Leaving an abusive relationship rarely signals the end of the experience's impact. Domestic abuse has a huge psychological impact that can last for years once the physical or emotional abuse has ended.
Each person experiencing the psychological impact of abuse will encounter it differently. For some, they may have panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia; for others, it can lead to self-harm, suicide attempts, anxiety attacks, hyper-vigilance and depression.
Some will fear seeing their ex-partner out in public and what this may mean for their safety and for their children. The survivor may move address and begin a "new life," however the threat of their past merging with the present can be a constant worry.
The survivor of abuse may struggle to build future relationships and friendships as it’s hard to trust people after trust has been abused in the past. The impact of the abuse could lead to the use of alcohol and drugs as a coping strategy, which will naturally lead to other physical, emotional, and mental health issues.
Overcoming the Past
People who experience the psychological effects of abuse may need emotional and practical support to rebuild their lives. This could be in the form of a counsellor, a doctor, legal advice, friends and family, and help to find accommodation and to gain independence.
Wrapping It Up
Whether the abuse was physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or verbal threats, they all have a lasting psychological impact.
Support from professionals and friends is crucial to help a survivor of abuse re-adjust to life without the abuser, take care of themselves and any children they may have and build a future free from fear.
Rebekah is a freelance writer for hire. She has a passion for writing about women's health and wellness. When she's not writing she can usually be found booking her next holiday in the sun or having a cream tea (jam first then cream) with her girlfriends. Check out her website.