Three of the dangerous mistakes that victims make are:
- Minimizing- When a person uses terms such as "difficult situation" instead of "physical abuse", the crime seems to be less serious. Often people who are abused state "It only happened a few times” or focus on the abuser's strengths rather than the violence. Domestic violence is not only unacceptable and disrespectful but also is a chargeable criminal offence.
- Self-blame- There is not responsible for the abuser's words, or actions. Each of us chooses the reactions we have and the ways that we will deal with our feelings. Even when the abuser points our weaknesses or flaws in the victim, the violence is still his/her own choice. Do not believe the abuser who states, "I just cannot control myself". If that person's hero walked into the room during the assault, the violence would end immediately. That fact alone is evidence of the control that the abuser has - but doesn't use.
- Fear of Living Without the Abuser- When the abuser states that you will not make it without him/her and that you are not capable of surviving well on your own - consider it a lie. You are a capable person who has skills and abilities. Most communities offer resources to help stop domestic violence. Shelters, Food Banks, government educational programs, the telephone book and the internet are good places to seek help.
If you are having a relationship that includes abusive behaviours, you need to know that you have options. Do not let the person who is harming you define your life or convince you that you are inadequate or deserving of the dysfunction. One step on the path to recovery will lead to the freedom that each person can claim.
I encourage you to take that step today.