Self Defense Techniques for Domestic Violence!
Living with an abuser can leave you feeling vulnerable and defenseless. Most women don’t know how to truly defend themselves when they are being abused. When I was with my abuser, I did try to defend myself against his accusations but it never helped and he never believed me. Really, it would just cause him to get worse and for me to endure more of the awful things he was saying to me.
In my support group they were teaching me “not” to defend myself. At least, not the way I had been doing it. You see, nothing I said would change his crazy thinking. By engaging with him and defending myself, it just gave him more power over me.
It was difficult to learn to stop engaging with him because it was so easy to get sucked into defending his attacks on my character. It took work to change that and my group reminding me each week as I shared things with them that were happening to me.
I had read a book by Leslie Vernick, The emotionally destructive relationship! He decided to read the book too and in the back of the book there is a quiz that you can take to see if you are in an abusive relationship. He called me one day when I was about to leave work and told me he took the quiz and that the quiz says HE was being abused. Thank goodness this was the day I had group.
I was instantly upset and couldn’t understand how that quiz could come out like that for him. I hurried home so that I could get online and print off the quiz so I could take it to group and figure it out. I was such a mess over this at the time.
I began to share what had happened and my leader asked me, “Why did you print that up?” When she said that, I knew immediately why she asked me that. She continued, telling me that I know that there is no way he could take the test and get that outcome. She told me I know I am not an abuser. She took me right back to reality in an instant.
I went home from group and he was ready to shoot fire when I walked in the door. He based his outcome on a question about me being a liar. Well, I was not a liar but he didn’t believe that even though there was never any truth to any of his accusations. He lost that day, thanks to my group.
So, how do you defend yourself when in a relationship with domestic violence? I believe there is a huge difference in how we defend ourselves in a domestic violence situations as apposed to a random attack from a total stranger.
Defending yourself in a domestic violence situation is mainly psychological. There are three (3) main aspects of preparing yourself mentally/psychologically that you should learn to master:
Aspects of Mental Preparation:
1. Learn how to manage your fear in the different phases of the abuse.
2. Mentally prepare yourself to take responsibility for your safety and the safety of your children.
3. Understand how your self-esteem effects your emotional response and how you perform in a crisis. I often tell my girls to play out scenarios in their head and decide how they would respond to them and even practice to themselves. This way they are ready and prepared.
As your domestic violence cycle starts to spiral into a violent situation, there are actually five (5) different options of defense. A physical confrontation is not your only option!
Self Defense Options in Domestic Violence:
5. Fighting Back
The very best defense is a well planned offense. Safety does not come from physically defending yourself. Safety comes from not allowing yourself to get into a situation where you have to physically defend yourself! Plan ahead and get out before a domestic violence situation becomes physical. Make sure you have a safety plan in place and use it as soon as possible. Most of us can not over power our abuser. I don’t want to encourage anything that might cost your life.
Getting you and your kids out alive is your only goal.
Do not fight back to get away, unless you know you can succeed. Once you fight back, your abuser will be even more violent.
Your elbow is the strongest part of your body. If you are close enough to use it and think you can get away, use it.
Be careful!! I do not recommend fighting back in a domestic violence situation, unless your life depends on it. Fighting back could cost your life!
Unfortunately, another aspect to fighting back is allegations. Fighting back physically is the last resort not only because it could cost you your life but it could also cause you jail time.
I don’t know if you read my story but when my husband was choking me and attacking me, I was not fighting him. I was only trying to get past him to escape and some how he got hit in the mouth. I didn’t punch him and I didn’t even know it happened. He immediately turned his focus on himself and what “I DID TO HIM”
Many abusers will do everything to make it look like they are the victim and were abused. I have seen it happen many times.
In my upcoming posts I am going to talk about making a safety plan and share some self defense tips against allegations from your abuser.
Mean time, remember, Knowledge is Power! Work on getting yourself educated, stronger and prepared.
Peace and Blessings,