10 Tips for Avoiding AND Escaping Domestic Abuse
It’s never too late to live, learn, and pass it on.
There were days that I didn’t think I would live. There were days that I didn’t think I would ever learn. And now, from the other side of domestic abuse, I’m here to pass on the information I have about how to get out safely, and how to avoid it in the first place. Because, like so many of you, I know what it feels like to live a life of emotional abuse.
We’re not sure how we got there in the first place. We only know that now we are somehow stuck. We’re not sure why we are putting up with the intolerable abuse, only that somehow we are still here. And, we’re not sure how we are living through this, only that we woke up this morning and we are still alive. Now, we need only to put one foot in front of the other and start on the path to safety — with a plan, with some help.
The key signs of domestic abuse are isolation, domination, and control in the home. If you are already in a situation of domestic abuse, you are most likely feeling isolated from your family and friends — those same people you would turn to for help. You are most likely being dominated and controlled. You may have no privacy, no access to your outside world — like your cell phone or social media, maybe not even your own car keys. Your situation could feel completely hopeless. I’m here to tell you that it’s not.
Below I countdown from 10–1 the steps you can take to avoid or escape domestic abuse. If this is your life you will find yourself somewhere on this list, and you will be directed to resources who can help you. Please use those resources and learn what I did not know, this is too big for you to handle on your own.
HERE ARE 10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO AVOID OR ESCAPE DOMESTIC ABUSE TODAY:
10. Get familiar with the 15 WARNING SIGNS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE. Know them so you can move away from relationships when you start to see red flags.
9. Be honest with yourself and ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT. Is any part of you nervous or uncomfortable when you are with this person? Pay attention to your answers and let them guide your next steps.
8. Remember: YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU AT ALL TIMES. When you meet someone, you are inviting them into your life to accept you for who you are. If you are being asked to change in any way, then something has already gone wrong and you need to think about leaving.
7. You get more than one CHANCE AT LOVE IN YOUR LIFE. Don’t get stuck on the notion that you are with your soulmate and this is the only chance you will ever have at love. If you are a victim of emotional abuse, this person is keeping you from meeting your true soulmate.
6. If you think it is happening THEN IT IS HAPPENING. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, take note of it and let others know. You may have already stepped into a trap that you are not aware of.
5. You’ll never find the man you love INSIDE OF THE MONSTER WHO SWALLOWED HIM™. You may see glimpses of him now and again that give you false hope, but you can’t bring him back. Trying could be your demise.
4. If you are unsure if you are a victim of domestic abuse, learn from SOMEONE WHO LIVED WITH IT FOR TWENTY YEARS. I created TheSoda-Pop.com just for this reason. Get information, read my blogs, and see if any of this begins to feel like your story, too.
3. Let the Laws BE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND. I’m not a lawyer, but I can tell you what lawyers have said to me — if you are in fear for your life or your safety, know the laws in your state. Ask the professionals how they can help you protect yourself.
2. If you are a victim of emotional or physical abuse REACH OUT TO THE PROFESSIONALS TODAY AT THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE. They are there 365 days, 24/7. They will listen, advise, and help you determine what you can do next in order to remain safe and escape abuse.
1. IF YOU ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER CALL 911 — sometimes things escalate quickly and there is no time for anything other than a call for help. Be ready in case this happens to you.
Being a six-year Survivor of Domestic Abuse (SODA®), and once a twenty-year victim, I have a singular focus: To bring forward information on avoiding and escaping domestic abuse. But I can’t do this alone. Please avoid the situation when you see red flags. Call the resources and get to a safe place if you need to get out. That is how we avoid and escape. That is how we live and learn, and pass it on.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence or want further information PLEASE visit www.TheSoda-Pop.com or call THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE at 1–800–799–7233 or visit http://www.thehotline.org for more information, help, and to make a plan for your safety.
Home Should be a Safe Place for Everyone™
Susan Sparks is a twenty-year victim and six-year survivor of domestic abuse (SODA™). Her reporting has been seen on national network news and her writing has been featured on national media. As Susan Sparks, she is an Expert on YourTango.com and has been featured on The National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org). She has written a book about her experiences with domestic abuse, Sparks in Love, which she hopes will serve as both an educational and cautionary tale to everyone who reads it. She is the Principal of four enterprises, and one charity, all dedicated to helping people avoid, understand, and prevent domestic abuse. Susan is currently working on three other books to further the cause and hopes to bring Sparks in Love to television in 2019.