Begin to think about how you can plan for your own safety and happiness. Waiting for abusers to change and trying harder to please them will not work. Find out what resources are available in your area for victims of partner abuse. At a safe time, when the abuser is not around, call a local battered women's shelter or domestic violence hotline. Tell them what has happened; ask them what your choices are to protect yourself and to end the violence. Think about the answers to your questions and call again if you need to know more.
If you are considering leaving your abuser, make safety plans before you talk about separation. Discuss the abuser?s pattern of violence with someone at a shelter or crisis line and think about what risks there might be if you talk about leaving. Try to keep enough money in a protected place to use when you need it to get to safety. Some victims find it best to go to a shelter where they can be safe before they tell the abuser that they are leaving.
If you can do this safely, encourage the abuser to go to a group for
batterers. There are now many such groups for men who batter their partners. Some large cities also have groups for gay men and lesbians who batter their partners and for people from particular ethnic or religious groups. In such a group, batterers can get help from experts specially trained to treat violent people and may learn to change their beliefs and behaviors. You may still need to live apart from the batterer while that person is in the group. Changing
patterns of violence can take a long time. (Call the Domestic Abuse Hotline for information on groups in your area).
If you think you are in immediate danger, you probably are. You are an expert at sensing when things are getting really bad. Flee at once to a safe location or call the police if you can. When police arrive, ask what legal protections are available to you, and use whatever you need to be sure you are safe. Don't let the police leave you alone with the abuser once they've arrived. If you are
hurt, ask for medical help. Be sure that the doctor or nurse makes a record of your injuries and notes that those injuries were the result of an assault, not falling down stairs or bumping into a door.
Get help to end your violent behavior. Hurting the people you love will cost you their trust and respect and your own self-respect as well. You may lose your loved ones permanently. No one likes to be violent or to get hurt.
Realize that you can change. Others have gone through this and found ways to stop their patterns of violence. Their lives and relationships with those they love have gotten better. Call a state or local domestic violence hotline (you don't have to give your name to get information) and ask for referrals to a batterer's group or to expert therapists in your area. Be honest with the people running the group or with an individual therapist about your history of
violence. Tell the leader or therapist that your violent behaviors are the ones you want to change. Don't wait until a judge requires you to go to treatment.
If you are a friend or a family member:
You can do something. Encourage the victim to get to safety and help keep that person safe. Confront the abuser if you can do it safely (you may want to have someone else with you when you do this). Don't accept excuses for violence from people you love.
Call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline or a local hotline and gather information about local resources and support services. Advise the victim about her options and assistance available to her and her children.
Call the police if the victim cannot. Sometimes this can help stop or reduce the violence.
Become knowledgeable about violence between partners. Support local initiatives to reduce violence and help victims to become safe. A list of books that you might find helpful follows.
As sited: http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/violence/partner.aspx#
© 2013 American Psychological Association