Handle Physical Abuse in a Relationship

Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Robbi, Sheethal, Eng and 4 others

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Trying to cope with a physically abusive partner can be a very difficult experience. Domestic abuse and violence can happen to anyone, yet most people either excuse, deny or overlook the problem.

Are you being physically abused by your partner? If so, being silent about the situation will not help you. Understand that no one should live in fear with the person they love.

No circumstance in a relationship justifies abuse of any kind. If you recognize yourself as being either emotionally, mentally or physically abused in your relationship, you need to take action - fast!

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Understanding Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is also known as domestic abuse or spousal abuse (if you're married). It occurs when one partner in the relationship controls and/or dominates the other through acts of violence, such as emotional abuse (calling names, swearing, threatening, demeaning, humiliating) and physical abuse (hitting either with bare hands or weapons).

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More often than not, the purpose of the abuse is for the abuser to take or maintain control over their partner. When abuse occurs in a relationship, there is a lack of empathy, compassion, kindness, and obviously, nothing is fair in this love. An abuser will use guilt, fear, intimidation and shame, as well as physical abuse to wear a victim down and keep them under his/her control. Sometimes the person may even hurt and/or threaten the people the victim loves as a means of gaining more power whether it be real or imagined.

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Kinds of Physical Abuse

An abusive partner may hit, kick, bite, hit, spit, throw things, destroy or throw your belongings away. Your partner may also attack you while you're asleep or otherwise catch you by surprise. Your partner may also use a firearm, or other weapons to assault you, abuse or intimidate your children, or injure your pets. See below for further kinds of physical abuse:

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Scope of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse and violence do not discriminate. It occurs regardless of culture, education, race, and religion. It happens among same-sex partners as well as heterosexual couples. It takes place in relationships on all economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and includes all ages. Domestic violence happens most frequently to women, but men can be victims as well. Men are often emotionally, verbally and physically abused by their female or male partners. The problem is, if women are reluctant to report abuse, men report it even less than women.

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One thing we know for sure; abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it's a man or a woman, an older adult or teenager. Everyone deserves to be respected, valued and above all else...loved, and if they don't feel safe with who they are with, something has to change.

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Warning Signs Your Partner Is About To Abuse

  • He is pacing the floor.
  • He is clenching and unclenching his fists.
  • He is glaring at you or looks completely unfocused displaying real danger.
  • He is shouting or yelling at you.

Steps to Overcoming Physical Abuse

This is a difficult subject to tackle. It's a complicated situation, and it's serious business to advise anyone on what actions to take when the problem isn't theirs, but their partner's. We will attempt to suggest things you can do to, always keeping in mind always.

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YOU ARE MOST AT RISK WHEN YOU LEAVE THE ABUSER OR SUGGEST LEAVING THEM.

Please, please never forget that, if that's the most you get out of this article.

The first part of Steps to Overcoming Physical Abuse will discuss ways to deal with the issues with the idea to fix your relationship. The second part will discuss ways to leave an abusive relationship.

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If You're Trying To Work It Out

Take a Stand

You do not deserve to be physically abused, or abused in any way for that matter. If you're already in a physically abusive relationship, do not excuse or try to explain the behavior, or blame yourself for it. Do not endure another day. Take a stand! No one can help you if you don't help yourself first. Abuse of any kind is wrong. The first step to changing your situation is, to be honest with yourself, and admit you are in an abusive relationship and be willing to do what it takes to change the way things are. It will be difficult - even frightening. In all abusive situations, change is necessary for your well being your freedom and perhaps your survival.

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Seek Help and Guidance

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No man or woman is an island. This is especially true if you want to reclaim your relationship after being physically abused, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Talk to trusted friends, go to your relatives and seek advice or temporary shelter. Whatever you do, do not make changes on your own. You'll both need help if you still want the relationship with your partner to work.

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  1. 1
    Find a counselor who has experience with domestic abuse
    .
    You may want to go to couple's counseling, but it's recommended you also both receive individual counseling.
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  2. 2
    Consider looking for help at a woman's shelter, a rape crisis center, or even a crisis hotline
    .
    Hopefully, your community offers services that specialize in helping both men and woman.
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  3. 3
    If you belong to a church, ask your pastor/priest for guidance
    .
    The church family can help you in many ways including tender care and emotional support, spiritual counseling (marital, individual or family) food and shelter and even financial support.
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  4. 4
    Trusted friends and other people in your life can also help get through this difficult time
    .
    It might be helpful to talk to a friend who may have been in a similar situation, but managed to fix their own relationship.
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The Art of Reconciliation

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No relationship should end up broken due to abuse. If you are the abuser, you should know better than to treat your partner with less than she should be treated. Whichever you are, remember why you are in the relationship in the first place, because you LOVED him/her. Below are steps you can try if you think reconciliation is possible.

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  1. 1
    Reconciliation is impossible unless both of you are willing to work it out.
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  2. 2
    This could be a long process of rebuilding and relearning - of rest, mutual respect and most of all, love.
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  3. 3
    Ask yourself if there is still hope for the relationship
    .
    Most friends and colleagues will tell you to get away from the person, yet you know him/her the best.
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  4. 4
    Reconciliation in an abusive relationship is a tedious and long process.
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  5. 5
    You might need to separate (at least a month or a year, depending on the situation) from your husband or partner to ensure your safety
    .
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  6. 6
    Refrain from confronting your partner if you know that the climate between the two of you is still hot
    .
    You might only cause more anger, threats, and violence. Discuss or confront him when it's safe, during a period when he is remorseful or has become calm.
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  7. 7
    If your partner is an abusive person due to his/her experiences during childhood, then it is necessary for him to go to a counselor trained in dealing with abusive behaviors and domestic violence.
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  8. 8
    If you are being abused or violated physically, mentally or emotionally in your relationship, know that there are more important things than preserving your relationship.
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Turn to God

Living a life of abuse is absolutely not the will of God. It is not something you should endure or deal with no matter what anyone tells you. Abuse is only going to happen as long as you take it and putting a stop to it as quickly as you can is the only way to take control of your own life.

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Signs your partner is NOT changing

  • He pressures you not to go to couple's counseling.
  • He asks you that you owe him another chance for recovery.
  • He tries to blame others for his abusive behavior.
  • He claims and retaliates that you're the one who is offensive.
  • He tries to obtain sympathy from you and other people.
  • He expects something in return from you in exchange for his "renewal".
  • He reduces the abuse and denies how serious it was.
  • He pressures you to make critical decisions about the relationship.
  • You have to push and remind him to stay in treatment.
  • He says that he can't change unless you support him and stay with him.
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Develop a Safety Plan

If you understand the need for a personal change in your life, it's time for the next step. It's crucial you ensure your safety and eliminate the risks as you try to live free of violence, fear, and intimidation.

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  1. 1
    Encourage your partner to seek the counseling
    .
    Leaving a letter might be better than telling him head-on.
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  2. 2
    If you leave temporarily, stay away until your partner not only agrees to get help but has started getting in
    .
    Words are not enough here.
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  3. 3
    Abuse can turn deadly, so take care of yourself first.
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  4. 4
    If you fear that your partner will stop at nothing to abuse you physically, then do not stay in the house
    .
    Leave immediately.
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  5. 5
    If you have time, make plans for an escape
    .
     
    1. Do NOT let your partner know you are planning to leave.
    2. Delete your browsing history if you've been reading things like this article to get information.
    3. Always have money set aside in a safe place. If he watches money carefully, put a few dollars away a week, that he won't notice.
    4. Have a bag already packed with your things and the kid's things.
    5. Do not tell anyone who might tell him what you're planning. The fewer people you tell, the better. Most people you tell will tell one person, and so on.
    6. Collect any evidence you have of physical abuse (photos, tape recordings, video, etc.) If you can, email them to yourself at an email account he cannot access, but you can access on another computer (eg: Gmail, Yahoo).
    7. Get an extra key for the car (if he thinks you might leave, he may take the key to preventing you from doing so. If you need to get a copy, do this when you are able to. Hide it in a place you can access easily in a hurry if need be.
    8. When you are planning to leave, you might want to ask the police for assistance to get you safely away, on the off chance he comes home in the midst of your departure.
    9. Make sure you've packed a bag with the following:  
      1. Birth certificates
      2. A change of clothes for you and your kids.
      3. Medications (yours & your children's).
      4. An extra key for the car (if he thinks you might leave, he may take the key to prevent you from doing so.
      5. Passports, immunization cards, insurance papers, court papers.
      6. Credit card numbers (so you can track his activity), cash, checkbook, bank account numbers.
      7. Friend's contact numbers.
      8. A few mementos, jewelry, photographs, but none that he'd notice missing.
    10. Hide this bag where you are positive he won't find. If you can't be positive, leave it with a friend, but not one that lives too close to you.
    11. Choose a time when you are positive he won't be home. The more time before he finds out you've gone - the better.
    12. Get the children to safety first. If he has an idea you are leaving, he may pick the kids up at school, holding them hostage. Make sure they are safe before you do anything else.
    13. Don't flee to a place he'd expect you to go. Go to a shelter or a friend's place he doesn't know so he also doesn't know where they live. A Shelter is best. The addresses are not published, and the buildings are usually secure.
    14. If you can - leave the city. If you want to leave the state, province or country, get legal advice first.
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  6. 6
    Your partner will view your leaving as a rejection and betrayal
    .
    It won't matter that you are doing it out of fear for your own, and possibly your children's safety.
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  7. 7
    He may become more violent
    .
    This is the reason for developing a safety plan outside guidance and counsel.
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  8. 8
    MOST ABUSERS WHO MURDER THEIR SPOUSES, DO SO WHEN THEY THREATEN TO LEAVE, OR THEY'VE JUST LEFT
    .
    MAKE THIS YOUR MANTRA.
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When You Plan on Leaving Your Abuser

You do not deserve to be physically abused, or abused in any way for that matter. If you're already in a physically abusive relationship, do not excuse or try to explain the behavior, or blame yourself for it. The first step to changing your situation is, to be honest with yourself, and admit you are in an abusive relationship and be willing to do what it takes to get out of it. It will be difficult - even frightening. In all abusive situations, change is necessary for your well being your freedom and perhaps your survival.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help
M3.up.phyabu4.jpg

No man or woman is an island. Whatever you do, do not make changes on your own. Get yourself help.

  1. 1
    Find a counselor who has experience with domestic abuse
    .
    You need to understand things you can avoid to stop the pattern of abuse for any future relationships.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  2. 2
    Consider getting help at a woman's shelter, a rape crisis center, or even a crisis hotline
    .
    Hopefully, your community offers services that specialize in helping both men and woman.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  3. 3
    If you belong to a church, ask your pastor/priest for guidance
    .
    The church family can help you in many ways including: tender care and emotional support, spiritual counseling (marital, individual or family) food and shelter and even financial support.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  4. 4
    Trusted friends and other people in your life can also help get through this difficult time
    .
    It might be helpful to talk to a friend who may have been in a similar situation.
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  5. 5
    Your partner is abusive because he's afraid
    .
    Regardless of the things he/she does and says, he/she feels inadequate and is over-compensating. They are afraid they'll lose you, even though most of what they do will most certainly make that happen.
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After You've Left

While all situations of domestic violence are dangerous, some are life threatening.

  1. 1
    Some abusers will kill, and those who do, are more likely to kill at specific times
    .
    The possibility of homicide is increased when the following are present:  
    1. Separation violence. He believes he is about to lose you or has just lost you.
    2. Threats of suicide or murder. He may threaten to kill himself, you, the children, family, friends, or anyone else close to you.
    3. Plans for suicide or murder. He has detailed plans to do either of these things.
    4. Weapons: He has a weapon, or weapons, and has threatened to use them in the past.
    5. Arson. If he has a history of arson, must consider fire a weapon.
    6. Ownership. He claims ownership over you, saying things like "If I can't have you, no one can" or "I'd rather you were dead than divorce me".
    7. Entitlement. He believes he is your master and deserves your obedience and loyalty.
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  2. 2
    Idolizes you
    .
    Regardless of his behavior, he idolizes you and depends on you to sustain his life, either practically, or emotionally.  
    1. Isolation. In the past, he has isolated you from outside support and kept you from your friends and family.
    2. Police history. There have been repeated calls to law enforcement in the past.
    3. Escalation of risk-taking. He has started behaving with a disregard of legal or social consequences, that in the past, held his violence in check.
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  3. 3
    Hostage taking
    .
    He is desperate enough to risk innocent lives by taking hostages. Their situation will almost always turn deadly.
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  4. 4
    There are property rights, custody rights and rights regarding finances
    .
    You need to know what your rights are and how they can help in your specific situation. Contact a legal service or attorney, a local police department, the city prosecutor's office, a crises hotline or a women's shelter for more information.
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  5. 5
    Turn off the GPS on your phone, and your kid's
    .
    Make sure they can't call your spouse. They may inadvertently give away your location.
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  6. 6
    There are protection rights you can utilize, such as a restraining order to keep the person away from you
    .
    Be very careful here. On State sited off the 231 IPH (intimate Partner Homicides), 11% of the victims had taken out restraining orders on their partners. Most were murdered within days or at least a month of the restraining order taking effect.
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Reflections

You are the master of your own life. Be strong. Take heart you are not alone. Do what is right for you and your children. The road ahead won't be easy, but it will be better. Love doesn't include violence and abuse. Don't make excuses for him. Don't highlight one kind gesture, against 100 unkind ones. Love yourself. Know that you are valuable and deserve to be loved. Everyone deserves to be loved properly, especially you.

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Tips, tricks and Warning

  • Abuse of any kind is wrong.
  • No one can help you if you won't help yourself first.
  • Make sure if you are googling things like this article, you erase your browsing history so your partner doesn't know what you are doing.
  • Do not make plans alone.
  • Remember, change doesn't happen overnight.
  • Seek counseling.
  • Contact the local police when you need to.
  • *THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME IS WHEN YOU ARE PLANNING TO LEAVE, OR HAVE JUST LEFT HIM.
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Questions and Answers

Solution for physical abuse from my husband?

Hi, my husband is abusing me physically and then behaves as though it was my mistake and starts neglecting me. I have a son and this is not the first time he is abusing me. I have been suffering for the past 2 years and now I want to stop this.

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No one. Not you, not your child, not anyone deserves to be abused. No one! Everyone deserves to be happy and to be loved properly. You have taken the first important step to gaining your life back - you have admitted you are living in an abusive situation, and you want out. You need to seek some advice. If you have access to a friend, or family member, your minister or pastor, a women's shelter or organization, legal advice, talk to the police. I hope you've taken pictures of any injuries he's caused you. There are some really good suggestions in this article, and I suggest reading it. There is a list of things you can do before you leave. These are very important. I wish you all the best and hope you'll be very careful.

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Seek Help and Guidance

How to handle the violence from husband?

Methods used to handle the physical abuse from an alcoholic husband. I have tried: Beating, kicking and destroying things. I think it was caused by: His alcoholism

Join an http://al-anon.org/?gclid=CJOQ5fbBodICFYm4wAodquwP0Q Al Anon] support group if you already haven't. They also provide Online Chat and Phone Meetings should you not be able to leave your house or a meeting is too far away for you to regularly attend. Unfortunately, all too often alcoholism and abuse towards a domestic partner experienced when there is a drinking or substance abuse issue in a relationship. If your husband is unwilling to seek treatment, you may need to leave the relationship as a protective measure for your personal safety. If you have children, keep in mind that an alcoholic parent can lead to emotional complications in children when they become adults. Al-Anon also has support for children and teens with an alcoholic parent. There are teen groups and family groups for your children to attend. Even if you think you are shielding them from the violence, your children are still aware.

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How to handle my physically abusive husband? I want to be with him?

He hits me whenever he gets angry...he yells...he slaps me! Even I get angry too sometimes.

Sometimes we love the wrong person and end up in an abusive or toxic relationship. Abusers can often be charming at first and then they become possessive, controlling and violent. Love is not everything in a relationship. You need to love yourself first. Ask yourself why you feel the need to stay with someone who has absolutely no respect for you. Evaluate if you can come up with a plan to leave for a bit of time to visit family or friends. Sometimes removing yourself from the situation and being around people that actually love and respect you can give a better perspective. Your husband may think and say he loves you but really you are just an object to him. Basically his punching back and verbal abuse hotline. It is never easy to leave a relationship but you can't continue to love him when you are dead because of his violent actions. The sad reality is that unless an abuser gets help and serious psychiatric treatment, the only change they will make is to ramp up the level of abuse. If you stay, you should just count on him killing you someday because your percentage of dying in a physical altercation at the hands of your partner is significantly high. This is not something that you should live with over your head for the rest of your life. If you have children, you should be protecting them above all else and leaving the relationship. Authorities can actually remove the children from your home and charge you with neglect if you do not make the necessary steps to get your children to safety and away from your husband.

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Do not justify his violent actions towards you with the excuse that you get angry too. There is no justification for the way he treats you. In fact, if he was with someone else, he would be just as abusive because it is of his character and mental state to be like this. His abuse has absolutely nothing to do with what you say or do. Contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline to see if there is a shelter or someone that can help you come up with a plan to leave. You can also ask about support groups if you are not ready to leave yet. Many of us have been right where you are right now. The difference is that people like me completely understand how you are feeling but now that I am 10 years removed from the situation, I see just how wrong I was and how lucky I am to be alive. My ex has been convicted three times in the last 10 years for domestic assault with three separate women. Because it was NEVER about me just like it is not about you. Keep yourself safe above all else. The pain of leaving him will be manageable but the physical pain from his violent outbursts can last for the rest of your life and even result in a severe injury or disfigurement. Not to scare you, but I was involved in a support group for domestic violence survivors. There was a woman that regularly came to our meetings but thought she had everything under control with her husband. He ended up being super sweet for three months when she left for a shelter. Then she moved back in with him to save their relationship. Two weeks after she reconciled with him, he beat her to the point that she had severe brain damage and is now in a nursing home connected to a breathing tube, bedridden, nonverbal, and not raising her children. Her story is very typical of the path in an abusive relationship.

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Referencing this Article

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APA (American Psychological Association)
Handle Physical Abuse in a Relationship. (2017). In VisiHow. Retrieved May 22, 2017, from http://visihow.com/Handle_Physical_Abuse_in_a_Relationship

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Handle Physical Abuse in a Relationship." VisiHow, visihow.com/Handle_Physical_Abuse_in_a_Relationship Accessed 22 May 2017.

Chicago / Turabian VisiHow.com. "Handle Physical Abuse in a Relationship." Accessed May 22, 2017. http://visihow.com/Handle_Physical_Abuse_in_a_Relationship.

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Categories : Relationships

Recent edits by: Alma, mishu, Nuance

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