Domestic Violence Counseling – Support for Victims of Domestic Violence in Columbia, SC
The sensational best-seller and HBO series, Big Little Lies, has thrilled fans with mystery and suspense, but it has also spotlighted an important but often hidden reality: domestic violence.
(Small Spoiler Alert: Skip ahead if you have yet to read the book or see the show.)
One of the main characters, Celeste White, is the envy of all. She has a dream life with the perfect children, the perfect house, the perfect husband, the perfect body, and lots of money. But when things seem too good to be true, they usually are. Celeste’s life is not a dream—it is a nightmare. Celeste’s husband beats her.
Celeste wonders about the abuse, “I don’t know why I stay. I don’t know why I deserve this. I don’t know why you do this, why we do this, why this keeps happening.” Many people can identify with Celeste because they live in their own nightmares. They understand that the appearances portrayed publicly do not always align with the private reality of a relationship. Escaping from a violent relationship is not as it seems either. Victims often need support of their family and friends as well as a professional’s guidance.
The Thriveworks Domestic Violence Counselors Columbia, SC understand the dangers and pitfalls of living with domestic violence, as well as in leaving it. We know what victims need to find safety and recover from the abuse. (803) 477-3736
The Cycle of Domestic Abuse
Each relationship has unique and particular circumstances, but violent relationships usually follow a recurring cycle:
The Honeymoon Phase: This is a time of peace that often begins relationships and follows the abuse. It is also one of the reasons domestic violence can be so disorienting for victims—the relationship is rarely bad all of the time.
The Tension Building Phase: The peace of the honeymoon phase inevitably gives way to tension. During this time, the victim usually begins walking on egg shells. They may try to appease the violent partner, shield the violent partner from stress, or give into erratic demands—in an attempt to diffuse the tension and avoid the abuse.
The Abusive Phase: Harming another person is always a choice, and the violent partner at some point makes the choice to harm. The abuse may be physical, verbal, and/or sexual. Abuse is never a victim’s fault, and these forms of abuse are also illegal.
This cycle may last for years, months, days, hours, or even just a few minutes. The cycle usually escalates with each reiteration more violent than the previous, and it usually takes significant intervention to stop it.
One victim illustrates what it is like to live in the cycle of domestic violence, “He would be alternately kind and then fly off the handle for no reason. I always lived in fear of his temper. It was very stressful.”
Warning Signs of a Violent Relationship
Violent relationships often begin with small, controlling actions that escalate. When one partner tries to manipulate or dominate what the other feels, does, says, wears, and thinks, it is not a healthy relationship and may even be a sign of a violent relationship.
Warning signs of domestic violence include…
- Calling you demeaning names
- Subtly putting you down
- Threatening or scaring you
- Showing annoyance when you spend time with friends or family
- Trying to take away your agency (i.e., the ability to make decisions—such as how to spend money, where to go, what to wear, and more
- Deterring you from working or going to school
- Blaming you or other people for their behavior
- Harming you, your kids, or your pets
- Coercing you into sex or sexual acts that feel uncomfortable to you
- Have you experienced any treatment like this from your partner? If yes, know that the behaviors on this list are not healthy or normal behaviors for a relationship. They may also signify a more serious problem: domestic violence. If you partner is violent or exhibiting controlling behaviors, know that there is help available.
Counseling for Domestic Abuse Victims
The counselors at Thriveworks Columbia have helped many domestic abuse victims understand what is happening to them. We know the dangers they face and the pitfalls of leaving. We have guided many clients to safety and want to provide you with the support you need.
We have tried to make the process of reaching out for help as convenient as possible. When you call Thriveworks Columbia, a person will help you and schedule your appointment. First-time clients often see their therapist within 24-hours, and we work with many insurance providers. Our therapists also offer convenient weekend and evening appointment times.
Is your partner harming you? Are you scared of your partner? It may be time to reach out for help. Call Thriveworks Columbia, SC to make an appointment. It may be your first step toward safety and a better tomorrow. (803) 477-3736