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The purpose of Violence Awareness Month is to provide education about domestic violence.  Most of the time, people are asking the wrong question. They ask “Why does she stay?” They should be asking “Why do the majority of batterers torture and terrorize their partners?” If the victim leaves the relationship, the batters move on with their problems and the cycle will continue to the next victim.

Leaving the abuser is often dangerous and may require the assistance of family, friends, law enforcement or maybe done when the batterer is not home. But many experts agree, the violence tends to increase in frequency and severity when one cohabitates with the batterer. It is highly dangerous because the violence may escalate without intervention. Ultimately, the optimal choice is to leave the batterer to achieve safety. Although it will require careful thought and planning, including possible legal intervention to protect against violence, leaving is not the first step to safety. Environmental barriers to leaving violent relationships include survivors of domestic violence being isolated, unable to access safe and affordable housing, legal representation, financial and emotional independence, quality and affordable child care, just to name a few.  The first steps to safety begin with planning to leave, finding a safe haven, saving money, finding a job, obtaining a restraining order and developing a safety plan to suit your needs.

Violence awareness means you should understand that violent behaviors are typically accompanied by emotional abuse. The assailant can use derogatory terms, often sexually explicit words geared towards the vulnerable aspects of the victim. The perpetrator may use the knowledge of sexually intimate moments in order to humiliate and de-value the victim. Emotional abuse is designed to undermine a sense of worth and independence and make it more difficult to have the confidence to leave.

Domestic violence awareness includes an understanding that different victims cope with abuse in healthy and unhealthy ways. Mental health treatment can be very helpful a domestic violence victim is moving forward with their life. Coping with abuse is not a trait we are naturally born with; we need to learn the skills to separate from the perpetrator and develop a positive view of themselves. Victims of domestic violence typically suffer from symptoms of depression and anxiety, such as feeling unworthy, undeserving, helpless, lacking in confidence, fearfulness, panic, terror and need help and support in re-building the aspects of themselves that have been torn down by the emotional and physical abuse of the abusive partner.

Self worth and growing a beautiful healthy self image, inside and out, is a necessary learning experience that a mental health treatment clinic may offer. There are multiple resources in Memphis, TN that will promote a safe environment to express your feelings and find new ways of living without abuse. Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices to treat symptoms of depression, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.