In the aftermath of an abusive relationship, fear is present for quite some time. Fear of what the abusive partner (ex-partner) is still capable of. Fear of being alone. Fear that you may not be able to make it on your own.
Did you know:
- The average number of times a woman will be abused by her live-in partner before she leaves the relationship for good is 35
- In a dating situation with adolescents, that average is 9 times
- The average age of the first violent episode in a dating relationship is 15
Did you also know that abusers:
- Look for partners with low self-esteem
- Try to isolate their partners from friends and family
- Eventually try to control every aspect of their partner:
- who they spend time with
- what they wear and look like
- what interests they pursue
For the abused, getting out of a violent relationship is scarier than staying in one. The abused must first get to a place where they know they are worthy of not being mistreated. Otherwise, they will not make a choice for change.
Once the choice for change is made, immediately after leaving a violent relationship, wisdom doesn't suddenly make itself known. Anxiety. Fear. Survival. That's what's being experienced. This is when the abused needs the most amount of support.
But eventually, after the abused partner has left the relationship for good. Providing there are resources available through friendships, family and community outreach. Wounds become scars. Scars become knowledge. And knowledge paves the way to wisdom.
You were and are worthy of dignity and respect
You deserve to be treated with love and kindness
You are so much stronger than you thought you were
I will be presenting my Talk Before Touching Program (Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships) at Merritt Secondary School tomorrow morning March 13, 2014 at 9:45. And then again at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology at 1 p.m. Contact the schools for more information. Hope to see you there.