
Ensure you don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you keep communication with friends and family even if you must do so secretly. You will always need their support and help at one point or the other.