Following the previous DV blog individuals who experience domestic violence might start to rationalise that they deserved this type of treatment from the partner, especially if there was persistent emotional abuse. Following this perception, the victim might continually feel as if they are not worthy enough as they might continue to perceive that they are effectively doing something wrong within the relationship.
Working with individuals who experienced this type of violence is challenging as eventually the decision to stay or leave that relationship emerges. The decision is not as easy as one thinks due other contingencies such as children, assets and so on. Besides this, the question lingers… ‘does he still care about me?’ Looking at it from an objective perspective one would steer towards a quick and hasty decision. However with the appropriate help for both the victim and the aggressor the relationship still has hope. The one key factor which needs to be present is commitment to the work that needs to be done. Without the commitment towards the relationship the work would be futile. The work that needs to be done would be intensive in which the couple need to understand what occurred on both a cognitive and emotional level in order to trigger these events. Behaviour modification and re-negotiations of the relationship need to be undergone in order for the environment to be safe enough for the couple to be together again.
Just remember that when somebody acts in an abusive manner, in which s/he tries to control you, this is their problem and it has nothing to do with you! Speak up and find the appropriate help!
– Karl Grech is a counsellor. He offers counselling to both individuals and couples within Willingness. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.