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How to Get Away from an Abusive Spouse
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
Are you being abused?
This article is for anyone who is in an abusive relationship. I am aware that there are some men who are abused by women, but statistics show that more women are abused by men in comparison. Because of that, I will be writing this hub from a woman's perspective.
Relationships and/or marriage are not meant to be entered into lightly. It is important to take time to get to know your significant other before going into a serious, long-term commitment with them.
A mutual joining of two people should involve love, mutual respect, admiration, honesty, communication, and a solid friendship. Without these virtues, a relationship will likely fail.
Warning signs of abuse
Many women do not believe they are in an abusive relationship because they have not been "hit by their man". Well, I have news for you, abuse comes in many forms besides physical. Mental and sexual abuse are even worse scenarios as opposed to being hit by someone.
Are any of the following things happening to you in your relationship?
- Is your partner controlling you? Does your partner boss you around, tell you what clothes to wear, tell you who you can talk to, follow you to your job, or give you a difficult time when you use the phone? Control issues are a red flag for possible abuse from your partner.
- Does your partner snoop in your phone? Is he checking your text messages and call log to see who you are talking to? Does he let you look at his phone and keep that line of communication open? They say people who make the most noise about something are usually guilty of something themselves.
- He only pushed you or grabbed your arm? Does it take being hit in the head with a hammer before someone can see abuse for what it is? Just because he did not hit you does not mean he is not abusing you.
- Does he allow you to see friends and go places without him? Most abusive men do not trust their partners and will not allow them to go places without them. I knew one woman who could not even shop for groceries without her husband going with her.
- Does he touch you or make you have sex when you don't want to? No means no, whether you are married or not. One notorious thing about men who are abusive is their demands to have their needs met while be unconcerned about their partners needs. Most women in abusive relationships do not have a voice and are afraid to say no or disagree with their partner. Learn your legal rights and get the facts on sexual abuse.
- Nothing you do makes your partner happy. Abusive men can be extremely narcissistic, and everything is about them. The mental games that coincide with abuse can keep a woman jumping through hoops to make their partner happy. Yet, their partner is STILL not happy. Learn how to outsmart a narcissist and save your sanity.
- Does he call you names and ridicule you? Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse, if not worse. Bruises heal, but you can never take away the damage caused by words.
Do you think you might be in an abusive relationship?
One in four have experienced domestic violence of some type.
Women account for 85% of the victims of domestic violence, while men account for the other 15%.
Women, ages 20-24, are at greater risk for domestic violence.
74% of Americans know someone who has been abused by their partner.
(Statistics retrieved from the Domestic Violence Resource Center.)
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How to escape
For some of those reading this story, you might be more aware of your situation now. If you are in an abusive relationship, you have two choices: suffer more abuse and risk fatal damage or leave your abuser.
My advice to you is to leave while you have a chance. I know for some of you, this can seem like an impossible task. But the situation is only impossible if you want it to be. There are many domestic violence shelters you can go and stay. SAFEPLACE is a domestic violence shelter that will take in women and their children and provide a safe place for them to stay. There are Safeplace locations in various parts of the country.
If you have chosen to leave, it is not going to be an easy thing to do. You are not going to be able to walk into the door, pack your things, and just leave. He is going to become extremely angry and volatile, and the situation could become dangerous or fatal.
The best thing to do is plan how you are going to leave. You are going to need support. Tell your best friends and your family your plans, so you have a crew on standby to help you move out. You will need to get your things out quickly and will need as many people as you can get to help. This will eliminate your partner becoming physical with you, as you will have a pissed off brother waiting to jump on him when he tries to touch you or stand in your way.
Pack ahead of time; have suitcases or duffle bags packed with clothes, in case you need to get away in a hurry. If you have time, start packing up your important things, items he might not notice are missing. Work on it a little at a time and gradually move those items out of the house and have a trusted friend take care of them for you. Or, rent a storage unit if you are able to do so.
If you must, call 911. The police will take him to jail, which will give you time to pack everything and leave while he is sitting in lockup. File a Personal Protection Order (PPO) with your local county clerk's office. Any violation of the PPO could result in him being locked up longer if he does not leave you alone after you have left.
Find a support group and talk with others about your situation. The more you face it, the easier it will become to deal with it.
The most important thing to remember is not to go back, unless some deep counseling can be implemented into the relationship. Your abuser needs to have true, honest remorse and prove that he wants to do the right thing. This rarely happens, ladies. Is your life and the lives of your children worth risking their safety just to find out if he is serious this time?
I don't think so...