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Recovering Your Life After Surviving Domestic Violence

Recovering Your Life After Surviving Domestic Violence

Studies show nearly one in four women and one in ten men have been a victim of physical violence, stalking or psychological aggression within an intimate partner relationship at any given time and nearly half of women homicide victims in the U.S are killed by a former or current partner. According to Cynthia Conner, a licensed social worker with Baylor College of Medicine, abuse “impacts the survivor’s self-esteem, to the point where they can internalize and believe the abuser’s view of themselves. They begin questioning whether they deserve the abuse, which makes it difficult for them to leave the relationship.” 

For survivor’s who ARE able to leave the abusive situation they’re in, long-term recovery is crucial as nearly 20% of intimate partner violence survivors experience “an onset of psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety disorder, and PTSD.” Although each situation is different, providing a supportive environment is important for helping anyone who is healing from intimate partner abuse. If someone you know has recently left an abusive partner, here are some tips to help them.


  • Provide them with non-judgemental support. It’s important for survivors to feel not only believed but heard when leaving their abuser or talking about trauma.
  • Remind them that the abuse they endured was not their fault.
  • Remind them that you are supportive of their decision.
  • Avoid using language that makes the survivor feel like they’re being blamed or shamed. Avoid questions like “why didn’t you leave sooner?” or “why didn’t you stand up for yourself?”


If you yourself are a victim or survivor of domestic violence, here are some tips to help you reclaim your life.


  • Always remember, the abuse was not your fault. Do not blame yourself and try to avoid “I should have” phrases like “I should have known better” or “I should have left sooner.”
  • Find someone to confide in that you can talk to about what you went through whether that be a friend, loved one or parent.
  • Seek professional help through therapy.
  • Know that they may try to manipulate you to win you back. Be strong enough to say no and seek legal help if needed. 
  • If you’re planning to leave, have a safety plan in place. This might include preparing a to-go bag, having people on call if you need help, having a few places in mind to go when you plan on leaving. 
  • Be gentle and kind with yourself while you heal.


Some resources: