How to heal after an abusive relationship

Create a safety plan (if you haven’t already)

Safety planning can give you a sense of control and protection. You can add responses for different circumstances, such as seeing (your ex) in public or if they contact you on social media.
Make your safety and security the top priority post-breakup, so you can focus on yourself and your healing journey.

Set boundaries

Setting boundaries after the relationship is just as important as during it. Make sure you and your ex are on the same page in terms of communication and behaviour. Be clear in expressing them and confident that you have every right to need the time and space that you need.
Also consider setting digital boundaries, like blocking your ex or taking a social media break.

Prioritise self-care and self-love

Self-care and self-love is vital because without them, survivors can find themselves in another abusive relationship.
Use your newfound time to focus on things that build your confidence and help you regain emotional balance. You deserve it.

Repeat healing affirmations

It can be hard not to look back on your past relationship with rose-colored glasses, or you may feel like you miss your ex-partner, but keep in mind that you’re strong, and you’ll get through it. Remember that everyone - including you - deserves a healthy relationship where they feel loved, respected, and valued.

Educate yourself about abuse

No matter where you are in your journey, learning about abuse can prevent you from entering similar situations in the future.
When everyone has a better understanding and knowledge of how intimate partner violence works, then we can remove the stigma and get the support and services needed for survivors and perpetrators.

Build a strong support system

You don’t have to do this alone. Receiving support can help you feel stronger and more connected during the healing process. Oftentimes, someone in an abusive relationship can be isolated from friends and family. It’s good to reconnect with them. They can emotionally support you, build up your sense of self, and offer a counter to some of the doubts or negative thoughts we can have about ourselves after a breakup.

Ask for help

Consider seeing a therapist or mental health professional. Therapy can teach you helpful skills for coping after an abusive relationship and offer further support during the recovery process. Don’t let shame or embarrassment stop you from getting your needs met.

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