There are many tough situations in life that humans go through and have to navigate survival. Domestic violence is one of those situations. And with all bad situations, picking up and rebuilding, though not easy, is important. Life after domestic violence can be difficult, but here are some things to help to rebuild:
SEEK HELP: This is very important and in this era, there are a number of different avenues for help. One can get reach out to different organizations, hotlines for victims of domestic violence, counseling services, support groups, medical professionals and legal aid.
These help options are usually staffed by trained professionals who can listen to your concerns, provide guidance, help to process feelings and work through any trauma experienced, help with filing restraining orders or getting custody of children, create a safe and supportive environment to connect with others who have been through similar experiences, help provide with medical care and documentation of any injuries and so many more.
Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but that of strength. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support and know that you are not alone.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: Self-care is such an important part of the healing process. Taking the time to rest, eat a healthy diet, and exercise. Try to find activities that are enjoyable, relaxing and feel good. Such as yoga, walking, listening to music, dancing, or spending time with friends and family. These can be made part of a regular routine.
Self-medicating should be avoided as it is easy to become dependent on drugs and alcohol.
Taking care of oneself isn’t selfish but essential for overall well-being. Take things one day at a time and be gentle with yourself as you work towards healing and recovery.
CREATE A SAFETY PLAN: A safety plan is a good process to have especially if there is still danger looming. It can include things like changing your phone number, identifying safe places (such as a friend or family member’s house, a domestic violence shelter, or a public place like a library or restaurant), getting a restraining order, creating code words with trusted friends or family members, keeping important documents and items in a safe place or change your routines.
It may also be recommended to keep a change of clothes, some money, and a cell phone charged and ready to go in a situation requires one to leave quickly.
A safety plan can help a person feel more in control of the situation.
WORK ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH: This is an important part of the healing process. Seeking professional help of a therapist or counselor to deal with the long-lasting effects of trauma can help one to feel more in control of life; reducing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Developing coping strategies to manage anxiety and depression; techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and improve overall mental health. Connecting with others and setting healthy boundaries also aid in preserving and restoring one’s mental health.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE: Building a support system of friends, family members and survivors of domestic violence can help to feel less isolated and alone. It’s important to have people in your life who support and believe in you.
People to give emotional support, help with practical tasks, be a listening ear and who are understanding of what has been experienced.
Remember, healing takes time, and it’s important to be patient with oneself as you work on rebuilding and give yourself permission to take things one day at a time. You are strong and capable of creating a new life for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and remember that you are not alone. Avoid negative or unsupportive people whilst rebuilding.