Help for Battered Women

Making the Change

Each of us approaches a given problem differently. A woman who walks away from a violent relationship and takes charge of her own life and the lives of her children has to determine her own best course of action. What helps to break the chain of violence?

Increased Self-Esteem

A woman who is battered needs to know that she is not to blame for her own battering, that she is not the cause of the battering and that she does not have to take it. She needs to know that she is worthwhile, deserves to be treated with respect and can make changes in her life. Above all, she deserves to be safe and happy.

Support from Others

The most effective help can come from other women who have escaped battering relationships. Talking with others who share the experience of violence and have broken out of it can be important to a woman as she considers making a change.

Emotional support from friends and sympathetic relatives is also important. However, understand that there might be people who don't believe the situation is serious or who don't support the woman's efforts for other reasons, such as denying that her partner is violent. Remember that the woman herself has to decide what's best for her. If the situation calls for it, help from a professional counselor or therapy group might be appropriate.

Community Resources

Hotlines, social service agencies, community mental health centers and hospital emergency rooms are all possible sources of information and support. Emotional and practical support is available from local women's advocacy groups and from emergency and women's shelters. They can help deal with emergency planning, transportation, temporary shelter and the court system.

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