The Need for a Survival Guide
For any victim of coercive control the experience and subsequent impact will be different; for men, women and children; whether the victim is still in the relationship or they have escaped. Hence, the survival guide is a guide only. It is not the definitive fix-all solution so take from it what you need.
The victim will have to rely on family or friends and at some point a professional whether it be the Police, a charity, welfare services, family courts , doctors, therapists and lawyers. Whilst family and friends might be supportive they will not fully understand what the victim has been through or is going through. With regards to the professionals the thing to remember is that no matter how qualified they may be or how robust their procedures, their positive and successful support of a victim depends entirely on how the resources might be stretched and the professional individuals own ability and conscientiousness. Not all professionals will empathise. Not all professionals are conscientious. Not all professionals are equally knowledgeable.
The victim will potentially have been through a life-changing experience where the abuse has affected and will continue to affect everything they think and feel on a daily basis.
Escaping the toxic relationship is likely to place the victim in a more vulnerable place as they try to survive in a new environment without the psychological tools and resources which every human being needs to continue their normal existence but in the victims world they have been compromised, manipulated or stripped.
Whilst the victim lives in hope that the Police, lawyers, courts and welfare officers may help achieve closure through some form of justice, the actual processes and procedures are not victim friendly; the victim may have to recount and re-live the abuse which could add to the existing anxiety and depression. What if the victim is not heard and justice does not prevail? They do not stop being a victim. Even if a successful Police investigation and subsequent conviction was to result, even if the family courts and welfare services heard and considered the victims account, this might help the victim gain closure but it will not necessarily undo or repair the psychological damage.
Knowing and understanding what they themselves have been through, being aware of the psychological impact of the abuse they have endured, knowing a little about the new world they are entering and trusting, and knowing what options are available to them can all contribute towards any recovery.