Being isolated is an important topic regarding violence prevention. Most people associate isolation with being alone in a remote or secluded location. However, many abusers first create a sense of isolation in their victims’ minds, even when surrounded by many people.
Isolation is a strategy used by abusers to instill a sense of loneliness and disconnection from others. Victims may experience feelings of exclusion, exclusion from meaningful relationships, and adoption of a mindset that leads them to believe they are not worthy of connection or support.
People in abusive relationships can feel isolated and overwhelmed, not just by the abuser but also by the lack of understanding of their situation and the judgement of those who think they should “Just tell someone.”
Speaking up is not as easy as people may think, as the cycle of abuse can lead to feelings of shame, fear, and doubt. Those who do not understand abusive relationships should be more sensitive and understanding and realize that it takes great courage for a person to reach out for help.
Often, physical isolation is preceded by emotional and mental isolation, which can be created by presenting an ideal relationship that is then taken away.
It is sometimes created oppositely by presenting an ideal relationship, then gradually moving the characters to physical isolation, where the emotional and mental isolation intensifies.
Founder, SAFE Violence Prevention & Self Defence