Ask Sofia: How Do I Get Help from an Abusive Relationship?
If you are struggling with an abusive relationship – whether the abuse is emotional, physical or both – the first thing to know is that it is not your fault that you are being mistreated. Like everyone else, you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. In addition to physical abuse, emotional abuse can take the form of criticizing or blaming, public and private humiliation, controlling behavior and threats. Sometimes it starts small and builds over time, eroding confidence, trust and stability. If you are ever in immediate danger, you should call 911. Beyond an immediate danger, help can include doctors, psychiatrists, help lines, nonprofits and domestic violence shelters, churches, and friends and family.
“It’s also important to remember that you are not alone – there are a wealth of people and resources that can help you,” said Dr. Jennifer Smolinski. “When you’re on the receiving end of abuse, you can feel scared, confused and torn about what to do. We are happy to listen, provide referrals and help you make the next step.” While healing from an abusive relationship takes time, counseling and support can help you move on and develop healthy relationships. Give yourself time to process the issue, heal and move forward.