Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

Abuse occurs when someone is causing harm to another. There are many types of abuse, including: emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse. It is known that if abuse occurs, it will often continue in cycles. This means that when someone is abused, they experience a “honeymoon” stage of making up and apologizing, but then they abuse again. As this continues, the abuse often gets worse. Sometimes the victim eventually becomes the abuser in another relationship. Either way, abuse needs to be stopped. Here are the steps to stop abuse.

1. Face your past of being abused. Abuse will continue to create unnecessary challenges in your life if you do not get help. Being in denial about your past will not allow you to move on from it. You need to acknowledge what happened to you and talk about the issues. Then you can begin to heal from the abuse.

2. Understand that you cannot just ignore memories of abuse. It will come back around and this is what ends up creating the cycle of abuse. If you are being abused, you may try to push the memories out of your mind and go back to the abuser. But the abuse may continue and even escalate.

3. Don’t create excuses for abuse. Abusers often tell their victims that they didn’t mean it or “were abused as a child”. Then the victim feels bad for them and returns. If the abuser was really sorry, they would stop making excuses and get help.

4. Attend therapy or find a support group. Talking out your issues with a specialist or others who find themselves in similar situations can help for you to recognize and overcome abuse.

5. Become knowledgeable about abuse. Read self-help books to allow you to get an understanding of what you are going through. They also have a lot of advice on overcoming the situation you are in.

6. Recognize that it’s not your fault. Abusers have a mind of their own and do not know how to handle their anger. It is their fault for being the way they are, not yours.

7. Review your unhealthy relationship. Take a look at where it went wrong. Recognize where there may have been warning signs that you overlooked. Knowing the red flags in relationships can prevent future abuse.

8. Get assistance from an organization that specializes in domestic violence. There are many agencies that provide support to victims including a safe shelter, as well as, legal and emotional support.

Overcoming an abusive relationship can be one of the most difficult things you ever do. It’s important to seek support and learn ways to avoid abuse in the future. This will help to break the cycle of abuse in your life and allow you to move on to a healthy and more fulfilling relationship.

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