By Gerri Elder
Victims of domestic abuse often feel trapped in relationships and confused about getting into a bad situation. Whirlwind romances often take a new and disturbing direction after the passion cools.
Many abusers may not begin the cycle of domestic abuse until after the wedding, when the victim feels "locked in" to the relationship; however, there are often warning signs and red flags long before the first act of abuse occurs. Abusers are often possessive and demanding while professing their undying love for their victims. They may try to fast track the relationship to marriage to feel more in control of their victims.
After the first act of domestic abuse, whether it is verbal or physical abuse, domestic abusers often blame the victim for provoking them or try to justify the abuse in other ways. Abusers are usually unable to take responsibility for their actions and may deny that they were abusive.
The abuser will generally show deep remorse after a cooling off period. They apologize profusely for the abuse and promise to get help. The expression of regret and shame is used as a mechanism to bring the victim back under the abusers control and not to try and leave the marriage or file for divorce.
If you believe you may be in a relationship with or married to an abuser, keep an eye out for key warning signs.
Abusers often exercise extreme control over their victims. This can make a victim of domestic abuse feel too weak to end the relationship, file for divorce or otherwise stop the abuser. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, it may take all the inner strength you can gather to get out.
If you do not have an emotional support system readily available, you may feel too ashamed or frightened to make a move to stop the abuse. However, you must realize your own worth to stop being a victim.
Seek shelter away from an abuser and end the cycle of abuse now. If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, please contact The National Domestic Violence Coalition at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) from a secure phone and safe location.