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LIANNE [lee-ann]
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Strategies for Rebuilding After Abuse

We’re ½ way through my month long series dedicated to Domestic Violence Awareness Month💜, a time dedicated to shedding light on this dark issue that affects so many people. Abuse, whichever type you’re dealing with, is a journey that takes time to recover from. It’s important to remember that healing is not only possible but achievable.

In this blog post, I’m sharing strategies for rebuilding your life after experiencing abuse that I’ve used on my own healing journey. Let this resource be guidance and support to those who seek to reclaim their lives and rewrite their stories. The journey to healing can be difficult, but with the right tools and support, it’s possible to not just survive but thrive after abuse.

Understanding the Impact of Abuse

Before diving into strategies for rebuilding after abuse, it’s important to recognize the impact that abuse can have on someone. Whether it’s physical, emotional, psychological, or any other type, abuse can leave long-lasting scars that affect every aspect of a person’s life. Rebuilding is about addressing these wounds and finding a path towards healing and living a beautiful life. So, what can you do to get there? Here are some steps to take:

Seek Professional Help

If there’s one thing I realized after leaving my last relationship (which became physically abusive), it’s that I couldn’t start healing from that trauma by myself. I cannot reiterate this enough, y’all… the first step towards rebuilding after abuse is ASKING FOR HELP. Therapists, counselors & support groups can provide the guidance needed to heal. A safe space where you can discuss your experiences, emotions, and develop coping strategies is essential to rebuild your self-esteem. If you’re looking for affordable online therapy sessions in the comfort of your own home, BetterHelp® is a proud sponsor of Watch Us Thrive. Save 10% off your first month of online therapy!

Safety First

If you’re still in an abusive situation, please make your safety top priority above anything else. Safety is the foundation of how to rebuild your life. Reach out to local domestic violence shelters, hotlines, or law enforcement for assistance. A safety plan sounds very cliché, but it can help save a life. Create a safety plan that includes details on how to leave the situation safely and who to contact for immediate assistance. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline @ 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788.

Reconnect with Your Support Network

Abusers often isolate their victims from friends and family. Remember that domestic violence/abuse is all about maintaining power and control, so the less people around you, the better it is for the perpetrator. Reconnecting with your support network can provide emotional support & a sense of belonging. Your loved ones who you trust can be a vital source of encouragement and stability during your journey to healing. Share your experiences with those you trust, seek emotional support & spend quality time together to rebuild your relationships.

Self-Care and Self-Compassion

Healing from abuse is a journey that requires self-care and self-compassion. Take time for yourself & engage in activities you love. Self-care activities like meditation, journaling, or taking long walks to help manage stress is essential to healing after experiencing abuse. Movement can be extremely healing, so find a way that you’re able to release the trauma stored in your body. That’s a huge reason why I fell in love with the gym. Also practice self-compassion by reminding yourself that healing takes time. It’s a lifelong marathon, not a short-term race. Remember that you are deserving of love, respect & happiness. It’s okay to prioritize your well-being and put yourself first!

Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals is a key strategy for rebuilding after abuse. Break down your larger goals into smaller, manageable steps. For example: if you’re working towards financial independence, start by creating a budget, opening a separate bank account, or exploring part-time job opportunities. Set achievable goals, such as saving a specific amount each month. And remember to celebrate your victories along the way, no matter how small they may seem.

Financial Independence

Financial abuse is common in abusive relationships. Up to 99% of domestic violence victims experience some sort of financial abuse, so rebuilding often involves gaining financial independence. Seek financial counseling and explore opportunities for education or job training to enhance your financial stability. You can also consider enrolling in courses or workshops related to financial literacy and money management. Yo Quiero Dinero® is a great resource we recommend. Explore different opportunities that can help you gain new skills and become financially independent.

Legal Support

If necessary, consult with an attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases. Legal protection can provide a sense of security and justice as you rebuild your life. Consult with a domestic violence attorney who can guide you through the legal process, such as obtaining a restraining order, filing for divorce or custody arrangements, and ensuring your legal rights are protected. This is especially important to consider if children are involved.

Develop Healthy Boundaries

Learning to establish and maintain healthy boundaries is essential in healing after abuse. If possible, GO NO CONTACT WITH THE ABUSER. You want to limit as much, if not all, communication with this person. Maintaining healthy boundaries can also help protect you from future abusive situations and create healthier relationships moving forward. In new relationships, clearly communicate your boundaries and expectations regarding respect and behavior. Be assertive about what you are comfortable with and what you will not tolerate, creating a safe space for yourself.

The Bottom Line

Rebuilding after abuse is a challenging but empowering journey. It’s a journey that I’m currently on and will continue to work through for the rest of my life. Remember that healing takes time, and each person’s path is unique. Seek professional help, prioritize safety, and surround yourself with a supportive network. Practice self-care, set realistic goals, and never forget your worth.

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month💜 (and all year long), Watch Us Thrive is committed to raise our voices to support survivors and work towards a world where abuse has no place. By sharing these strategies and raising awareness continuously, we can help survivors rebuild their lives and find hope, healing, and happiness once again.

Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please know that help is available. Call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788 for confidential support.

For free resources around domestic violence, CLICK HERE for podcast episodes featuring different survivor stories!

If you’re looking for a therapist, check out BetterHelp®. BetterHelp® is a proud sponsor of Watch Us Thrive. Get professional support when you need it, at a fraction of the cost of in-person therapy. Sign up today to receive 10% off