Freedom from abuse
After celebrating our nation’s Independence Day, we remember fighting for freedom as a nation. What about fighting for freedom from abuse?

It takes a lot of courage to stand up to a person who has control over you. They may be the person you love most in the world. Every time they hurt you with words, their hands, or worse, you tell yourself it will be the last time; they will not do it again. When they apologize or buy you a gift, you want to believe that they are going to change. That person may even seem to change for a time after a violent incident, but eventually it happens again. What does freedom from this cycle look like?
Freedom comes with a price. It is fought and won. Leaving the abuser means finding a safe way to get out. This could be easy or extremely hard. Sometimes it means getting in the car and staying with family or friends, and other times it means calling the domestic violence program and getting admitted to shelter. It could be secretly obtaining an apartment and moving out while your abuser is at work or gone for the weekend. Whatever the cost, freedom from abuse is worth it.
Leaving can be the most difficult process. When children are involved it can feel like there is no safe way out without hurting them. They are innocent and did not ask for this, but they did not ask for parents that hurt each other. Learning to leave safely for children and for your self is imperative. This is not something anyone has to do alone. Crisis Services of North Alabama provides free, confidential help to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Advocates are trained to help find the safest way for a survivor to get to safety and stay safe.
After successfully leaving an abusive relationship, the work begins and regaining a sense of self takes time. Working through emotions and feelings of regret and remorse can be hard. Through crisis counseling at Crisis Services of North Alabama, survivors have a safe place to share those feelings without judgement or fear. Advocates help teach coping skills and provide understanding while going through the grieving process. Even if a relationship was abusive or violent, everyone still has to grieve what was lost.
Allowing yourself time to rest after leaving is important. Sometimes resting in a safe place away from all the trauma can help your body and your mind heal. Working through all of the emotions can be physically and mentally exhausting. Making sure that you remember that you are not alone and what you are feeling is normal.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, Crisis Services can help. Please contact us locally at 256.574.5826, at our 24 hour crisis line at 256.716.1000, or on our website www.csna.org. A phone call could change everything. You do not have to fight alone.

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