The Different Stages

There are many stages that you may go through when experiencing family and domestic violence. Being in the country can be hard as you may be isolated from your family and friends, or it may be difficult to find the space to talk safely to someone. Everyone’s experience of domestic violence will be individual and unique.

The stages of your journey through the experience of domestic violence may range from:

  • not being aware that you are experiencing domestic violence, because you may be experiencing non-physical types of abuse;
  • to being assaulted or seriously injured.

Understanding which stage you are at can help determine what kind of support might be helpful at what time. Deciding what to do, and when, can be one of the biggest challenges of all.

The Different Stages - Domestic Violence

What should I do?

It is possible to move forwards and backwards between each of these stages (or to not experience some of these stages at all). You might be prepared to leave your partner, but then decide not to, or you might return to your partner after you have left. We are here to support you no matter what stage you are at, to help you find a pathway to safety and manage your particular situation.

Depending on what stage you are at and what situation you are experiencing, set out below are some suggested next steps for you to consider taking:

 

Precontemplation

You do not think your relationship is abusive and are not interested in changing your situation 2

 

Contemplation

You may recognise your relationship is abusive, and begin to consider options for changing your situation 2

Preparation

You may recognise your relationship as abusive and want change. You may be developing, or have developed a plan, to leave the person using violence2

Action

You are taking actions to end the abusive relationship or leave the person using violence 2

Action

You have left the abusive relationship and are avoiding going back 2

Return

 

You may return to relationship/situation2 . If you chose to return, you still have options, and support and help is available to you

Sources

  1. http://Prochaska J. O, Diclemente c.C., Norcross, J.C, ‘In search of how people change. Applications to addictive behaviours.’
  2. Burke, J et al., ‘Defining appropriate Stages of Change for Intimate Partner Violence Survivors’, Violence and Victims, vo. 24, no. 1, 2009, pp. 36-51.
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