Handling & Dealing with Abuse/Violence
- 16 May 22
- Criminal Injuries Helpline
Being in violent abusive situations is scary for victims & shouldn’t be tolerated.
Unfortunately we live in a world where strangers and even family members can turn violent. It is important to know how to handle a potentially dangerous situation if this happens.
For those currently trapped in abuse, this guide will help with day-to-day safety.
How to handle physically violent abusive situations
If you are ever put in this unfortunate position where there is a risk of someone becoming violent, try to look out for the warning signs so you are able to diffuse their anger.
If you are unable to do this then consider leaving as soon as it is safe to do so. Do not attempt to fight with this person or do anything that will put your safety at risk.
As difficult as it may be, stay calm knowing that you will be in a better position to plan a safe escape after the abuser has calmed down.
How to handle threats of violence
You need to reach out and speak to someone you trust, make sure someone is aware of your situation.
Don’t try to deal with threats of violence on your own, speaking to someone will help you to deal with the situation.
Avoid contacting the person who has been making the threats as this can make the situation worse.
Keep evidence of the threats, this will help, should you decide to contact the police or take legal action.
How to deal with verbal abuse
Remember any sort of abuse cannot be justified, know that the person verbally abusing you does not have the authority to decide how you see yourself.
You need to surround yourself with people who make you feel valued and loved, this will help strengthen your self- esteem.
Don’t engage in a conflict or react to the abuser. Focus on yourself and your feelings, by prioritising your own happiness and well-being.
How to deal with abusive texts, notes and online communications
Keep evidence of the abusive, texts, notes and any online communication, this will be useful should you report it to the police or apply for a court order.
Block the abuser from your phone and all social media accounts, consider changing your email address and social media accounts.
Keep all new account settings private, so only people you allow can see your content. Do not respond to the messages, you do not want the abuser to know they are getting to you. Remember by not responding you are lessening their power over you, but make sure you speak to someone about what is happening.
How to handle emotional abuse
Emotional abuse can be subtle and therefore not as easy to recognise. Acknowledging that abuse has taken place is the first step to regaining control of your life.
You now need to give importance to your safety and well-being. Speak to someone and begin to create a system of support. You should not have to deal with this on your own.
Be kind to yourself and start to do things which make you happy. Self- love will help you to establish the boundaries in how you deserve to be treated. Be assertive in not allowing anyone to fall short of these expectations.
How to handle financial abuse
Once you recognise that you are being financially abused, you can begin to take steps to recover from this situation.
It is important that you speak to someone who you trust, you will need some support. Begin to take responsibility for all of your financial affairs and be sure to cancel any joint accounts.
Also, change pin numbers and passwords for your existing accounts so the abuser can no longer have access. Know that you are capable of looking after your finances and do not need to depend on your abuser for this.
How to handle neglectful abuse
Do not depend on the abuser to take responsibility over you. Start giving yourself and your needs priority andunderstand that the best person to take care of yourself is you.
If you feel you are struggling to do this by yourself, speak to someone who can help you regain control of the situation. There are lots of good people out there who are willing to help.
How to handle gaslighting
The important thing to remember here is the abuser’s goal is to cause internal confusion. The abuser wants you to doubt your own perceptions and become more emotionally dependant on them. You need to start believing in yourself and validate your own feelings and instincts.
When the abuser tries to gaslight, be firm in your response showing there is no room for self- doubt. However do not engage in a conversation when there is a risk to your safety due to the severity of the gaslighting.
Reach out to family and friends who will support you through this.
Handling an abusive partner
Being with an abusive partner is harmful and destructive, depending on your situation you may need to consider an exit plan.
Begin to detach yourself emotionally from the abuser, know that they will not change. The detachment will start to affect how you respond and will lessen the control the abuser has over you. Keep reminding yourself that no one deserves to be abused, learn to prioritise yourself.
Do not allow the abuser to dictate your worth.
Handling an older abusive family member or parent
A very harsh reality to accept is being abused by people who are supposed to be caring for you. Remember no one has the right to abuse you.
As difficult as it may be, you will need to build the courage to speak to someone. You may feel anxious about approaching family members but know there are organisations and people out there who will be willing to help.
Handling a younger or abled abuser when elderly or in care
Unfortunately we live in a world amongst people who try to take advantage of vulnerability.
You need to protect yourself by speaking to someone about what is happening.
Do not allow anybody to treat you this way and know there is help available to stop this from happening. Everybody has a right to live safely and free from harm.
How to handle religious-based abuse
Abuse can take place in a broad range of religious settings and is not confined to a particular faith or group of people.
Reporting the abuse can become difficult due to organisational and cultural barriers.
However you will need seek help from independent people such as health professionals or organisations who help victims of abuse.
Do not try to deal with this on your own, a good support network will help you get through this ordeal.
How to handle abuse from a narcissist
Remember the objective of a narcissist’s abuse is power and control. Educate yourself on narcissistic traits, having a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses will empower you with knowledge.
You will begin to know how to and how not to react or not in certain situations. This will lessen the narcissist’s control over you. Learn to prioritise yourself and your needs, re connect with family and friends to help support you through this.
Handling workplace abuse
Handling abuse at your workplace can be a very challenging and draining experience. Personal and financial commitments can create obstacles when you consider leaving.
Remember most work places and organisations take these matters very seriously. Check your company’s guidance on how they deal with such cases. Begin to document everything, the abuse, your performance, any witnesses who were present, time, date etc. and keep evidence of any abusive emails.
Speak to a colleague who you can trust to support you through this. Finally speak to the appropriate person with authority about your experience.
Handling cyber abuse
Remember the abuser wants you to respond. By not responding you have taken the power away from them.
Keep evidence of the abuse, you will need this depending on which route you decide to take. It is important to speak to someone and let them know what is happening.
Most social media sites take cyber abuse very seriously as they do not want you to feel unsafe. You may want to report the matter to them and take a break from social media to focus on yourself.
A few words from the Criminal Injuries Helpline
Abuse comes in many forms and can sometimes seem difficult to deal with. It is always important to remember that you are not alone and the first step that you should take is to talk to someone. Never deal with abuse alone.
Here at the Criminal Injuries Helpline, we help victims of violent crime and abuse recover compensation. Get in touch with us today to see if you qualify.
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