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Intimate Partner Abuse Screen




Leaving an Abusive Relationship - Exile into Peace after an Abusive Relationship

domestic violence consulting expert


By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.


Exile is a funny word. It means to banish. It is an enforced or self-imposed removal from one’s native country, community, etc. We hear it, yet often don’t fully comprehend its meaning even when we live it.

In my lifetime I’ve known a handful of people who fled the Nazi camps and came to the Untied States in exile. There always seemed to be a blanket of heaviness around their departure and around their arrival. They were the strongest people I’ve ever known.


Departure into Exile


When I saw the crash head-on in my own situation with the Cook County Divorce Court and the domestic violence shelters urging my exile, I still didn’t understand the word “exile” as I was living it.


In hindsight, I get it. When you leave it all to save it all, you are in exile. This is the life domestic violence survivors often face in their efforts to seek safety from their perpetrators.


Domestic Violence Terminated by Exile


So when you ask yourself why doesn’t she just leave, realize that for her to reach a point of safety resulting from leaving, she may be leaving it all. And once she has, she may inherit a life of mixed messages to both herself and to the world. If there is one thing that you could do to make her transition easier, it would be to welcome and support her exile.


Now if you are reading this and are that person in exile, know you are not alone. Every year, thousands of women like yourself seek safety in exile. And they find peace, prosperity and new beginnings just as those who fled the Nazi camps.


Welcome your exile. Make peace with it. Let your mixed feelings sort themselves out and focus on letting yourself live again.


For more insights on psychological healing from domestic abuse, visit and claim your free Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. founding director of Partners in Prevention helps peole recognize, end and heal from domestic violence. © 2008 Jeanne King, Ph.D.


If you want personal help with your particular circumstances, you can contact us to set up an individual consultation.

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©Copyright 2008 Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

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.