Are you stuck in an abusive relationship? If so, you are probably wondering how you got there – constantly walking on eggshells, doing everything you can not to provoke and developing unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the pain, all the while putting on a happy face to outsiders. The truth is that abusive relationships rarely develop overnight – which is what makes leaving and exposing the abuse so hard. If you are currently in this situation, there is no need to feel ashamed. By understanding the cycle, you can stop hiding it and start fighting it with the law.

The cycle of abuse

Abusive relationships usually involve a slowly escalating cycle. This allows the abuser and the abused to develop a bond and for the abused to see that the abuser does have good qualities, making blowing the whistle on the whole affair that much harder. Much like a frog in a slowly heating pot of water, you might make excuses for them and tell yourself that it ‘is not so bad’ until things feel like they are out of control. At this stage, you might feel too embarrassed to tell anyone about what is happening. After all, who would believe you and what would they say if they found out it has been going on for as long as it has? Abusers often sense when their victims are ready to leave, which is why it is often met with apologies, gifts and promises never to do it again.

Do not be fooled. It will happen again, and there is a good chance that it will be much worse.

Stop hiding and take action

As soon as you feel it is safe to do so, tell someone you trust about the abuse. You will find that they are less judgemental that you imagined and want to help you get out of the situation.

Never forget that you have legal rights and that the law is on your side.

At Ian Levitt Attorneys we understand that it is not always possible to ‘just leave’ someone and child custody as well as property or asset ownership can complicate things further. The most empowering thing you can do for yourself is to stop hiding the abuse and contact us today, so that we can help you plan your future in safety and fight for it with the law.