Violence in relationships: What it is and Options for Victims

How do you deal with a violent relationship? Or more importantly: do you? A common answer to victims looking for help is to phone a hotline, go to a shelter or see a counselor/psychiatrist. The bottom line is always of course that something has to change.

A violent relationship can never be a loving one, so stop making excuses for your partner; it is not your fault. The only fault that lies in you is for not leaving them sooner.

Forms of violence in relationships

Violence takes many forms in a relationship, including physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual assault. Any type of abuse is in fact illegal, the punishment for which is a lengthy jail sentence, depending, of course, on the nature of the crime.

Some types of abuse are hard to prove though; abuse like that of the emotional kind, which involves humiliation, degradation and constant insults. They may not leave physical marks or scars, but psychologically they are often more harmful than pure physical abuse. This kind of abuse is very hard to prove in a court of law, but is so common in the world.

Psychological effects of abuse

Although men have been known to be victims of abuse, it is more often than not the woman who is the victim in a violent relationship. Victims deal with the trauma in different ways: some because of low self-esteem accept the abuse (most often a result of emotional battery), some even tend to think that it is in some way their fault.

Others react with violence of their own, which can get very ugly, whereas others turn to drugs and alcohol. None of the above is a good way to deal with a violent partner.

There are pocket guides, pamphlets and brochures as well as support groups for abused partners. These groups have hotlines that are guaranteed to be discreet and private about your situation. As a last result there are even shelters one can go to if they have nowhere else to get away from their abusive partners.

Many people who stay with their abusive partner do so because they are afraid of being killed by their partners. Websites, run by survivors of such escapes, help to raise awareness and provide answers to victims, and also prevent violence in the first place.

Children brought up in violent homes tend to become violent with their own children, in a cyclical pattern, so attitudes need to be changed if you don’t want your kids to grow up to become the abuser’s themselves. Physical abuse often spills over from spouse to child in violent homes, adding the trauma of witnessing violence they are then subject to it themselves.

So if you are a victim, leave your partner and find help in one of the ways mentioned above. By staying you perpetuate the cycle of violence.