Counseling for Victims of Domestic Violence in Las Vegas, NV—Therapy and Support
The cultural phenomenon, Big Little Lies, has done more than enthrall people as a murder-mystery. The best-selling novel and HBO adaptation has shown a light on a difficult reality that many people face: domestic violence.
(Spoiler alert. Skip ahead if you have not read the book or seen the show!)
Celeste, a main character, seems to have everything she could ever want from life: beauty, love, money, comfort, romance, children, friends, and—most of all—the perfect husband. But not everything on the inside is as it seems from the outside. Celeste’s publicly perfect life is a private warzone because her “perfect” husband beats her.
At one point, Celeste puts words to what many victims of domestic violence experience, “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.”
Can you relate to Celeste’s words? If so, know that Thriveworks Las Vegas provides therapy for people suffering in the personal warzone that is domestic violence. Our therapists have helped many clients find safety again.
Domestic Abuse and Danger
For many people, their home is a safe place—a haven where they can feel loved and be themselves. But for others, domestic abuse has turned their home into a combat zone where violence could erupt at any moment.
One survivor reflected upon this dynamic, saying, “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.”
This constant stress has severe results for those who live in a violent environment because the violence can change their brains in a way that harms their long-term health. When people sense a threat, the brain goes into flight-or-fight mode. It discharges stress hormones that allow people to act in response to the danger. While those hormones are helpful in response to danger, they are not helpful in large or regular doses.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris explains how fight-or-flight “is wonderful if you’re in a forest and there’s a bear, but the problem is what happens when the bear comes home every night, and this system is activated over and over and over again, and it goes from being adaptive, or life-saving, to maladaptive, or health-damaging.”
When people live in a violent environment, their flight-or-fight response is almost always engaged instead of being a helpful but rarely used response. Thus, domestic violence victims suffer from direct injuries incurred during the violence and the long-term effects of stress hormones in their body.
Domestic Violence: A Recurrent Cycle
While the particulars of each circumstance are unique, domestic violence almost always following a recurrent cycle. It is a cycle that can take moments, days, months, or even years to complete. It is also a cycle that can escalate: each repetition of the cycle is usually more violent than the previous.
The Honeymoon Phase: Even the most abusive relationships have some seemingly good aspects to them. This is why many victims stay in violent relationships: the violent partner uses some level of niceties to convince the victim that things will change…or that was the last time…or they are so very sorry. Abusive relationships often begin in the honeymoon phase, making the abuse all the more shocking and disorienting to the victim.
The Tension Building Phase: The honeymoon phase is not the real relationship and serves mostly as a pretense. Eventually, violent partners will begin to show their real selves and tensions will rise. Victims may begin to appease their partners—walking on egg shells to satisfy their demands or shield them from stress.
The Abusive Phase: Despite the victim’s attempts to keep the peace, the violent partner will decide to carry out the abuse. The abusive phase may involve physical, emotional, and/or sexual violence. None of which are the victim’s fault, and all of which are illegal. A violet partner will try to blame the victim for the abuse, but no one ever deserves abuse.
Escaping the Cycle: Therapy for Victims of Domestic Violence
The therapists at Thriveworks Las Vegas get the personal combat zone that victims of domestic violence face. We understand the risks and dangers of leaving the cycle of violence and have helped many clients form a safety plan and take the necessary steps to escape.
We do not want anything to stand in the way of people getting the support they need, so we have tried to make scheduling therapy as convenient as possible. When you call our office, a person will help you schedule an appointment. We have appointments available at convenient hours, and we work with many insurance companies. Clients often are able to see their therapist within 24 hours, even first-time clients, and we do not keep a waitlist.
If your partner has ever been emotionally, physically, or sexually violent with you, know that it is not your fault. Know that help is available. Call Thriveworks Las Vegas today.