When domestic violence occurs in relationships, it affects all aspects of a victim’s life.

When one person uses abuse to gain power and control over their partner it can cause long-lasting and sometimes permanent effects. Survivors may experience mental and physical health issues, changes in their relationships with friends, family, and children, even their career and economic well-being.
Survivors of domestic abuse often experience many ups and downs on their road to overcoming the trauma caused by domestic abuse. It is important to remember that some days are just harder than others and it is okay to not be okay. I often get asked, “How long is it going to take to get over this?” The truth is, there is no time frame for healing from abuse; however, family and friends can help the healing process along by listening, validating the survivor’s experience, helping them to recognize their strengths and continuing to provide support and encouragement. To sum it up: listen to them, BELIEVE them, tell them it is not their fault (it was the abuser’s choice) and that they deserve to be free and safe from abuse. There is help.
The Manitoba Trauma Information and Education Centre list three stages of emotional trauma recovery: Safety and stabilization, remembrance and mourning, and reconnection and integration. Learning to accept what has happened and how to self-soothe when emotions are triggered can help with feeling safe and stabilized. Talk therapy is a great way to process difficult emotions; however, some people find it difficult to talk about their trauma. Meditation, yoga, or writing lets emotions come and go without words. Form or regain worthy connections with family and friends. If a relationship diminishes or discourages you in any way, it may be time to let it go for your greater good. Lastly, don’t hurry the process. Peel away layer after layer until you reconnect with the core of who you are.
If you or someone you know has experienced intimate partner violence, Crisis Services of North Alabama can help. Please contact us locally at 256.574.5826, on our 24/7 HELPline at 256.716.1000, or at our website www.csna.org. Advocates provide free, confidential support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Sources: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence;
Holly, K. (2015, May 31). How ToRecover From Emotional Trauma of Domestic Abuse, HealthyPlace.

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