So, my articles do not seem to be generating much traffic. For that reason, I am going to pull in some examples of abuse and try advising the readers as to how to deal with those examples.
To start, let me clarify that while I may use male/female names and the relationship of husband and wife, by no means do I think that is the only relationship wherein abuse occurs. So if you are reading this article, please insert the name of your abuser and relationship where indicated.
Joe and Jane (my two favorite people) have been married for 5 years. Joe is a chronic alcoholic and Jane is a stay at home mom. They have had several conversations about Joe needing treatment for his alcoholism but he is denying the problem till he is blue in the face. Until one day something snaps. They have in the past pushed each other around, but today is different. Today, Jane has had enough. She’s tired of being used as a punching bag and decides to protect herself. She goes into the kitchen and grabs the first thing she sees: a knife. Not realizing that Joe is coming up behind her, she turns around quickly with the knife and stabs him; or maybe she means to, either way Joe is stabbed by this knife. The nosy neighbors have heard this fighting one too many times and have decided that they want to call the police for a noise violation. The police show up and see Joe with a stab wound and Jane with a knife. Not only this but there are children in the house. So obviously, the police take statements and the children are taken into foster care until the situation has resolved, but who do you think would get in the most trouble? Joe or Jane? I will give you a hint, though Joe may be an alcoholic, verbally/emotionally and occasionally physically abusive, there is no proof of that. Jane will be the one on trial and Jane will be the one that ends up getting her life messed up for Joe’s actions.
So what could Jane have done? First and foremost, know the laws. If you want to push someone around, ensure that it is a fair fight. Meaning that the other person has the same access to a weapon that you do and that they are equally deadly or forceful (ie no guns against knives and no knives against bare fists). By no means is this meant to encourage violence but if you choose to be violent try to also be fair. Jane could have also called the police on her husband. She could have said to him that she did not want him around and that he needed to leave or the police would be called.
Now, I have found that it is much easier to find a solution when you are thinking about the situation logically. When you are in the situation, your brain switches over to flight or fight mode and you do whatever you deem necessary to get out of the situation. That is understandable so what you can do to combat that is to begin taking time outs for yourself. If you find yourself in a situation where you are tempted to become violent take a five minute walk. Talk yourself out of the situation and then go back to your house and calmly talk to the other person about the issue. Also try to think about your triggers. What makes you feel violent? Is it stress, anxiety, a bad day at work or some other trigger? When you identify the trigger you take away its power and you empower yourself to identify when you are most likely to become angry and stop it in its tracks.