3 Ways Domestic Violence Trauma Can Impact Your Life

March 28, 2017
Anna Jankowska, LCPC

By Anna Jankowska, MA, CEAP, SAP, LCPC

Anna Jankowska is a mental health, addiction, and substance abuse counselor with over 17 years of experience and has specialized training and skill in working with individuals, groups and communities to improve mental health outcomes. NPI number: 1598843526

By CCI Team

There are many ways that domestic violence affects the lives of victims as well as abusers. These damages often go far beyond the physical injuries. Addressing psychological and emotional traumas that come from abusive situations is a necessary step for recovery. Domestic classes and relationship counseling can help.

 The 3 Impacts of Domestic Abuse

  1. Attitude

Attitudes and temperaments are made up of a wide range of interpersonal behaviors coming together to make a cohesive whole. When you change one of these habits, especially when it's an important one, it can cause a noticeable change in the way you interact with others. While changing these elements of your personality can be a force for positive change in your life, it can also be harmful and cause problems in many settings:

  • At work
  • In relationships
  • During recreation or sports
  • With extended family

Domestic violence trauma can often cause victims to perceive themselves as being somehow to blame. This can lead to identification with the abuser, leading to a victim picking up some of the abuser's attitudes and habits. Domestic violence classes help everyone reframe these experiences and adjust attitudes that lead to strengthening the cycle of abuse. Victims can benefit from these classes, but everyone from abusers to family members can also stand to learn something.

  1. Learning Abilities

Having to worry about domestic violence makes it difficult to focus on academic work. It's a question of priorities. When physical safety is threatened, it's common for victims to put most of their mental and emotional energy into developing ways to mitigate and prevent situations of violence. This leaves little room for any type of formal education and is one of the major effects of domestic violence.

Another aspect of abusive situations that prevents learning is the emotional toll. There's a tendency to withdraw from any considerations of the future. Most of the time, this pessimism is due to a belief that the future isn't worth working for. This makes sense if you're stuck in a pattern of domestic violence, but what most victims don't realize is that these cycles are often broken with the help of trained professionals.

Hope for the future allows victims to continue their lives and pursue their goals. Relationship counseling often plays a part in exiting an abuse pattern, so don't be afraid to reach out and improve your prospects.

  1. Socialization

The same things that cause antisocial attitudes and withdrawal from opportunities for personal growth also damage a victim's abilities to socialize with others. This can happen to anyone, even the most gregarious people, and it isn't always obvious.

For instance, a victim of domestic violence might perform well at a job that requires them to be social and connect with people in a business setting. However, they might exhaust their extroversion on the job and miss other social opportunities necessary for career advancement. Don't let violence hold you back. Just because you still manage to perform some socialization doesn't mean that you are the best version of yourself you can be.

Whatever your relationship is with violence, counseling can help you get back to normal. There's no reason you need to deal with any of these mood or social impairments alone. After all, you didn't get into this situation by yourself, and nobody expects you to deal with domestic violence alone. Seek relationship counseling or take domestic violence classes when you're ready to make a positive impact on your life and the lives of everyone around you.

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