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Mental abuse is a form of domestic violence that is often accompanied with physical and sexual abuse. Women can seek help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-799-SAFE or 800-799-7233. This service refers the caller to local women's shelters. Family doctors and nurses can refer a woman to a safe house or shelter. An abuse victim may obtain a restraining order against the abusive partner. Support groups and therapy are available in most communities to help the abuse victim.
You can help an abused woman escape by being a good listener, sharing information, giving realistic advice when asked and providing support as a friend. You cannot make her decide to escape. That is a choice she must come to on her own. You cannot make her choose not to return once she has escaped. That is a choice that abused women often make until they are strong enough to stay away. You can give her information on resources in the community that will help her create a safety plan and prepare her to leave. You can be her friend and support for as long as you can while she travels her own path. Be careful to recharge your own batteries so you can be the supportive friend she needs.
Thank you for realizing abuse comes in many forms, not just physical. Mental abuse (emotional) can be just as hazardous to the person who suffers the abuse and have long range complications on that person and his or her children (if applicable).
First of all, remember that you are not to blame. Often abusers blame his or her spouse/significant other for everything. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Secondly, abuse is about control and power and often words spoken by another can be just as deadly as blows that can physically injure another person.
Are you safe? Do you feel if you leave your or your children may be injured? Do you have a place to go? Do you have a support system? Is there is no one in your life that can assist you then it is time to look at outside sources.
Check out the domestic abuse hotline (http://dahmw.org/), 1-888-764-5754 which is an excellent source of information and tips on how to assist you with your dilemna. Remember, no one should be abused!
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.