Shelley’s story describes what it was like living with emotional and financial abuse. Often survivors in these situations don’t feel like their abuse is ‘real’ abuse and stay silent for much longer. Shelley shares her journey to finally understanding her abuse, how she was both supported and ignored by those around her, and the lengths she had to go through to ensure safety for herself and for her children.
Valerie escaped her abuser after a 13-year relationship, finding safety for herself and her 3 children. Like most abusive relationships, hers escalated steadily to almost deadly levels, while she hid signs of abuse from those around her. Read her story to find out how she survived both her abuser and the legal system to get to where she is today.
Finding community through art not only can provide survivors of domestic violence with that sense of safety, but it does so through a form of self-care. The path of healing can be accessed by getting out your colored pencils, paints, or ballroom Youtube video and seeing how far it takes you.
How can you tell if you have a strong relationship with the new person you are dating? After all, your abusive situation left you feeling unsure, doubtful, fearful, and hesitant. You became accustomed to second-guessing yourself at every turn.
Survivor Reshma experienced abuse at the hands of her family after immigrating from Pakistan. They use physical violence, threats, and oppression to keep her captive in her own home. To this day she suffers from the lasting effects of the violence inflicted on her by people who were supposed to protect her.
Learning to be independent after our abusive relationships is something we may have great difficulty in doing. We are so accustomed to living by their rules and their way of life that we don’t know anything else. We don’t know how to step, speak, and live. We need to relearn everything all over again.