With last month being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s important for us to remember that this issue impacts millions of people every day of the year. Those who have suffered at the hands of someone close to them need protection, support and a healthy road to recovery.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) estimates as many as one in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe, physical violence at some point in their lives. The numbers are even higher when factoring in verbal abuse. These attacks leave deep scars and lasting effects, and true recovery can take years.
Finding the strength to overcome
For many victims of domestic violence and abuse, the journey to a better life starts the moment they recognize they are in danger. Staying with a friend, confiding in a relative or speaking with an Appleton domestic violence lawyer can help victims break free from abuse.
This can be a frightening process. Because a person’s self-worth, confidence, trust and happiness are all targeted by an abuser, it’s difficult to muster the courage to seek help.
Thankfully, there are many resources designed specifically to protect victims of abuse. According to current data, there are more than 15 domestic violence and abuse shelters, programs and emergency hotlines in the Appleton, Neenah, Oshkosh and Oneida areas.This includes Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs, which operates right here in Appleton.
Seeking assistance from a domestic violence lawyer in Appleton is also an option. Not only can a qualified legal professional help you secure a protection order, but you’ll also receive guidance on the local networks and resources that can keep you safe.
Healing physically and mentally
Putting distance between yourself and an abuser is not often enough to start the healing process. It takes the compassion of others to truly begin putting the turmoil behind you.This can take many forms:
- Medical professionals can help mend broken bones, stitch up wounds or provide general medical attention. In cases of sexual abuse, it’s paramount to get medical attention as soon as possible to ensure the safety of the victim and to corroborate police reports or accusations.
- Counselors can help victims realize abuse is occurring and put things in perspective, allowing them to begin the recovery process. This is critically important for victims who justify their attackers’ abuse or who blame themselves for their situation. Many times, just being able to talk to someone is incredibly beneficial.
- Survivors are people who know what you’ve been through because they have been there themselves. Talking to people who have overcome abuse can help victims see the light at the end of the tunnel and boost their confidence about their future. It may also be the start of new, healthy friendships that re-cement a person’s self-worth.
Domestic abuse from a loved one takes its toll in so many forms. That’s why it’s so important for victims to receive care and attention as they work to address everything they’ve experienced.
Seeking closure and finality
Depending on the person and the issues involved, recovery from domestic abuse can take months or years. No matter how long it takes to regain a sense of confidence, it’s important to seek legal protection from abuse without delay. Prosecuting an attacker is the ultimate form of domestic abuse defense because it ensures that person cannot continue the pattern of violence against others.
It can be downright terrifying to take an abuser to trial. Having to give testimony in the same room as someone you fear is something no person wants to experience. And, with evidence and previous testimony on trial, it can make victims feel as if they are reliving the worst moments of their lives. However, it also allows victims to truly free themselves from their abusers and experience closure.
Legal action can also be an important way for victims to protect themselves. Being able to publicly show an abuser for who they are gives victims the ultimate protection. It allows you to get on with your life and overcome all that has happened to you.
At Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, we do everything in our power to help victims of domestic violence and abuse on their road to recovery. Whether you are taking your first step toward separating from your abuser or you are ready to build a legal case, we are here to help.