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Escaping Domestic Violence

Millions of women and men are affected each year from domestic violence, including intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking.

While victims suffer physical harm from domestic violence, they can also undergo emotional injuries that lead to panic attacks, flashbacks, low self-esteem, trust issues and other difficulties.

Sadly, many victims believe the abuse will end or do not know how to leave their abusive partner. However, there are actions that can be taken to improve the outlook for victims of domestic violence.

Types of Domestic Violence

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Threats
  • Emotional abuse

Escaping Domestic Violence

Use the following tips to learn how to escape an unhealthy relationship.

  • Find a safe place immediately. If an argument occurs, don’t stay at home.
  • Report any violence to the police. If there are physical signs of injury or a belief violence will occur, then officers will arrest the batterer.
  • Follow through a police report, if it is made.
  • Have your partner seek counseling. If your partner doesn’t want to seek counseling or therapy, however, then it is unlikely that the abuse will end.
  • Get help, and know you are not alone.
  • Learn how to support yourself to prepare for the future. Community education classes are open to those who want to complete high school or learn job-related skills. Assistance, such as help with registration, academic counseling, support groups, and childcare, is also available for men and women returning to school for further education. Contact a counselor at your community college.
  • Create a safety plan, regardless if you continue to stay in the relationship or decide to leave. That may include filing a restraining order, seeking a separate residence, locating resources to support you in the first few weeks, and checking with private social service agencies, churches or the battered women’s shelters.

You should not feel scared or threatened by the partner you love. While there may not seem like an escape, there is hope. For more information, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit their website.

Adapted and excerpted from:

Domestic Violence,” University of Florida Police Department (rev. 12/2011).

Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence & Stalking Facts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(rev. 09/2014).

Preventing Domestic Violence in Your Community,”Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (rev. 10/2014).

Understanding Intimate Partner Violence; Fact Sheet 2012,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012).

Photo Credits: LittleBee80/iStock/Thinkstock