Domestic violence is a very common issue. According to surveys conducted in UK,  one in every four women faces this problem during her lifetime. The situation is no different in Pakistan. According to an observational research study published in Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 97% of the interviewed women said they had been victims of some form of assault, ranging from verbal abuse or being threatened, to being subjected to beatings. Moreover, every year, almost 5,000 women die of domestic violence in Pakistan.

Though husband and wife together make a compact relationship but sometimes one of the partners becomes abusive and tries to control the life of his/ her partner. Most of the times, the victim is a woman.

As I put forward a discussion about the myths and signs of an abusive relationship in the last blog, one should be very careful while understanding or making a life changing decision. A little mistake can make one lose a good partner or can put him/her in a great trouble. After knowing and recognizing that the relationship is abusive and the partner tries to control over, a victim should know the following to combat the situation.

An abuser always tries to isolate a victim. By doing this he weakens her; that is why, the first and foremost step to combat an abusive relationship should be to discuss the situation with someone trustworthy like parents, siblings or a best friend and always remain in touch with them. They can help in a better way if they are aware of the whole situation from the very beginning.

A victim usually hesitates to share her story with family because of their unforeseen reaction. It is very important to know that being a victim is not anyone’s fault. Here the abuser is the guilty; no one can blame a victim.

A victim should never accept an abusive relationship because a marital relationship should be based on love, care and trust and not fear and anger. If he has hit twice then it is for sure that he will do the same for the third time and will continue doing so again and again. He apologizes and promises not to hurt again but does the same when he loses control. Such a relationship should not be prolonged but dissolved. If it is continued the suffering will get worse. The abuse will likely to get more intense over time, and it will negatively affect the victim for the rest of the life.

A victim should never break up with an abusive partner when alone. The abuser may get violent with victim’s decision to break up and instantly cause harm. It is safe to announce the break up in front of other people or if already separated inform on phone or via letter/e-mail.

In many cases, the fear of the violent partner in a victim’s mind exceeds to the extent that she does not dare to leave him. Here, it is very important to remember that the things may get worse if a victim stays in such a relationship. While being in relationship, he can easily harm the victim than in a situation where she is protected by her family or friends.

In our society, different NGOs and organizations help victims of domestic violence, some even provide shelter. Victims may get their assistance if their family does not support them.

Surviving an abusive relationship will probably be one of the hardest things to do in life. No one deserves to be abused, no matter what they’ve done in their lives.

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