If you are a survivor of any type of abuse, including child sexual abuse or domestic violence, your story is your own. Whether or not you decide to confront your abuser is entirely up to you. This decision should be based on what is best for you physically and emotionally. Know, however, that confronting an abuser in a current abuse situation is extremely dangerous. Instead, wait until you are out of an abusive situation to seek justice and accountability against the abuser.
Dos and Don’ts of Confronting an Abuser
Every abusive situation is unique. You must put your own safety and well-being first above all else. With this in mind, you should never confront an abuser in a current abusive or domestic violence situation. This can be extremely dangerous for you physically and psychologically. If you wish to get out of a relationship with a person who is hurting you or get safely away from an abuser, talk to someone you can trust.
Contact law enforcement in an emergency, when it is safe for you to do so. Confide in a friend or family member about what is happening. You can also seek professional counseling and guidance from a 24/7 hotline, such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline or National Domestic Violence Hotline. Then, work with that person to get out of an abusive situation.
In many cases, confronting an abuser about abusiveness will result in manipulative or grooming behaviors, such as gaslighting the victim or apologizing. In other cases, confrontations can result in an abuser becoming violent or volatile. Either way, confrontations are not a good idea while you are still within the abuser’s household or control.
Taking Action Against an Abuser
As a survivor of abuse, you have every right to speak up, tell your story and confront your abuser, if desired. However, you must do this from a place of physical and emotional safety. First, create a safe environment away from the abuser. Talk over your desire to confront your abuser with a therapist. Your therapist can help determine how doing this might affect your journey toward healing.
If you wish to hold an abuser accountable for what he or she did to you, you can make your voice heard with a supervised in-person confrontation – but only if this is safe and feels right for you. You can also choose to write a letter or confront your abuser over the phone. In addition, you have legal rights in Kansas as an abuse victim. You can seek justice, accountability and financial compensation through a civil sexual abuse lawsuit.
Filing a civil claim can shed light on the wrongdoing that was committed against you by an abuser. You may have grounds to bring a claim not only against the individual but also an institution. If you suffered from child sexual abuse at school, for example, your lawyer may be able to hold the school or school district accountable for failing to protect you from a predatory teacher.
A Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Provide a Confidential Consultation About Your Rights
Many victims of abuse grapple with the decision of whether or not to confront their abusers. This can be a difficult choice to make for many reasons. You may be dealing with feelings of fear, shame, guilt, anxiety and suppressed rage. At DRZ Law, our Kansas sexual abuse attorneys understand what you are going through.
We are here to help you tell your story and seek justice in the safest way possible. This includes keeping your identity anonymous during a civil lawsuit against an abuser, if desired. We are passionate about representing victims of abuse, neglect and domestic violence in Kansas. Find out how we can help you during a free and confidential case evaluation.