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​How to Protect Yourself in An Abusive Relationship

Posted by Kim Yang on

How to Protect Yourself in An Abusive Relationship

Throughout October, people proudly display the color purple to stand in solidarity and support Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).

In October 1981 the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence created a “Day of Unity,” which later became DVAM, as a way to connect advocates working to end violence against women and children.

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1

Although we hope no one ever has to defend themselves head on against an abuser, it would be wishful thinking to say it hasn’t happened before.

1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.2

At Stun & Run Self Defense our mission has always been to prevent crime and save lives by providing people with the tools, knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month contributes to ending the cycle of violence.

While Stun & Run contributes to preventing crimes, arming you with the know-how of non-lethal self defense, and saving lives.

As a tribute to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are speaking up and showing you how to protect yourself in an abusive relationship.Throughout this blog post we will also be sharing national hotlines and tools that are easily accessible and at your disposal should you need to reach out for help.

1. Get yourself to safety

First and foremost, get yourself to safety. Seek refuge where your abuser won’t look. In most cases, abusive partners will look to your parents, close family and friends if they notice you have fled. Research women’s shelters near you, but make sure to delete your search history. If possible, use computers at your public library.

More general guidelines if you’re considering leaving:

  • Plan for a quick escape (make sure you consider how you will leave and where you will go)
  • You can request a police standby or escort
  • Put aside emergency money
  • Create and hide an extra set of car keys
  • Pack extra clothes for you and/or your children and store them at a trusted family member or friend’s house
  • Make sure to take important documents (family and friends contact information, birth certificates, bank account information, medical records, doctors contact information, school documents, citizenship documents, property titles and deeds, valuable personal possessions, etc.) with you.
  • If you have enough time, create a false trail

For any victims and survivors in need of support, thehotline.org is a helpful resource you can access 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-799-7233) or find your state hotline here.

If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

2. Self defense

One in 6 women (16.2%) and 1 in 19 men (5.2%) in the United States have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed (by any perpetrator).2

Becoming physical should be a last resort.

When we say self defense, we don’t mean martial arts, hand to hand combat, firearms, or handguns. We’re talking about non-lethal self defense options.

In escalated situations, you want to defend yourself, stun your abuser to buy time, and run to safety. In order to do this, you can use non-lethal options like:

DPS Black Label Pepper Spray - OC/CS Combo

Pepper Spray - You’re probably familiar with this popular self defense tool, but do you know how to properly use it to protect yourself from a distance?

Due to the spread of misinformation, we actually dedicated an entire course on this topic: how to use pepper spray 101. It's packed with 28 informational videos and 8 educational quizzes to ensure you’re ready to defend yourself if pepper spray is your non-lethal weapon of choice.

We also have a high-level overview of how to use pepper spray - the right way. It covers how to hold pepper spray, dispersal patterns, accessibility, and limitations.

If you find yourself in need of a reliable pepper spray, one of our best sellers is the DPS Black Label Pepper Spray - OC/CS Combo. Known as the “Silver Bullet” and “The best pepper spray available hands down,” it was originally created for law enforcement and corrections in high-threat conditions.

Wild Kat Self Defense Keychain

Self Defense Key-Chains - If you’re in need of a more discreet non-lethal weapon, you should consider the Wild Kat Self Defense Keychain and Brutus Bulldog Self Defense Keychain.

Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, either or will do the trick. They’re both disguised as key-chains but are serious life saving tools when it comes to self defense.

Although they’re made of plastic, don’t let that fool you. While acting in self defense, the ultra-tough plastic and impact-resistant molding can penetrate skin; biting your abuser back while you run to safety.

If you’re interested, we also have a personal safety book: Avoid, Prepare, Defend: 25 Essential Tips on How to Stay Safe from Crime. To get your paperback or ebook copy, head over to Amazon.com.

We also offer our personal safety book for free when you sign up for our email newsletter. We’ll share crime prevention tips, product updates and special flash sales once or twice a week.

3. Protect your emotional well-being

Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).2

Protect your peace. Protect your mental health. In a chaotic relationship and/or post relationship, don’t underestimate the importance of self-care.

Find outlets to relieve your stress and anxiety. Whether that’s exercising, rediscovering old hobbies, or picking up new pastimes.

Maintaining a daily routine can help create normalcy and keep yourself grounded during this time of healing.

In times where you may struggle to open up, sort through emotions, and process change, seek therapy and counseling. Understand that not everything is yours to carry and that therapy and counseling can allow you to stop running and face your demons.

Below are helpful resources you may consider reaching out to. Even more hotlines are accessible here.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

www.ndvh.org

National Dating Abuse Helpline

1-866-331-9474

www.loveisrespect.org

National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

www.childhelp.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline

1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

www.rainn.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

National Center for Victims of Crime

1-202-467-8700

www.victimsofcrime.org

Summary

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are speaking up and showing you how to protect yourself in an abusive relationship.

If you fear ending up in a position where you must physically defend yourself from an abuser because words aren’t enough, Stun & Run is here for you. We can help arm you with the knowledge, tools, and skills in order to protect yourself.

  1. Get yourself to safety
  2. Self defense
  3. Protect your emotional well-being

For any victims and survivors in need of support, thehotline.org is a helpful resource you can access 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-799-7233) or find your state hotline here.

If you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

Sources

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/communicationresources/infographics/nisvs-infographic.html
  2. https://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/
  3. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245
  4. https://www.counselcareconnection.org/protecting-yourself-in-an-abusive-relationship/
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