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How can I heal from an abusive relationship?

For people in abusive relationships, breaking up may only be the first part of the process. Domestic violence can leave its mark on a person and it's often difficult to heal after an abusive relationship ends. In this case, The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers the following advice on how to recover and eventually move on from your experiences.

Find a support network

Your friends and family should play key roles in your recovery process. Your social network will keep you grounded when going through a breakup. They will also remind you why you’re making the best possible decision about your future. Spend time with people who truly care about you, especially those who will help boost your self-esteem. If you lack strong social ties, seek out others through volunteering or by joining meetup groups in your community. 

Practice self-care

You also need to take time for yourself. Pursue hobbies you may have put off during your relationship, undergo a day of pampering, or just spend an afternoon reading or doing something else you love. Self-care is crucial for improving your outlook as well as your self-esteem.

Cut off contact

Gaining closure is key in any breakup. When breaking up with an abusive partner, continued contact will make achieving closure that much harder. Delete and block the person’s phone number and make sure your social media is locked down. While it can be difficult to cut off contact, remaining in touch with your abuser will only confuse you and cause further emotional upheaval. If you’re having trouble severing contact, speak with a therapist or counselor. 

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