If You are Being Abused
You may be feeling confused, scared, or unsure about what to do. You may not know if you want to stay or leave. At times the relationship may be going really well, and at other times you may face constant abuse. You may fear what your partner will do if you leave, or how your friends and family will react when you tell them about the abuse. If you are financially or physically dependant on your partner, leaving may feel impossible. All of these factors can make it difficult to know what to do next.
We are Here for You
If you are currently in an abusive relationship, the immediate concern is your personal safety. Advocates at the CSUSM Gender Equity Center or Center for Community Solutions can help you create a personalized safety plan. Creating a plan with an advocate can help you think ahead to increase your safety and cope with the feelings raised by abuse.
Advocates will not try and make you leave the relationship if that is not your goal. We are here to give you information and explore options. You will never be judged, condemned, or pressured to do anything that you do not want to do. If you do want to leave the relationship, creating a safety plan will help you figure out how to do so safely.
Remember, no matter what, you do not deserve to be abused. It is never your fault.
All conversations are confidential.
What Can I Do?
Despite the obstacles to leaving, nothing is worth staying in an abusive relationship. Whether or not you are ready or able to leave, there are steps you can take to help keep yourself safe:
- Talk to someone (friend, parent, counselor) that you trust. They can help you deal with your feelings and support you during this time.
- Create a safety plan to reduce your risk of being hurt by your partner. Because you think through it ahead of time, your personalized safety plan can help you avoid dangerous situations and know the best way to react when you are in danger.
- Learn about your legal rights. You may be able to get a restraining order against your partner. Restraining orders may also protect you from harassment from your partner’s friends and family.
- Contact the Center for Community Solutions to assist you if you are concerned about being outed, taken seriously, or affecting your immigration status.
Some things to keep in mind when thinking about breaking up:
- Your relationship has probably been a large part of your life. If you feel lonely after the break up, talk to friends or find a new activity to help fill your time.
- Because of the significance of the relationship in your life, it is normal to miss your partner after the break-up. Don’t let yourself forget that you’re leaving for important reasons.
- Breaking up with an abusive partner can be a dangerous time. If you don’t feel safe, break up with your partner over the phone or with a friend waiting nearby. Let your family and friends know you’re planning on breaking up so they can support you and help keep you safe during this time. And if you are ever in immediate danger, call the police.