WARNING SIGNS Many of the signs women are taught to Interpret as caring, attentive, and romantic are actually early warning signs for future abuse. Some examples Include:
INTRUSION: Constantly asks you where you are going, who you are with, etc.
ISOLATION: Insists that you spend all or most of your time together, cutting you off from friends and family.
POSSESSION AND JEALOUSY:
Accuses you of flirting/having sexual relationships with others; monitors your clothing/make-up.
NEED FOR CONTROL: Displays extreme anger when things do not go his way; attempts to make all of your decisions on where/what you are allowed to do.
OLD THINKING VS. NEW THINKING
OLD: I can’t stay away from this person-he is all I have NEW: I can stay away from anyone I want to. I don’t have to spend time with people or be with them even if it means being single.
OLD: It is best to forgive and forget.
NEW: I need to heal from the bad things that have happened to me! I don’t need to forgive anyone I don’t wish to, and forgetting is impossible!
OLD: I can’t survive without them. They are all I have.
NEW: I can do anything I need to do to take care of myself and support myself!
OLD: If I am being verbally or physically abused I have to put up with it because if I told someone, it might make people angry with me. Plus, I love this person. NEW: I can tell anyone I want, including the police, and family members have no right to get angry with me about this! If they are not supportive of me, I need to stay away from them and spend time with people who are supportive! Abuse is not love.
STRESSING THE POSITIVE
Closure is sad for us all, but it is also very exciting! When one door closes, another opens to new experiences, new opportunities, and new possibilities.
You can practice letting go of the old identity of being an abuse victim. It is a thing of the past, and now you can move on, although it will be difficult
The temptation is always present to step back into the habits of the past. Remember that one step back and two steps forward are to be expected. Do not be angry at yourself when you step back. It will take time.
The path to freedom from the past is motivation, forgiveness and LOVE OF YOURSELF. Have clearly defined goals, take action and become EMPOWERED. Your abuser will NOT change. Don’t fool yourself in to believing they will.
A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP IS HAVING SOMEONE WHO:
Respects and trusts you. Makes you feel good about yourself. Allows you to talk freely and express your feelings and emotions without judging you, criticizing you, teasing you, or putting you down.
Healthy relationship cont.
Allows you the space to change, grow, make decisions, make mistakes, and have your own interests and friendships. Accepts YOU AS YOU and doesn’t ask you to change anything about you or how you live your life.
Questions? Circle of Violence
Presenting Maria to speak on her personal experience with Domestic Abuse
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