Domestic Violence Survivors


Love shouldn’t hurt. You didn’t deserve what happened. Let’s talk about restoring control and building empowerment.

Domestic violence is a traumatic experience that often has severe impacts on an individual’s mental health. Also called “domestic abuse” or “intimate partner violence,” it refers to a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control over someone. It may be in the form of physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, or psychological actions or threats intended to coerce, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, control, or pressure another person. Those affected might include significant others or dating partners, family members, roommates, or others who are in close relationships. Anyone can be affected by domestic violence, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, ability, socio-economic status, or any other form of human difference. Abuse of any type is NEVER okay and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Survivors of domestic violence often suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, inner despair, and more. Constant fear and intimidation can lead to feelings of being trapped with no escape. In addition, due to the manipulation often involved in domestic violence, many people struggle to confront the situation. They may be in denial, internalize the problem as their own fault, feel too overwhelmed to take action, or they may rely on the financial or practical resources available within the relationship, making it seem impossible to leave. Further, abusers are often skilled at making “promises” for things to change, twisting reality and pulling their partners closer to them. Unfortunately, temporary relief is often short-lived, and the cycle of violence begins again. The harsh emotional instability of domestic violence is exhausting, dehumanizing, and often very frightening.

At River Oaks Psychology, our goal is to help survivors of domestic violence regain control and a sense of empowerment so they can make safe decisions for themselves and begin the healing process. We will never tell a person what to do or push them to make a choice they are not comfortable with. Instead, we compassionately listen to the real stories of domestic violence survivors, gently offer guidance toward goals they set for themselves, and serve as partners alongside your journey, whatever that may look like for you.

Your unique experiences are valid. It’s time to shift from disempowerment to real, authentic ownership and control over your life again.

We see you. We hear you. We believe you.

Therapy can help survivors of domestic violence process their feelings and experiences in a safe environment where they are free to be themselves without the fear of judgment. Reaching long-lasting recovery takes time and effort, and one of the most important pieces of the healing process is learning how to separate one’s own identity from the experience of abuse. This allows survivors to feel more empowered as they begin to recognize that they are not defined by the trauma they have faced. Therapy can also help people let go of shame or guilt, challenge any thoughts about self-blame, and reframe negative thinking patterns into healthier, more positive ones. Further, therapy helps survivors set boundaries in relationships and develop healthier, more assertive communication practices with others over time. Above all, therapy sessions provide a strong sense of validation as individuals share their experiences without fear of retaliation or minimization.