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Tina B Tessina

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· The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart

· Money, Sex and Kids:

· It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction

· How To Be a Couple and Still Be Free

· The Real Thirteenth Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve S

· The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before 40

· The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again

· The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make AFTER Forty

· Dr. Romance asks: Are the Post-Holiday Blues getting you down?

· Dear Dr. Romance: How Do I Stop My Husband's Ex-Wife from Smothering Their

· Creating Family Acceptance

· Dear Dr. Romance: His Clutter Drives Me Crazy!

· Solving Problems Takes Equals

· Dr. Romance on Staying Young

· Practicing Patience

· Dear Dr. Romance: Won't solving the problem for myself create resentment?

· Happy New Year from Dr. Romance!

· Looking Backward, Looking Forward

· The Shape of Peace

· Inspiration

· Eternal Dance - Christmas 2005

· On Mitch and Jackie’s engagement

· On love

· Bitter lesson

· Redemption


· Storytellers

· Vessels

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Seven steps to follow if you're experiencing domestic violence, by Dr. Tina B. Tessina, a licensed psychotherapist and author of How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free.

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1. Realize it’s not going to get better.
If your partner flies into rage, verbally or sexually abuses or batters you or your children, no matter what he or she may say, it isn’t your fault, and you have no control over his or her behavior. Even the abuser has very little control. It is not just a one-time incident, it is an indication of a severely disturbed character, and it will not go away without years of intense therapy.

2. Protect yourself and your children.
The best way to do this is to tell the truth to family, friends, your minister, your doctor, your therapist, your co-workers, one of the hotlines listed below, the police and anyone else who will listen. There is no need for you to be ashamed, but there is an urgent need for you to get help. If it seems that no one is listening, consider that you might not be telling the whole truth—battered spouses have a tendency to downplay and make excuses for the abuse. The best protection for you and your children is for your abuser’s behavior to become public knowledge. The vast majority of abusers are cowards, who only prey on dependent, defenseless people. They like to believe they are in control, and they aren’t as likely to lose control before witnesses.

3. Once you have been physically abused, do not be alone with the abuser again.
This is another reason to tell everyone you know. You either need a place to go, or someone (perhaps several people)
to stay with you until you are safe. You may also need financial help.

4. If you are hit, call the police (911).
They respond much better now than they used to, and the law is now on your side. When they come, press charges. Do not make excuses to yourself or anyone else. If your abuser gets away with it even once, he or she will get more abusive. Do not listen to pleas for sympathy, understanding or forgiveness. You can forgive the abuser after he or she has gotten help, and only after you and your children are safe.

5. If injured, get medical help.
Tell the doctors and nurses the truth about how it happened.

6. File a restraining order.
Volunteers at the police department will help you fill it out. With a restraining order, you can call the police as soon as the abuser gets close to you or your home. Without one, the police need evidence of the abuse to arrest anyone.

7. Attend Al-Anon meetings.
You will learn a lot of good information that will help you avoid being someone else's victim.
For information:


Web Site Tina B. Tessina, self-help author, therapist

Reader Reviews for "What to Do About Domestic Violence"

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Reviewed by Tami Ryan 3/6/2004
I work for an agency as a Sexual Assault Counselor, and I also spend some of my time counseling victims of Domestic Violence. You mention some very important points. I'd like to add a few thoughts:
Most wo/men who are in this situation don't have the option of not being alone with the abuser again. They often don't have the financial and/or emotional support system of family and friends nearby, because the abuser alienates them. The most important thing(s) to do is to talk with someone; someone who can help you devise A Safety Plan. This is well-thought-out plan to make an escape at a time when the abuser is unsuspecting and caught off guard.
Even more important than a restraining order is a PFA (Protection From Abuse order). These have more serious consequences than a restraining order and the police do take them quite seriously. State Police have ready (nationwide) access to a PFA but not necessarily a restraining order and are more likely to act upon them.
There are Domestic Violence agencies all across the country; one in every county - some have more than one. The services that shelters/agencies offer are free of charge. To find an agency that can help, look in the phonebook under "Human Services". Domestic Violence agencies are listed under:
Abuse - Adult, Abuse - Children, Hotlines, Counseling Services, and Crisis Intervention. If you still have difficulty finding a telephone number, dial 911. They always know the number for the agency closest to you that can help.

I hope this helps. Thanks for an informative article, Tina.

Books by
Tina B Tessina

The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make AFTER Forty

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Money, Sex and Kids:

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The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart

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It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction

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The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again

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The Real Thirteenth Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs

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Amazon, more..

How To Be a Couple and Still Be Free

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Amazon, more..

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