The loneliness of abuse starts at the earliest stages of a relationship. Abusers isolate their victims, not just physically, but emotionally. People who suffer from abusive situations believe they are alone because their partners – people who victims love and trust despite abuse — tell them they are. The seeds of isolation tend to start in the beginning, where an eventual abuser criticises friends and family. Victims in this stage often feel pressure, even if it’s emotional rather than physical, to disassociate from other people who love them. By the time physical or more severe emotional abuse begins, victims feel too disconnected from other relationships to tell anyone what’s happening.
Abusers often tell their victims that the violence they perpetrate is the fault of victims. Abusers may feel remorse for the violence but, in their “apologies,” explain that it wouldn’t happen if only the victims didn’t or did act in a certain way. At the Women’s Center, we want to you to know this isn’t true – abuse is never an answer and perpetrators of violence should be the ones feeling shame. However, even if victims don’t believe this in their mind, their hearts often trust their abusers, meaning they feel like they did something to deserve the abuse and too are ashamed to talk about it. That shame is isolating. Join this Circle and share you views and experiences with others, help is a two way street, by telling others your story you may help them to understand their own issues and they may be able to help you with yours.