Signs of Domestic Abuse: Turning Your
Abusive Relationship Shame into Change

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

The “shame of knowing all along” is an inner burden experienced by many domestic violence survivors. They see the signs of domestic abuse in the beginning, yet progress deeper and deeper into the relationship.

They are aware of what they are doing as they are doing it. What they don’t know is where this path will lead as they stay on it. But, they realize enough not to let others know as it is happening...for they fear the shame of knowing all along.

Then, the day comes when the cat in the bag implodes upon itself and jumps out for all to see. How embarrassing this can be for the grief stricken survivor.

Conflicting Feelings of a Domestic Violence Survivor

She both wants him out of her life and wants him in. What she hopes for is that the battering ends.

She wants him to stop calling her a b______ and a c_____. She has had it with his vulgarities, his kicking, pushing and punching.

She fears his use of the law enforcement to establish false claims against her...for she has already been arrested for domestic violence. Yet, she is the victim!

And, still today, if he would change and stop abusing her, she would let him back in...because she still loves him as he does her.

The Shame of Knowing the Signs of Domestic Abuse

Why is there such shame around survivors knowing the signs of domestic violence? Because conventional thinking is that, once discovered, you MUST leave. And if you don’t, you are a fool.

Most people will tell you that an abuser will always be an abuser. We don’t expect batterers to change because they usually do not change...unless they undergo an appropriate domestic violence intervention. And the fact is that most do not.

Domestic Abuse Shame to Change

Batterers simply live in denial believing that “it is her fault,” “she made me do it, say it...” Then, there are those who have run-ins with law enforcement over domestic abuse and are court-ordered into domestic violence treatment.

The greatest success rates that we observe come from those abusers who are self-inspired into treatment. They come to therapy because they don’t want to lose their relationship.

Their motivation is personal and authentic. It is the seed for their success, and they can indeed change. If you are wondering how to turn your abusive relationship shame into change, look for an effective domestic violence intervention.

For information about domestic violence intervention , visit and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps couples nationwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. Copyright 2010 Jeanne King, Ph.D. - Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

This series of eInsights is presented to you by Partners in Prevention, a nonprofit organization. If you find this eInsight article useful, we invite you to contribute to the maintenance and growth of the Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit

Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.