Most relationships have an element of physical playfulness ingrained in the interactions between the two participants in love, such as mock fighting where no harm is done. But is it normal when your girlfriend starts to hit you like a young Mike Tyson in his prime? It’s not normal for your girlfriend to hit you, and you must address the issue immediately.
It is not normal for your girlfriend to hit you. When your girlfriend starts hitting you, it is classified as domestic violence by the Department of Justice. Terminating the relationship or seeking professional help for your girlfriend are options when confronted with physical abuse.
When a girlfriend starts hitting you, it’s a good indicator that the relationship needs termination or serious professional help. If you stay in an abusive relationship, you become a victim of domestic violence, which will destroy you physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s not ok for your girlfriend to hit you. Ever.
My Girlfriend Is Hitting Me – Is It Normal?
We live in a society where violence is celebrated. Any “action” movie will have numerous scenes of violence where we collectively root for the hero to kick some butt. We are exposed to it daily through various social media and news platforms, and it’s an inescapable element of life.
That doesn’t mean you must tolerate it when violence hits close to home. A girlfriend who hits you is in no shape or form a sign of “normalcy,” as violence between two people in a relationship is considered abuse. Abuse in the form of physical violence is dangerous and punishable by law.
If your girlfriend is hitting and physically abusing you, you need to address the issue immediately in any of the following ways:
- Terminate the relationship
- Enroll in therapy sessions
- Alert authorities
- Reach out to family and friends
- Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Seek legal advice
Physical Abuse Is Considered Domestic Violence
When you think of domestic abuse and physical violence, a man hitting a woman is probably the first image that comes to mind. And you won’t be wrong when conjuring up the picture as it’s estimated that 1-in-4 women are affected by domestic violence in their lifetime.
The CDC estimates that 1-in-10 men have “experienced sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported at least one impact of the violence.”
Domestic violence, according to the Department of Justice, is defined as the following:
- “Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.”
- “Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological, or technological actions or threats of actions or other patterns of coercive behavior that influence another person within an intimate partner relationship.”
- “This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”
Physical abuse is classified when a person does any of the following:
- Hair pulling
Refusing that a partner receives medical care or forcing a partner to use drugs or alcohol is also a form of physical abuse.
Why Does Your Girlfriend Hit You?
The first thing to do after your girlfriend has hit you is to have a calm discussion when the opportunity presents itself. Listen to why she hit you and discuss what will happen should it happen again, i.e., moving out or ending the relationship.
Figuring out why your girlfriend is hitting you can be a complex journey that only your girlfriend can undertake, as it will often involve some form of therapy.
Each person reacts differently to life’s experiences, such as trauma. When you throw personality defects into the equation, it can become difficult to assess why a person is “prone to violence” apart from the control aspect that comes with it.
Here are a few possible reasons that could play a role in why your girlfriend is hitting you, which doesn’t justify the abuse, rather shining some light on the “why”:
- Suffering from a mental disorder
- Struggling with unresolved trauma
- Anger management problems
- Unable to regulate emotions
- Unable to express emotions in a healthy manner
- Uses anger to get her way
- Grew up in an abusive household where violence was “normal”
- Addiction issues
- Revenge (due to your past transgressions)
- Controlling personality type
- Medicinal side effects
- Not a good person
Many of the above reasons listed can be addressed via therapy and working on the problems in the relationship if both partners are committed to change. It may be that you fell in love with a person that’s not very nice and won’t change their behavior for anybody, so it’s best to pack your things and get out.
What To Do When Your Girlfriend Starts Hitting You
Never retaliate. Don’t fight fire with fire and revert to violence no matter the situation, as it may come back to haunt you or be used against you in a judicial setting. You might end up in jail and get a record, so refrain from hurling any abuse back to the instigator.
Defending yourself when your girlfriend is trying to kill you is different. Your best defense is to speak openly about the abuse to the appropriate people. Even if you feel shame because of the abuse, don’t keep quiet, as physical abuse tends to get worse, not better.
Reach out to the following people and authorities when you feel that your girlfriend is physically abusing you:
- Family and friends: Many abuse victims try to hide that they’re being abused rather than telling any close relatives or friends. Telling loved ones and people you trust about the abuse will free you of the shame you might be carrying, opening up options, such as a haven when the abuse starts.
- Contact the authorities: Your first port of call when being physically abused is to dial 911. Let the authorities diffuse the situation when you feel your life is threatened. Reaching out to authorities also creates a record of abusive instances.
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: Advocates working for the hotline are trained to assist the victims of domestic abuse and also the abuser who is concerned about their behavior. By talking to them, you will get some invaluable advice on your options in the future, such as safety plans and legal advice on how to address the issue. The number for the hotline is 800-799-7233.
- Look for shelters and assistance programs: Reaching out for help can include contacting shelters and joining assistance programs in your area. You will be connected to people who share the same journey as you, and talking to them can be therapeutic and educational regarding local law enforcement procedures and provide a haven while you plan your next move.
- Seek legal advice: It’s best to do things within the framework of state or federal law. When children are part of the equation, getting proper legal advice is best when exiting the relationship. Fighting for custody is best done with a lawyer.
As a rule, document all instances of abuse in a journal and by taking photos for future reference. Open a case of assault and get a restraining order if you’re not with your girlfriend anymore but share custody of the kids.
Restricting the abuser regarding your personal space is an effective way of stopping the abuse.
The Effects Of Staying In An Physically Abusive Relationship
Abuse of any kind will affect the victim negatively, so even if you believe that the person afflicting the abuse is “the love of your life,” be prepared to pay physically and mentally.
Physically you can expect cuts, bruises, broken bones, and death in worst-case scenarios. Mentally, you can expect to suffer shame, humiliation, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Is it worth going through all these afflictions with the supposed person that loves you? Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of courage under fire.
Don’t stay in an abusive relationship where the abuser controls your life. There’s always another way; all you have to do is reach out to the resources available. Removing children from an abusive and toxic environment is the right thing to do.
Continue Reading: Why Does My Wife Hit Me?
Any form of abuse is unacceptable. If your girlfriend is physically abusive, you must make an educated choice, depending on the circumstances. Either the abuser is willing to seek professional help and work on your relationship together, or you terminate the relationship to safeguard yourself from the physical and emotional trauma coming your way.
Reaching out to loved ones, friends, and authorities are all available options when you find yourself in a physically abusive relationship. Don’t stay in a relationship where abuse is part of the package.