Do you realize you are not responsible for the violence?

Violence is a choice. The person using violence is the person who chose it. That person is responsible for the choice. You do not deserve to be abused. You do not deserve to be hurt even if you argue, complain, or refuse to do something your partner wants you to do. It is not your fault even if you were drinking, using drugs or even if you made a big mistake.
There is nothing you can do that would justify abuse.
You did not ask to be abused when you chose your partner.
You have a right to be safe.

Below are some questions that may help you begin thinking about your relationship:

• What do I gain by staying in a violent home?
• What do my children gain by growing up in a violent home?
• What do I have to lose by leaving? What do the children have to lose by leaving?
• What price am I paying for “peace”? How long have I been paying it?
• Are my children paying the price? How will it affect them five years from now?
• Is the price too high?
• Without change, what will I be like five years from now?
• What will I look like five years from now?
• Who can I talk to about my problems?
• What do I want?
• What am I willing to do to get it?

All abuse is humiliating and degrading. It makes us feel as though we are somehow bad or inferior. We hide these feelings, even from ourselves, because they are so painful. Many people have remained alone and isolated in shame, believing there was something wrong with them. But by sharing loving support, we begin to name our abuse. If you do this, you will discover that you are not alone, you are not a bad person. You can begin to recognize what you have endured and know that you have survived. You are strong, you are of worth, and you can stand tall with your head held high.