What Should You Do If You Think You Are Being Abused?
First of all, I would advise you not to talk to your partner about this. The main goal of an abuser is to gain control over his victim. He may have been doing quite a nice job of this by many methods: verbal, emotional, spiritual, sexual, economic, or physical abuse to name just a few. Once you realize that he has been abusing you, you may be tempted to yell at him, or tell him that you are aware of what he has been doing. He will not be happy about this. He will no doubt deny what you are saying, and try many techniques to get you to remain under his control.
Even more frightening, there’s a good chance that he will escalate his abuse of you. This could put you in great danger. So, keep your new information to yourself.
Secondly, if you are not in imminent danger, you might want to take some time to grieve. Realizing that the person you love is abusing you is a serious thing. You have every right to be sad about this.
Thirdly, surround yourself with some friends who will help you. How do you know which friends to seek help from? Check out my blog about this here.
Fourthly, seek more information. You may feel that you should leave your abuser. However, leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time period for an abused woman. Do not get me wrong. I am not suggesting that you stay in the abusive relationship. However, leaving needs to be done very carefully.
Where can you get information? One place is my book, A Journey through Emotional Abuse: from Bondage to Freedom. In this book, I walk readers through all their questions and many circumstances they might experience getting free from their abuse.
I also highly recommend calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. They are very well-trained, and will be able to point you to local resources in your area.
If you do decide that you should leave your abuser, the Hotline will be able to help you create a safety plan.
What is a safety plan?
A safety plan is a plan that helps you remain safe, whether you remain in the relationship or leave it. Click here to read my blog about safety planning.
Don’t feel bad if all this sounds overwhelming. Being in an abusive relationship is one of the most difficult things anyone could ever have to deal with.
There is good news however.
The harder our lives become, the more we need to depend on Jesus. And the really good news? We can depend on him. He will never leave us or forsake us, (Deuteronomy 31:6). He loved us enough to die for us, (Mark 15:39), and he is still in heaven interceding for us with the Father, (Romans 8:34). He will not let us down.