Health and Wellness Tips for Victims of Domestic Violence

Acknowledge that the abuse happened. IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! There is nothing you could have done to change your abuser’s actions.

Give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions you are feeling. They are all valid.

Seek the help of a professional mental health counselor to help your sort through your feelings. If you need help finding one, contact your local domestic violence agency.

Create a Safety Plan. For more information, click here.

Develop a Network of Support consisting of family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, clergy, …

Contact a Domestic Violence Program as you navigate your way from victim to survivor. Most programs offer much more than emergency shelter, so give them call. MSCFV can be reached 24/7/365 at 1-800-927-HOPE (4673)

Allow yourself to grieve the loss of your relationship. Remember, it is a loss. Don’t beat yourself up for still having feelings for your abuser. Love doesn’t die overnight and the head and heart need time to come into alignment so you can make sense of what has happened.

Journal your thoughts and feelings about the abuse. Make sure you keep your journal in a safe space.

Write a letter to your abuser telling them how the abuse made you feel and how it has impacted your life. DO NOT SEND THE LETTER. Destroy it as you choose, or save it to read at a court hearing. This is a tool to help you release your feelings.

Try art therapy like an adult coloring book and begin to color, preferably using bright colors.

Exercise at least 30 minutes, eat a well-balanced diet and get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each day.

Engage in deep-breathing, meditation and/or guided imagery exercises to help reduce stress. Breathing exercises can be found here.

Stand in front of a mirror and engage in Positive Self-Talk at least one time per day.

Sit near a body of water and listen to the waves crash against the shore.

Create a playlist of inspirational and uplifting songs and listen to it daily, especially during exercising. For a starter list, click here.

Rearrange the furniture in your home to create a fresh, new look and if possible, replace items that trigger your feelings related to the abuse.

Use aromatherapy for stress relief. (Eucalyptus is good for pulmonary health and stress relief.)

Remember that you are beautiful and you are more than enough!