It's My Life Now: Starting over after an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence

It's My Life Now: Starting over after an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence

It's My Life Now: Starting over after an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence

It's My Life Now: Starting over after an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence


Those who have never experienced an abusive or violent relationship often believe that upon finding a way out, victims' difficulties are solved: their life is good, they are safe, and recovery will be swift. However, survivors know that leaving is not the end of the nightmare -- it is the beginning of an often difficult and challenging journey toward healing and happiness. It's My Life Nowoffers readers the practical guidance, emotional reassurance, and psychological awareness that survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence need to heal and reclaim their lives after leaving their abusers.

Since its publication in 2000, It's My Life Nowhas been highly successful as a working manual for survivors who are starting their lives over after an abusive relationship. This valuable book combines direction on practical and emotional issues with worksheets and self-exploration exercises. Now, in the second edition, Dugan and Hock include updated information and resources while encompassing a wider range of individuals and the relationships in which abuse and violence occur. The new edition also provides a new emphasis on safety assessment, which has increasingly been shown to be a critical factor in recovery. In addition, this new edition includes current resources and information about organizations for victims along with revised and enhanced strategies to help survivors move forward on the path of recovery.


This book is for survivors who have recently left abusive relationships. It is a guide to help you through your transition to a new life, a life free of abuse, violence, and fear. This can be an exciting time for you; yet, as you know, it is also a period of readjustment, insecurity, anger, confusion, self-doubt, and, often, scary reentry into a new world. These feelings may emerge immediately after the relationship, or they may take months or years to surface.

Most books, articles, and other sources of information about domestic violence focus on the abusive relationship itself: how to know if you are in one, why people stay in violent relationships, why you should leave, how to get out, and so on. Rarely is adequate consideration given to what many see as one of the most critical times for a survivor of an abusive relationship: the time after the survivor leaves.

Not all abuse is perpetrated by men against women in heterosexual relationships. Unfortunately, women sometimes abuse men, and abuse and violence also occur in gay, lesbian, and transgender relationships (these instances of abuse are specifically discussed in this second edition in chapter 6, “Abuse of Men by Women, and Abuse in Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Relationships”). However, it is important to remember that abuse by men against women is the most common form of relationship violence. Consequently, this book’s primary focus is on women as victims and survivors. This in no way negates the horror of abuse in other partnership configurations. Anyone who has suffered from relationship abuse and domestic violence will find information throughout this book relevant and helpful.

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