Relationships

Violent relationships

Dear Wendyl, Recently my boyfriend and I had a huge argument. We had both had a bit to drink, but I never expected him to hit me. He whacked me across the side of my face so hard that I fell against the

Dear Wendyl,

Recently my boyfriend and I had a huge argument. We had both had a bit to drink, but I never expected him to hit me. He whacked me across the side of my face so hard that I fell against the kitchen cupboard.

We were both totally shocked and stopped arguing. He immediately started apologising and hasn’t stopped saying sorry since. My immediate thought was to get out of there, but then things calmed down and now I’m not sure what to do. Should I forgive him and hope it never happens again? We’ve been together for two years and this is the first time he’s ever shown any violence towards me, or anyone for that matter.

on the other hand, could it only be a matter of time before he lashes out again?

Scared, by email

Dear Scared,

The first thing you need to know is that domestic violence thrives on secrecy. So talk to someone close to you and get some support. Visit areyouok.org.nz for a list of people you can contact, or call 0800 456 450 for advice. The important thing is that you’re safe and supported. Next, you need to deal with your boyfriend.

Is he open to getting help for his violence issues, or is he in denial? If he’s willing to work with you to change himself, then it’s up to you whether you work with him on that. If he claims it will never happen again and is encouraging you to forgive and forget, then I would look at how much he values you and your need to be safe and secure. It’s not okay to be violent, so his behaviour shouldn’t be swept under the carpet in the hope that it won’t emerge again.

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