Domestic Violence- Victim

Counseling services for domestic violence victims in Medina, Ohio

Recognizing You’re the Victim

 

Domestic violence is a very serious public health concern in this country which affects millions of Americans every day. It is defined as a pattern of coercive and assaultive behaviors between partners in a relationship, often in a physical manner but also commonly in a psychological, verbal, sexual or economic manner of coercion with the end goal of controlling and maintaining power over an intimate partner. This happens in marital couples, but also in cohabiting and noncohabiting couples, former couples, in heterosexual relationships and same-sex relationships. Its affect spans races, ages, economic statuses and cultures.

Many people recognize that they are being mistreated or even abused, but choose to stay in the relationship for a number of reasons. After all, it is never easy to end a relationship, even a hurtful one.

 

Some of the reasons people stay in unhappy or abusive relationships:

 

  • Hope that the partner will change
  • Making light of the abuse
  • Blaming yourself
  • Fear of looking like a failure
  • Hopelessness
  • Gender Roles
  • Embarrassment and shame
  • Financial Dependence
  • Lack of supportive relationships
  • Fear of being physically hurt
  • Not wanting to be alone
  • Loyalty
  • Needing to rescue your partner or take care of them
  • Guilt
  • Children
  • Dependence on drugs and alcohol
  • Fear that there is no one else out there

 

 

The Effect of Domestic Violence on Children in the Home

 

Intimate partners are not the only people who suffer because of domestic violence. Children and teens in a home where domestic violence occurs do not have to be directly involved in order to have serious adverse affects; just being a witness to it can harm children physically, (sleeping and eating dysfunctions, psychosomatic disorders, physical injuries) emotionally, (feelings of guilt, shame, fear, depression, stress, anxiety) socially, (trust issues, social isolation, difficulty relating to peers), cognitively, (developmental delays, learning difficulties) and behaviorally (acting out, using physical force to get what one wants).

 

 

Treatment Options

 

The first step is recognizing that the relationship you are in may not be a healthy one. But there are treatment options for those who are in addictive or abusive relationships. Some of these include:

  • Individual counseling
  • Self esteem building
  • Assertiveness training
  • Psychoeducation on healthy versus unhealthy relationships

 

 

There are many characteristics that potential couples can look for in one another to be sure they are starting a healthy relationship. Below is a listing of some of these characteristics.

 

Someone who:

  • Supports your relationships with friends and family
  • Maintains his or her own friendships and wants you to get to know them
  • Supports your personal growth
  • Continues own interests in outside activities
  • Asks your opinion
  • Is comfortable with you having different opinions
  • You feel comfortable expressing your feelings and emotions with
  • Talks and listens
  • Accepts responsibility for own behavior
  • Can apologize when they are wrong and can accept an apology from you
  • Considers the relationship a partnership
  • Shares in the decision-making
  • Treats other people with respect
  • Is secure enough to accept your relationships with the opposite sex
  • Trusts you and expects to be trusted

 

 

Domestic Violence Victim Clinicians