In our experience, if you have been in long term relationship and are asking
the question if you or your child has been abused or threatened by your
significant other, the odds are that you should have gotten a
domestic violence restraining order long ago.
When clients come into our office, we often find that they or their children
have repeatedly been victims of harassment, psychological or physical
abuse. When people in peril seek our help, it is not the most severe case
of abuse - rather it is the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
We also find that people who have been in long term relationships, lose
sight of the fact that they are being abused until something terribly
bad happens, or a friend convinces them to seek help, seek batterer's
counseling and get a domestic violence restraining order. Such individuals
are often in denial about their abuse. Sometimes they will try and control
the abuse by engaging in conduct that triggers it. They feel this keeps
the intensity of the abusive outbreak to a lower level and causes it to
occur at a time or place where they feel more capable of dealing with
it. This is done more on an unconscious level, but upon seeking help,
the victims realize the pattern.
People are more likely to fall into this profile when they feel dependent
upon the other person or have a low self image. However, it is not unusual
for other personality types to allow themselves to be repeatedly abused.
Abuse occurs in all types of intimate relationships, including opposite
and same sex dating and martial relationships. Ultimately it is up to
the victim to find the courage to seek help through counseling or a
family law attorney.
A final word: If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse, even
if time has passed since the last incident, it will almost assuredly occur
again at a higher intensity.