There are victims of domestic violence who do not know how to escape to freedom. It may seem like a simple solution to say they should just leave. But victims who have been trapped in this situation will be the first ones to say that it is not as simple as just leaving.
Many factors contribute to the abused victims feeling like they have no other options except to stay in a violent relationship. In most cases, they have been made to feel insecure, alone and completely worthless. Their self-worth plummets to an all time low. Fear engulfs their lives.
How does this happen? There are people who believe that the anger exhibited by an abusive partner happens because the abuser does not know how to deal with feelings of anger and lashes out violently. The real problem is rooted deeper and is a lot more complicated.
Some researchers believe that the abuse is a learned behavior. They have stated that children who have witnessed any domestic violence while growing up, will become abusive when they grow up. Another theory is that society is male dominated and men see themselves as being in charge of women. This allows the men to be able to control women and view them as inferior. Mental illness could also be a possible cause of abuse. However, these theories have not been proven for all abusers. While some abusers do fit into one of the theories, each theory has examples of abusers who do not fit the scenario.
Victims of abuse often wonder what has caused their partners to become abusive. Some victims have said that the abuser seemed so normal. They have commented how the abuser had taken on a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. The abuser is kind and loving one minute and cruel and brutal the next minute.
Unfortunately, the reasons for domestic violence may not be clear. Most of the abusers have low self-esteem. The need to be in control of everything in their environment makes them feel powerful and worthwhile. When they have control of their partner, it spirals into an increasingly demanding situation. The victim does not know how to escape. Their freedom is increasingly limited. The abuser becomes even more power-hungry, without the chance of it ever decreasing.
Abusers and their victims come from all types of backgrounds. Feelings of fear, shock, guilt, confusion, pain and betrayal are felt by those suffering from abuse, sometimes for years. The victims often feel it is their fault. It is not their fault. Sometimes the only way out comes in the form of the emergency room – or worse. That being said, 911 operators have been trained extensively to help victims of domestic violence stay safe and alive.
To escape the violence, there are some factors that should be considered. Safety should always be a consideration. There are many women’s groups that are available to help. There is a twenty-four hour hotline for victims in most cities. Domestic violence awareness is growing and society has created resources for those who are being victimized. The victims will have support, therapy and a safe environment that will help to make it possible to escape to freedom and start a new life.
Most victims have been isolated. It is important to find support through talking to people whenever possible. Setting up a support system, when possible, has been proven to be a valuable asset. There are victim advocates, domestic violence shelters, victim assistance centers and crisis centers available seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Sometimes a neighbor or even a store clerk can be of great assistance when escaping from a dangerous situation. Friends of the abused can help by showing patience and being available to help at the spur of the moment.
Escaping a life of domestic violence requires some strength. It means being able to uncover and assert a power that the victim has kept deep inside. It requires the abused to have focus along with an extreme will to create a safer life. The escape from domestic violence will possibly feel like it is overwhelming and difficult at times. It is an abrupt change in behavior for a victim who has been mentally and physically trampled on and terrorized. Practicing the escape mentally, as much as possible, has been shown to be especially helpful.
A person suffering abuse from a domestic violence situation can get started on a path to freedom. Escape is possible for each and every victim struggling in this situation. There is help in place for those who can and eventually will reach out for it. It is possible for the victim to be able to experience a victory. The journey out of an abusive relationship can be frightening, but the rewards from escaping it will last forever.
by Saki Kahala