Whether you are in a romantic relationship or a marriage, if you are being verbally, emotionally, sexually or physically abused, break away immediately from this relationship. Abuse is all about control and certainly nothing to do with love.

An abuser power and that means he wants you all to himself (or in some cases herself) and will try everything to separate you from friends and family members. He will try to control all the money. He is jealous and if you are gone a little longer than you said to the grocery store, prepare yourself for the third degree. He will be certain you have spent some time with another man or done something else he is against. There will be no reasoning with him. You need to find a way to get out of this relationship, as it will escalate into violence at some point. Again, abuse is all about control. The more you stuggle to maintain your independence, the harder he will fight to control everything you do.

An abuser doesn't get better. No matter what he says, he will blow up again over some trivial matter. This pattern escaletes into full blown physical abuse which can be anything from slapping, pulling hair, punching, burns, bruises, kicking, choking, threatenting your life and so forth. Often abusers are drinkers and when they are drunk the abuse is worse.

I you can see you are in the early stages of an abusive relationship, you may have time to carefully get together some money, important papers, or jewelry and get them out of the house. Then plan to get your clothing and leave when he is not there. Do not keep this problem hidden from family and friends. You have done nothing wrong. You need their help, love and support. If you need to leave the house immediately , call 911 and they will stay while your get your children and clothing until you are gone.

If the relationship is in the full blown abuse stage, leave immediately! It is particularly important if you have children, even if they are not being physically abused. They are being affected in a major way if there is violence in the house, and quite likely they are receiving verbal abuse. Children always know more than you think they do. The violence will not stop even though he may buy you some expensive perfume and promise that it will never happen again. There is NO excuse for verbal or physical abuse and you are not to blame.

You should get a restraining order against the abuser, but that doesn't always mean he will honor that court order. The police have to catch him in the act to arrest him. I worked with domestic abuse victims a few years ago and it it vert difficult for some of them to break away from the relationship.

Most cities have a domestic abuse hotline that will help you decide what to do. The National Hotline numer is 1-800-799-safe (3224). There are shelters for battered women and their children also in most areas. There is a wonderful one in Jacksonville, FL and the website will give you an idea of their services (http://hubbardhouse.org/hh/). Look it over to get an idea of what a shelter might offer in your city. In the shelter you will be with other people living in the same situation as you; the staff are experienced and will help you prioritize your next moves; plus most importantly you and your children if you have some will be 100% safe. These shelter locations are hidden in most cases, plus the police are well aware of the situation. This will givre you time to prioritize your next moves. You may need to get some training to support yourself and some counseling to help that battered self esteem.

Most important if you are living with physical abuse, break away immediately as a woman is beaten every 9 seconds in the US, 2,000,000 beaten last year, 3 per day are murdered and 63% of young men jailed between the ages of 11-20 are serving time for homicide having killed their mother's abuser.

Domestic Abuse and Violence