It isn’t uncommon for domestic violence victims to reach a level of having enough, then going through a period of deescalation after an incident has transpired between them and their partner. As a domestic violence victim myself, I have also gone through this same process. My ex and I would get into it, I would get severely hurt, and then after the situation died down, I would start coping with my circumstance by looking for shortcuts to pardon him. The fact is this process eventually becomes a cycle-a cycle that many of us go through incident after incident. There are certain thoughts and misconceptions DV victims have that lead them to stay or not seek out help. Each one of these I have gone through myself before deciding to do something about the violence occurring between me and my ex-partner.
- It wont happen again. It will happen again. If you have been involved in a domestic altercation with your significant other, you two have opened the can of “all things go”. The respect line has been crossed. The rage has been exposed. They are no longer masking the rage. The fact that you shake off the incident and do not seek some sort of help or counsel, eggs on endurance through another incident. There will be a next time.
- It will get better. It won’t get better. Contrary to this misconception, most of the time the offenses get more violent and worsen. Yes, there is help and hope out there for your partner, however too often the perpetrator feels bad initially, but hardens and prides up too the point where they think they can control their rage. They can’t.
- I shouldn’t have set him/her off. Maybe you mouthed off, or pushed some buttons intentionally, but the truth is we all slip up in relationships-we’re human! Just because you pushed the limits doesn’t mean you should be subjected to violence. Respect is key in relationships and in DV situations it just isn’t present.
- I have to change myself. No you don’t. You shouldn’t have to change anything about yourself to keep yourself from being hit, raped, or assaulted in any capacity. Don’t get me wrong-I fully support personal growth and development and to be honest, my situation encouraged me to pursue these things, however trying to change yourself so you don’t elicit rage in your partner is not the way to foster this kind of growth.
- We have to stay together for our family. I know it is hard to swallow this one, but you are actually doing a disservice to your kids by having them be bystanders in these sorts of situations. If you aren’t condoning violence in your child’s eyes, you are definitely desensitizing them to it and you are also setting them up to devalue themselves by the example you’re setting in your own home.
I am not saying there is no hope or turn around, but I personally believe the only way to relieve domestic violence is to leave. Separate, divorce-however it works for you and your family and you relieve the circumstance-but not seeking help and not removing yourself from the situation will not help resolve anything. Sadly the truth is, too many victims excuse and rationalize the violence to the point of no return-death. Many perpetrators don’t want to hurt their partners on a normal day. It is the rage factor that brings forth the monster. Don’t coddle the monster.