By Mansi S. Mehta:
Editor’s note: Youth Ki Awaaz joins hands with the NalandaWay Foundation, founded by Sriram Iyer, to help break the silence around mental health, failure and suicide. Through Iyer’s book, “The Story Of A Suicide”, we’ll be talking about dealing with depression, loneliness, rejection, stress and various other issues that affect many of us, today. You can read the book here.
Abuse is a very serious issue. Be it physical, or psychological, each form is traumatising in its own ways. Abusers can be emotionally and physically manipulative, making it difficult to negotiate the complicated web of emotions you may be feeling. Whether you’re being abused in a romantic relationship or by a member of your family, you need to form a plan to put a stop to it and to get help.
It is important to recognise abuse. If you are the target of physical violence, identify signs of emotional, financial or sexual abuse. Don’t suffer in silence. You don’t deserve it.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself being abused.
1. Document the abuse. Evidence can always help you get a restraining order and also ensure that this sort of abuse does not happen again.
2. Reach out and get help. There are often local resources to help victims of abuse.
3. Always remember that abuse is not your fault. You don’t deserve to be abused under any circumstances. You deserve a happy life, free of violence.
4. Keep your go-to people’s list ready along with their contact information. Also, include numbers for the police and hospitals to seek help.
5. If you know you’re in danger, protect yourself by getting to a safer location.
6. As you land up with help, work on building up your self-esteem again. Remember that you are worthy, and your happiness is of supreme importance.
7. Spend time with loved ones. Your friends and your extended family are always ready with a security blanket to protect you from the influence of your abuser.
1. Do not excuse or dismiss abusive behaviour. It is very common of abusers to make victims believe that the abuse is the victims’ fault.
2. Don’t escalate the situation. If your abuser is being confrontational, try to avoid fighting back. Use your best judgment here, but it may be best to give in temporarily to avoid a more serious violent counterattack.
3. Don’t let your partner know that you’re planning on leaving and don’t wait for the worst to happen before you take a call. Abuse is abuse, big or small. Take concrete steps to ensure your own safety.
4. Don’t entertain apologies, promises, or ultimatums to change. Avoid all contact with your abuser.
5. Don’t hesitate to talk to a therapist and ask for help in finding a local domestic violence support group, so that the process of healing can begin as quick as possible.
Physical or emotional abuse is more common than you imagine. If you have gone through such experiences or seen someone you love go through it, do write in about it. Your sharing may help someone out there, cope a lot better.
This post on dealing with abuse was originally published here.