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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    How do you handle a partner who is abusive?

    Many of us don’t want to admit that our partner is abusive. But an abusive partner isn’t going to change without effort, and learning how to handle the situation is essential for your mental health and emotional wellbeing. Here are a few steps you can take to break out of an abusive relationship.

    Firstly, realize that you have the power to push back against abuse. This can be hard, especially if you haven’t been in a healthy relationship before, so it’s important to remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. If your partner doesn't respect that, then it is time to start prioritizing yourself.

    Next, ask for help. It’s hard to seek help alone, and a good first step is to find friends or family members who you can trust. Let them know what’s going on and how you’re feeling. Connecting with people who love and care about you will give you the strength to stand up for yourself.

    Thirdly, create a safety plan. This includes routes of escape, places to stay and finances secured away should you need to leave suddenly. This plan will make leaving easier should you decide the situation has become too dangerous or unhealthy. Knowing you have a way to get out can be a great source of strength and provide feelings of safety when things get rough.

    Fourthly, reach out to a professional counselor or therapist. Professional help can assist you in ending the relationship if you decide it's time to leave, as well as providing guidance on how to handle the situation without fear of judgment or recrimination. they can provide advice on how best to rebuild your life following a traumatic relationship.

    Fifth, practice self-care. This is especially important for people in abusive relationships because the abuser wants to instill a sense of inferiority. Rejecting this by consciously taking care of yourself sends a powerful message to the abuser that their attempts at controlling you won’t be successful.

    Sixth, keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be quite cathartic and enable you to better understand the dynamics at play. Whether it’s daily entries or hourly scribbles, having a place to write your thoughts can make you feel more centered and strong.

    Seventh, remember to trust yourself. Everyone faces different situations and abuse takes many different forms. Know that there is no “one size fits all” solution, and it is okay to make mistakes. As long as you stay true to yourself and what you believe is right, you will be able to make the best decision for yourself

    Know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of organizations available that offer support and guidance in situations such as this. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help; you will find sympathetic ears and a willingness to help you.

    Ending an abusive relationship is never easy, but it is possible. Taking small steps to confront your abusive partner, as well as getting help from friends, family or professionals, can go a long way. Remind yourself that you are valuable, capable and entitled to respect, and ultimately have the power to reject abuse.

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