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  • Writer's pictureChris Williams

How to Protect Yourself From Post-Separation Abuse

An abuser might use these tactics to try to keep their hold on you even after you escape. Here are some strategies you can use to s

If you’re a domestic violence survivor, you probably realize that the threat of danger doesn’t end when you leave the relationship. An abuser may escalate their tactics, especially since they may feel as though they are no longer in power or that they’re losing control.

The best protection is a to have a plan—knowing what may come can help you feel some sense of control and better help you put a safety plan in place that can help you move forward.

Here are a few tactics many abusers try after their partner separates or starts divorce proceedings, and strategies you can use to combat them.

Trying to Convince You to Come Back

What can happen: An abuser may use emotional abuse and manipulation to try to make you stay in the relationship. They may threaten to harm you, your children, your family, your pets or your coworkers. They may threaten to kill themselves. They may try to convince you that the abuse is your fault so you feel guilty and return to the relationship.

What you can do: Minimize or eliminate contact as much as possible. Every time you communicate with an abuser, you create an opportunity for them to try to reconnect with you. They may try to use charm or pity to play on your emotions.

You can also connect with a mental health professional so you can talk through the history of your relationship and your former partner’s actions with someone who is trained in understanding these behaviors. Online support groups can help, too, since you can connect with other people who have experience in similar situations.

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