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Justice for Abuse Sufferers

September 10, 2011 Kellie Jo Holly

The law doesn't help abuse sufferers much unless

  • you have photos of bruises or other injuries and
  • were brave enough to go to the hospital to have them treated and
  • filed a police report and
  • immediately left your abuser - the first time.

That may be simplistic, but it appears to be true in the news stories. So, because most abuses occur before anyone gets hit, sufferers of abuse and relationship-related trauma must learn to find justice for their battered psyche on their own.

Justice is not vengeance. Although if you can prove you're a victim of Battered Woman Syndrome in court, acts of seeming vengeance may be reduced to near-nothing sentences. But do you really want to commit a crime so heinous that you end up charged with attempted murder, arson, or worse? No. Do you want to live with the memory of hurting someone? No.

When Do Abuse Victims Find Justice?blind-justice1

Justice occurs when abuse victims:

  • reclaim their spiritual, mental and emotional faculties and
  • refuse to hand them over to the abuser for manipulation.

Justice shines her light when you no longer fight with your abuser over what you think and feel.

The abuser may throw a hissy fit, but it won't matter to you any longer. You'll view your abuser's anger as childish. You may feel intimidated (and need to physically leave), but your thoughts and emotions are no longer at his mercy.

He may call you names (but you laugh inside), tell you what you're doing (but you know what your true motives), and tell you what you're thinking (but you know your true thoughts)! Despite his hurtful words you remain calm and resolute. The only question going through your mind will be, "Is this behavior really what I want to expose myself to every day?!"

Justice helps you to weigh out the detriment to your soul versus the benefit of staying in an abusive relationship. Justice holds scales because she balances herself between the abusive event and a mentally healthy attitude (the abuse is happening and I'm able to separate from it). Justice looks at it all from behind the bench. She detaches herself from the abuse because she knows listening to it will cloud her judgment.

Justice is blind because no one can detach you from abuse except for you. There is no person you can call who will save you from abuse when it erupts in front of your eyes. You must learn to save yourself, and one way to save yourself is to find a way to detach your thoughts, emotions and spirit from the abuse.

Ways to Detach From Abuse

During the Abusive Event

We all know that an abusive incident always comes as a surprise. You'll be shaken when you realize "it" is happening again. After the initial shock, begin repeating a mantra, maybe somthing like "I hear you acting like an upset child but I am calm." Repeat this until you're no longer surprised that the abuse is happening again.

Even though your heart is pounding, breathe and remain calm. Assess the situation: do you need to leave the house? do you need to call a friend? would it be best to say, "Stop it!"? Decide what action is best right now, then do it with calmness and clarity of action.

Note: Think through your last episodes of abuse. What do you wish you would have done? Make plans to do those healthy for you things the next time. This cuts down on your anxiety and fear when the abuse begins, and you'll make a calm, clear action because you've rehearsed it in your mind before.

Between Abusive Events

When you find yourself alone and plagued by the memory of the last event or fear of the next, detachment exercises work well.

  • Picture yourself as a ball of energy, wound up and conflicted (or however you're feeling at that moment). See the bands of light and energy radiating from you, connecting you to the abusive event(s). Picture your energy connected to your abuser's face, voice, feelings, whatever you identify with most during an abusive episode.
  • See clearly how the residue from that terrible energy continues to connect you to the event, and then quickly grab a pair of (imaginary) scissors and cut those connecting bands!
  • As you cut yourself free, remind yourself that abuse has no control over you.
  • See yourself, as a beautiful ball of energy, pulling back into you the bands that were connected to the abuse.
  • Picture your energy body growing stronger and brighter with every snip of your scissors until there are no more connections and you are whole and pure.

Another way to detach is to listen to someone else's audio. Try this one:

The more often you practice detaching from abuse when it is NOT happening, the better you'll be at detaching when it does. Detachment allows you to find justice for yourself; you'll be able to rise above your abuser's petty, immature behavior.

From your new vantage point, you'll gain calmness and clarity and the ability to act in healthy ways.

APA Reference
Holly, K. (2011, September 10). Justice for Abuse Sufferers, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2011/09/justice-for-abuse-sufferers



Author: Kellie Jo Holly

Susan Anthony-Tolbert, Ph.D.
says:
July, 1 2017 at 2:13 pm
Great website to help those suffering abuse. Wanted to call your attention to my book,"The Sweet Man in the Woods" which will be available soon as a digital/.e book. If one person reads it and benefits from the heroine's struggle, it will be worth my time and effort. Her fate was better than most but it may give others ideas on how and what to do to free themselves from verbal abuse. Story contains many of the "typical" abusive behaviors that I've observed in my career as a psychologist and also a listing at the end of the book.
AshleyT
says:
July, 10 2016 at 9:50 pm
Hi my boyfriend is a Leo man and he's usually good with me but when he's not ok with me and on good terms with me he starts to hit,push,punch,scream and throw things. I've been together with him for almost 7 years. On Valentine's Day he wanted to kill himself when going out with him,and on Remembrance Day he called me a cunt. I still want to be with him but he makes it hard for me at times. I do still like him in some ways but in other ways not really. I didn't ask for his bullshit..doing so many wrong things towards me. You have to stand up for yourself but what are you suppose to do if he wants to make you he's buddy instead of girlfriend...when living together. Very frustrating plus there's no emotional support..barley supports me. He's the kind of guy who wants to have a girlfriend to control sexually. Wants a strong female only to make her weak..but then says to be strong. Suggestions please would help

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
says:
July, 11 2016 at 11:17 am
Leave him. You know what he wants, you know how he treats you and you know what the future will bring. Yes, more of the same.
anonymous
says:
May, 4 2016 at 4:42 pm
Please do not use my name in your fields Thank you

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
says:
May, 7 2016 at 9:33 am
Just so you and other readers know, I'm more than happy to change names. However, after I do it for you in the comment I see, I won't remember to do it again. I can't keep all those names in my head! ;) So, the next time you comment, use a different name or "anonymous" - that way, your privacy is protected.
anonymous
says:
May, 4 2016 at 4:37 pm
I thought I was an intelligent person going back to school late in life and work having my own business. I am very self motivated and can take care of myself. Even as a strong person it has been hard for me to deal with being married to a man who has emotional disorders. I believe he has lots of issues. When I met my husband he was depressed I quess I felt sorry for him. He is a very good looking tall green eyed man who is intelligent and is a good worker. He will help anyone. I thought he was great not lazy and was'nt looking for some woman to take care of him I thought. He had lost his only son due to a car accident and I had no idea he had a problem with alchohol and pain pills and zanex. He had mood changes and he did not want me to go to a ymca to walk but walk at his neighborhood. I did not see the signs of control or emotional abuse. He lived in my friends apartment and I met him one day after I picked her up to go out to eat. We saw each other for several months and he was always up or down. I thought this was from being depressed over his sons death at the age of seventeen. We married too soon and even on our weeding night he would not show me any physical attention. I cried that weekend and thought of annullment. We did sleep together several months later and he was drinking without me knowing it. I was raised without any of this in a strict family background and again I didn't see it. we have been together with several police incidents and he is recentful of my job and doesn't trust anyone. He saids he wants to get help but before we get any type of counseling he is back to drinking and trying to control me and even accusing me of horriable things that no man should say to his wife. We got married too soon due to me helping my son raise two children who there mom left them when they were one and four. He knew I have them alot of the time and he loves them but he has swinging moods my now ten year old sees and she asks me why I stay with my husband. In the past he has been so sick mentally that he thinks things that he really believes are true and he blames me for his problem. Because I am able to take care of myself he throws this in my face and calls me fat ass! anything that will try to make me upset to the point of not seeing friends anymore and unable to work most of the time. I have a stressful job and I find myself not wanting to see him come home. In three and a half years he has lost several jobs and has needed help with using one of my cars and is jealous if I help my son with borrowing my truck or helping him when he never ask me to. I just see how hard he has it. My husband is a control freak and he does nothing wrong. He does everything better than anyone at work and I cause his problems. He saids he has quit drinking but always hides and drinks on the weekends or after work. He is abusive and truely has almost committed suicide twice. He is very manipulative person and has a way of making me fill sorry for him. He is emotional and cries about his sons dealth that was eleven years ago. My friend said he uses this as an excuse. He has done some very vicious thing to me and one that was so bad I will never forgive myself for taking him back. He and I had split up and I was on vacation with my son and a new girlfriend he had along with my grandkids. He kept calling me and told me he was going to kill himself and he had almost succeeded once before. He had hurt his eye on his truck door and had stated that when I saw it he had gotten me to leave my vacation with my family and controlled me enough to get me back in town to see that he still was drinking and was not going to change. When I stated that I wanted a divorce he started shouting at me and I asked him to leave. He started to accuse me of running around on him and I never have or will. He got me so upset that I argued back at him and he was so sarcastic about my trip and helping my son. He lied to me about his drinking and caused me to cut my vacation to a stop for lies. I threw some of his clothes in a box and he started filming me with his phone and trying to upset me more. He later used that picture of me throwing stuff and said I had hit him with a shoe and caused the black eye he had from the door on his truck and had blamed me for it. I was arrested the next couple of days he had gone to his sister, who is a police officer and made the false report. I was put in jail and was humiliated and I spent five thousand dollars to get my home back that I was put out of until it was dropped. I had called my sister and mentioned how he had damaged his own eye and she knew from several other times he had cause me great anxiety over his drinking issues. She testified at the hearing and it was dropped. He had a very colorful police record threw the years and they believed me and my sister. I could go on and on about our sick relationship. Its like everything is fine and he will bring up something to accuse me of that I haven't done to provoke a fight, like he gets off on this kind of sick behavior. My life is miserable and I have loving people in my life who I don't see because he is jealous of anyone I am giving attention to. He questions everything I do and manipulates me into being responsible for his issues of paranoid thoughts that are not true. This is killing me and I am 61 years old too old for this crap! The laws are funny they can not put your husband out just because of verbal abuse or mental abuse. I put 20 thousand on my home and paid for my land. I have horses and provide for myself better before he came into my life. How can I get help and move on? I have done everything and them some to try and get help for him . He was intoxicated when he went to counseling and they called me to tell me they were calling the police because he left there office while under the influence and he was using my truck when he did this. I have taken a bus to seven states to help him when he had a DUI in Ohio while working. He not only said I was the one that caused it because he was trying to get back home soon because he was homesick to be with me! He knows how to say all the things you want to hear. He also said I had an affair with the motel manager because I made a way to make a vacation out of it and got a room with a garden tub and went shopping to make the best of it while he was in jail. I drove in the snow while he was in DT's from alchohol never knowing when we got back to our state. I took off two weeks then to deal with his crap and always it has been some crisis he causes I deal with. What is wrong with me? Can you tell me how to get some help for abuses that men cause on strong women.? I have gained weight and depressed, low self esteem now and he has me thinking I am responsible for this. I know better and all I think of are the few good times the things we have in common. My son says, there are men who are on death row for loving animals and old people. He is right I have to get me back. I have lost my life due to having a job of helping a sick person who is all about himself. He has drama in everyday. Narsasisum is a desease and he has that too he has all the symptoms along with controlling and abuse to women. Even though I am a strong woman, a man that abuses a women can beat her down to being nothing like she was before. I am in the same boat and trying to understand it all and can' believe this has happened to me but it has> Please send me information on getting me back and how to do that.
fed up
says:
August, 28 2015 at 9:54 am
I've been married 18 years. We married young and it was nostalgic and fun but now I've matured and have finally admitted the terrible mistake that I made. For years he has been a functioning alcoholic and I'm always the one to catch the brunt of his evil behavior. A year ago he got a dwi and I had sworn that if he ever drank again I would leave. I found myself meeting a bail bondsman at 4 in the morning with a 5 month old. We have two older sons and now have a little girl. See, that's where they get us. We give them blessings and are repaid with hateful negative word and violence. I wasn't raised in a home where my father called my mother awful names. As I sit hear writing this I cannot believe that I've taken this shit for as long as I have. I work and I'm able to support myself and children alone if need be ( granted it wouldn't be grand but we wouldn't be destitute). So, last night we had a pretty bad argument, I wasn't in the mood for his trash talk and gave it right back to him. I'm done, I'm exhausted from working, trying to keep a family together, and trying to keep myself together. I know I'm not all of the things he says I am. I'm better and I deserve better. So as bad as I want to pack and leave at this instant, instead I'm planning. He will eat every thing he has uttered to me. He'll pay more than financially. I'm FED UP
jean meech
says:
January, 11 2015 at 1:35 am
I have 2 ex husbands who have both abused me this is all written down with evidence they have million pound houses and I am on pension credit I find it hard to live with the injustice

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
says:
January, 11 2015 at 8:16 am
It is terribly unfair. My situation is similar to yours except my ex is not AS wealthy as yours. I must keep focused on what I can do to better MY life situation. Thinking about what "he" has compared to what I have (financially speaking) leaves me feeling almost hopeless. So I don't think about it. I am fortunate to live my life without him. I don't begrudge him or anyone else their fortunes. I want to make my own fortune, and thinking of that takes up my time.
in a abusive relationship with boyfriend and mother. i need help
says:
August, 30 2014 at 3:09 pm
Im living in a house with boyfriend and his mother in a one bedroom apartment. Boyfriend drinks alcohol thru his mom. She enables him. She lets him talk to me anyway he wants. And she also is onesided. I have no friends becuz of them and no money and no vehicle and i left before and was stupid to come back. Now i wished i didnt. I cant stand being controlled and told what to do. I raised my children i dont need another one. She his mom blames me for his drinking which i know she enables him to drink. She rewards him. I dont want this life i need out before he puts me 6 feet under.
There's No Help For Me
says:
August, 9 2014 at 5:51 am
My now ex boyfriend has become verbally abusive. He gets angry and calls me names. I've done my best to look past this so that I keep communication open for our soon to be 5 month old baby but my efforts are becoming pointless. It has now become a physical thing. Once he's hit me in the face with her in my arms. Another time, after seriously choking me, he kicked over my babies car seat while she was in it. There were no witnesses and when I called the police to have him arrested they refused to come out. Instead they told me to just leave. I don't know what to do. I planned to just move states but he told me he's taking me to court for custody! I'm so lost. My baby girl deserves so much better than this lifestyle.
Michelle McDonald
says:
July, 13 2014 at 5:52 am
I'm in a abusive relationship that is driving me mad. I got in this relationship a year ago with a guy that had been my friend (brother & sister type of friends) for 5years. I didn't know going into this relationship that I will be physically, emotionally, mentally & verbally abused everyday. He showed NO signs of this when we were friends. I have a 9 yr old son that he is extremely jealous of, and I have to sneak and talk to my family to keep down the abuse. We moved to Houston, TX thinking maybe it'll get better but that did nothing and I really want to leave but I have no money & I fear going back home to the "I told you so". I'm a beautiful girl and I know my worth but somehow I got sidetracked in disbelief that a guy that knew me so well has ruined a best friendship. My family has talked my son against me(he's living with family back home-i didn't bring him to Houston) but somehow he still loves me and believes I'm gonna make everything "perfect" again. I pray that I do and leave this hell I've been in.
Confused
says:
January, 10 2014 at 7:56 am
I am in one for 14 years and its suffocating me.
I want to leave the abusive husband. I have 2 boys with him. He threatens to take kids away or follow wherever I go, so that he can keep me under his control. what do i do ?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
says:
January, 13 2014 at 2:22 pm
The threats are only threats. He cannot see the future any more than you can. When abusers make threats like these, it is to keep you in line. After you leave they may or may not try to follow through.

The thing of it is, we only have "this moment". You can't change the past and you can't see the future, but you can make a choice this moment as to what is best for you. In that same fashion, when the future arrives, you have "that moment" and get to choose again.

In the future, if he tries to "take" the kids in court, you can mount the best possible fight against him winning his case. As a mother who "lost" my kids in court, I now see that I never "lost" them at all. Likewise, in the future, if he follows you everywhere you go, you can deal with his stalking at that time.

Presently, he is trying to get you to believe in a future that cannot be proven. If you leave, it is one step at a time. Don't let him cloud your present with his version of your future.

To answer your question, "What do I do?" more plainly, you do the best that you can do in this moment, make the best decision you can come to in this moment. Wait until the next moment happens to choose again.
Cindy
says:
January, 7 2013 at 12:04 pm
Need help with a very emotionally and verbal relationship I read everything Iam living and feel trapped hope you can send more on how to exit a damaging relationship before I give any more of myself.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
says:
January, 7 2013 at 12:50 pm
Could you simply pack some necessary items and leave, right now? Do you have a place you could stay for a while until you get on your feet?

If not, do you live with your abuser? Do you have children with them?
ca
says:
September, 11 2011 at 5:21 am
this should pertain to those who suffered at the hands of sexual abuse as well.

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