National Domestic Abuse Hotline (800) 799- SAFE (7233)

Let Go of the Hurt and Pain; Move Toward a Brighter Tomorrow
Very few relationships begin with your date calling you horrid names, telling you whom you are allowed to speak with at the country club or when you are allowed to leave the table. Then before allowing you in the car punching you in the stomach, at your house forcing sex, finally ending with a goodnight kiss, and “I will pick you up tomorrow night at 8:00 “do not keep me waiting for our second date.” So began your 'romance'.

In this example it is easy to identify such obvious signs of an abusive person. The problem is that in real life, the abusers are not so obvious and most of us have not been educated on how to read signs of abuse. Nor has the average person been empowered to stand up for their rights with someone who does not routinely treat them with dignity and respect.

There are different types of abusive relationships, all of which are destructive and painful to live in, but there is only one thing motivating all abusers: TO GAIN AND MAINTAIN CONTROL. Never fool yourself that the motivation for abuse is how much you are loved. The motivation is not love. The motivating force is JEALOUSY. The jealousy comes from lack of self-esteem and other deep rooted problems of the abuser’s. It has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with a loving relationship. You are just the current victim.

Violence and other forms of abuse do not just go away because someone says they will change. Frequently the abuse gets worse, not better. Being mentally abused or in an emotionally abusive relationship is a slow death. Little by little you lose yourself until you come to see yourself through your abuser’s eyes.

Feeling hopeless is not unusual, but there is a way out and seeking help and support for abusive relationships is very important. There is hope! Help getting out of an abusive relationship is easier to find then you might realize. These are general steps; each situation is unique and will require modifications.

First, find a therapist in your area who works with abused people. Together you come up with specific support systems and plans in your area. In Morristown NJ and in most other areas we have hotlines and Battered Women’s Shelters for abused women providing security, information or a safe place to go. They provide safe houses, which are free and allow children. These houses provide a safe place to live away from the abuser, food, counseling and usually some basic legal advice. They will come pick you up any time of the day or night with no charge. You need to look up the phone number of your nearest Battered Women's Shelter and either memorize it or write it down.

Second, pack a small bag with some basic necessities, i.e. medications, a change of clothes, toothbrush, warm coat, etc. Hide the bag in your trunk, or another safe place where you can grab it on the way out the door on the run. Think when you are calm: in the garage, at a friend’s house, what must you have to survive if you cannot get back into your house safely for a few weeks.

If you have children, one of their favorite toys, diapers, change of clothes, any special foods or medications. You do not have to take a lot, just the basics. Third, if you can, get your hands on cash, as much as possible. Start a file for important papers like birth certificates, marriage certificates, mortgage statements, car bill of sale. Go through the house when you are alone and safe. Take the originals or make copies and put in your file. Photocopy all credit cards, front and back, name and number of all bank accounts.

Fourth: Be prepared. Have an extra set of car keys some place handy in case the abusive partner takes your keys. Get your own cell phone that may be a cheap throw away and keep it in with your safe escape clothes and money. Be sure to have the phone number for the battered women’s shelter in your area written down. They are also a good resource to speak to for counseling, support groups, and available legal aid.

There is a lot of help for abused women if you take that first step and let someone know that you are in need. Tell a friend, tell a doctor, tell a therapist. Power comes from breaking the silence. It is the first step in ending the nightmare. There is help for the abused women if you just reach out. After having lived through an abusive relationship, being free will be a feeling that you will cherish like no other.

For confidential help in Morris County NJ now, contact me today at (973)359.0662 or Email: info@bpaolo.com for help and further information.

Profile of an Abusive Partner: Gain & Maintain Control

Common Abuser Behaviors:

Using Intimidation on Their Partner

  • Actions/ looks/gestures
  • Smashing things
  • Abusing pets
  • Raging
  • Making physical threats
  • Destroying or confiscating property
  • Pushing, grabbing, pulling your hair, these are all forms of physical violence
  • Punching, kicking, slapping, hitting with objects, breaking bones, stabbing, rape and ultimately murder in some cases

Isolating the Abused Partner:

  • Controlling what they do, where they go
  • Controlling who they see and talk to
  • Controlling what they read
  • Limited outside involvement
  • They must stay home if the abuser can not be there
  • Cut off from friends, family and activities
  • Use jealousy to justify actions
  • Go through partner's cell phone and email to see who they're in contact with and know what they said

Abusers Using Emotional Abuse

  • Making one feel bad about themselves
  • Mind games
  • Interrogations
  • Harassing
  • Intimidation-direct or “jokes”
  • Make one feel guilty
  • Shaming

Abusers Minimizing, Denying, Blame-shifting --Re-framing reality--

  • Make light of abuse
  • Say abuse did not happen or it was the abused partner's fault
  • Say “it wasn’t that bad"
  • Blame the victim for being treated badly by behaving in a way the abused knew would upset them

Using the Children to Further Abuse

  • Threatening to take the kids away
  • Make you feel guilty about the kids
  • Use the kids to relay messages
  • Share inappropriate information with the kids for their own selfish purposes

Summary

  • Abusers are jealous and want control over their partners. It has nothing to do with love
  • Being in an abusive relationship feels like a slow death
  • Finding help for getting out of abusive relationships is easy to find. Just ask
  • Shelters provide a safe place to live for adults and children, food, counseling and usually legal support.
  • Be prepared:
    1. Find a shelter and a therapist for Battered Women and their phone numbers.
    2. Pack a small necessities bag and put it in a hidden place you can get to in an emergency.
    3. Get emergency cash and assemble important papers file to include birth certificates, bank statements, credit card numbers etc.
    4. Get extra set of car keys, cheap throwaway cell phone and important phone numbers.
    5. Tell a friend, a doctor, therapist, trusted spiritual leader. And go.