Looking After Yourself
There are a range of strategies you can do to care for yourself and to recover a sense of safety, self-worth and control over your life.
It’s important that you practice looking after yourself, and doing things that are good and right for you. Think about things that make you feel happy and put time and (if necessary) money aside to do them. It could be as simple as going for a walk.
If you lost contact with friends or family during the relationship think about making contact with them again.
Ensure you are as safe as possible, you could do this by making a new safety plan after the relationship has ended, and sharing it with a trusted friend, family member, colleague or doctor. You might decide to move house or change the locks on your doors. Whatever you decide, feeling secure in your own home is very important.
- For information about residential security and how to make your home safe and secure check out the NSW Police Force website.
- People who have experienced domestic and family violence may be eligible for financial assistance support from Victims Services to change locks, improve security or move house. See the Victims Services website for more information.
- Staying Home Leaving Violence is a NSW program for women who have experienced domestic violence, and who want to stay in their home and need support and advice on how to do so safely. To find out if there is a Staying Home Leaving Violence program in your area, search the NSW Government website.
- Start Safely is a subsidy for people who are eligible for social housing in NSW. It aims to provide short to medium term financial help to eligible clients, including those with children, who have experienced domestic and family violence so that they can secure private rental accommodation and do not have to return to the violent situation. For more details go to your local Housing NSW Office or call 1300 468 746.
Recognise that recovery will take time. For some people it takes months or years, others say that they always live with the impacts of the abuse but that it has helped them become more resilient people.
It’s important to try and give yourself time to grieve the loss of the relationship and the hopes and expectations you had of it. There are going to be good days and bad days so try and consider ways you might deal with the bad days. If there continues to be more bad days than good, you might be experiencing depression and it’s advisable to see a professional counsellor.
It might seem like a huge challenge but talking about your feelings with trusted friends or family can really help. You can also talk to staff at 1800RESPECT Helpline (1800 737 732).
If you need some additional support, you can also access free counselling through Victims Services (up to 22 counselling sessions). You can apply over the phone or online for counselling with Victims Services. Your doctor can also discuss options and a referral to free or subsidised counselling services under the Australian Government’s Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative. If you’re seeing a counsellor it’s a good idea to keep seeing them after the relationship has finished.
This new chapter of your life should be all about you and what you want to do. If you want to, you can make new friends by joining a support, social or special interest group. If you’re into playing sport for example, join a local sporting group or maybe do a TAFE or adult education class. Volunteer work can also be very rewarding and many people find supporting others to be a nurturing and healing experience.