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This is how you can walk away from a toxic relationship

The fight against gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa is far from over. Unfortunately, hope can be elusive so the issue of when to leave an abusive relationship is a contentious one. Do you leave as soon as you spot red flags or do you ignore them and hope for the best?

Don’t ignore red flags

Most abusers use the same M.O, they love bomb their victims before subjecting them to abuse. This creates confusion in the victim’s mind as she tries to make sense of her reality; how can the man who adores her be the same man who makes her feel so unsafe? If you’re feeling unsure, reach out to someone you trust to get some perspective. Unfortunately, ignoring red flags won’t make them go away.

Trust your instincts

That niggling feeling telling you that something isn’t right so you should probably run for cover, trust it. The more you ignore your gut feeling, the harder it is to navigate unsafe situations. This leads to you second-guessing yourself, and if you don’t trust your gut feeling, it’s easy for people to manipulate you.

Put yourself first

No matter how much you love a man, self-love should always prevail. This enables you to choose yourself should it come down to it. Jeopardizing your safety and well-being is never worth it, in any situation. You matter, you are worthy and you are enough!

Clinical Psychologist, Dr Sarah Davis offers her top tips

  • Reach out to your support network
  • Take responsibility for your part
  • Focus on your own needs and self-care
  • Develop healthy personal boundaries
  • Master
  • Work on your self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Seek professional help

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