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Q: I am in an abusive relationship. It isn't ALL the time, but it does happen sometimes. I know the obvious answer would be to break up with him and leave, but I don't really feel like it is that simple.
On one hand, he has made references to being really angry if I ever leave him. On the other hand, we do have a good relationship most of the time. I dream of being in a happy relationship, but I don't know how to create one.
You know that saying, "I have come too far to go back now"? That is how I feel. I don't know if I will ever have the courage to stand up for myself and walk away.
A: Let me just first say that you have never gone too far to walk away from someone who does not respect you enough to not abuse you. Although I have never been the victim of an abusive relationship, I have walked alongside friends who have. It is hard, very hard. If you are ever going to gather up the courage to walk away, you will need a few things.
You need a trusted friend or family member who knows your situation and is willing to help you leave. That person will likely need to provide you with a place to stay while you figure out your next step. That person also needs to understand your need for confidentiality. Your location cannot be reveled for fear of repercussions.
You need a plan. It would be easy to, say, just get up and leave, but that isn't realistic. Unless you have a plan, you may become discouraged and decide to go back.
You need confidence. Remind yourself that you are a strong woman who deserves love, affection and respect. You can do anything you put your mind to. Remember that this situation is not your fault, but it is your responsibility to remove yourself from it. Do whatever it takes to get yourself into a safe situation.
There are plenty of local options for you to lock yourself away in a safe situation until you feel like you can start living again. Contact one of these organizations and share your story with them. They have the means to provide you with shelter, food, job training and emotional counseling. If you have any physical injuries, they can also get your medical care.
Don't hesitate to act. Make a plan, find people you can trust, and get out of there. You owe yourself that. Good luck.
WEAVE: Women Escaping a Violent Environment
Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center
My Sister's House
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