Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Opinion | For domestic violence victims, pandemic lockdown is a time to plan the escape

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-If you had asked me, when I was married to my abuser

and he was regularly holding guns to my head,

if I was an abuse victim,

I would have looked you straight in the face

and said, "No."

Isolation is the first requirement

of a, quote-unquote, successful abusive relationship.

And by "successful," I mean from the abuser's standpoint.

It is the first thing that they do

to ensure that they can easily

and without consequence abuse victims,

is they isolate them from friends,

from family, from employers.

What a quarantine does is it ensures the first ingredient

in an abusive relationship, that you're isolated,

and you can't go to anybody for help.

That seems like it's a terrible thing,

but actually, there's a lot of silver linings here,

and I think the intensity of being quarantined with an abuser

can help victims break through their denial,

to realize that they do need help,

and also because they're so desperate to reach out for help.

Tell somebody what you're going through.

It must be somebody who you trust.

It can be an anonymous chatroom.

You can call the domestic violence hotline.

You can tell a friend or a neighbor or a babysitter,

but you got to tell somebody so that there's at least

one person who knows what you're going through.

Whether it's your education, your financial resources,

are there shelters that can help you?

Start investigating that.

How are you gonna take care of them?

Are you gonna have to change schools for them?

Are you gonna be able to get temporary emergency custody?

A lot of places offer that,

but you've got to do some research now to find out.

It's gonna help you so much.

It's a great way to break down your denial,

and also to prepare yourself

for how you might react psychologically

and how your friends and family and children

might react once you do leave.

It's not intuitive and it's not obvious.

There are a lot of surprises here.

The other thing that I recommend that you can do

even if your abuser is keeping a very close eye on you

is to practice what I call positive daydreaming,

which is to look around your apartment,

your bedroom, your kitchen, and just imagine that one day,

you are gonna be in control again of your whole life.

You're gonna get to decide what you cook for dinner.

You're gonna get to decide how you make the bed

or if you make the bed.

You're gonna get to decide whether you wear makeup,

how short your skirts are, who you communicate with,

how you communicate with them.

You are going to be free.

Your goal now is really to survive this time,

but to steel your resolve so that when it is over,

you can ask for help and you can get out in a way that is safe

and protects yourself and everybody in your family

who you love and care about.

The Description of Opinion | For domestic violence victims, pandemic lockdown is a time to plan the escape