Therapist Dr. Bertrina Olivia West Al-Mahdi Maps Out The Road to Recovery When You Have Been the Victim of Domestic Violence
An interview with Ilyssa Panitz
Dr. Bertrina Olivia West Al-Mahdi says the key to surviving and thriving from a relationship/marriage that involved “domestic violence/abuse” is getting professional help and working through the trauma you experienced.
Did you know, it takes a victim of “Domestic Violence” an average of seven attempts to leave their abuser? Yes, seven! Breaking free, unfortunately is not easy. Trust me, I have been there. There are many reasons why victims have a hard time escaping an brutal/violent relationship. Sometimes a victim is frightened to leave because they fear for their life since an abuser will threaten to harm them or kill them. Then there are the abusers who have complete control over the finances and refuse to give their victim access to the money so the victim can’t economically support themselves and the children. There are also circumstances where a victim is trying to divorce their abuser and in a desperate attempt to keep control of the relationship, they convince the victim they will lose custody of their children so they will stay. October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” If you have read my column or listened to “The Divorce Hour with Ilyssa Panitz,” you may have noticed a pattern. I have been devoting a lot of attention to this cause because as the survivor of domestic violence, I am determined to raise awareness and help others escape the cruelty they have endured. Dr. Bertrina Olivia West Al-Mahdi, Ph.D. is a U.S. Navy veteran, International Psychologist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Coach, Trauma and a Human, Social, Civil Rights Advocate and Activist. Dr. O (as she is more commonly known) not only specializes in the area of trauma recovery, but she works with clients guide them in overcoming challenges, a family/personal crisis, divorce, depression, anxiety, abuse, behavioral issues and addiction.
Ilyssa Panitz: On a scale of one to ten, what would you rate the level of trauma a person experiences when they are the victim of “Domestic Violence?”…