Growing up in an unhealthy home, I witnessed many beatings of not only my mother at the hands of my father and step father but also beatings of aunts from my uncles while their children watched. There are misconceptions about domestic abuse and who the victims are. I hope that you take a moment to read this blog and perhaps gain some insight into what this is and more importantly how we can change the situation.
To those who may be living in a domestic violent situation:
This blog also contains a self help section below giving you idea’s on how you can leave safely if you are now in a domestic violence situation alone or with children. If you need help, please reach out. I have helped others and I will help you too. You are not alone.
*Domestic violence happens to both men and women. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight.
*Domestic violence drags children in using them as an excuse to stay and continue the abuse when it is detrimental to the children.
*Children of domestic violence may have symptoms of PTSD depending on the age they begin to witness it and will continue to affect the remainder of their lives.
*Domestic violence is everyone’s issue and not just those involved. The people who are involved in this lifestyle will need counseling, children may need special help at school, children may grow up using violence as their way to deal with stress.
*Domestic violence may go on behind closed doors but family and friends may suspect it though they may choose not to intervene because it’s not their problem.
*Domestic violence happens in all financial settings from poor to very rich.
*Domestic violence is about control. The abuser may have witnessed abuse in his/her life and never dealt with the anger it brought. When they grow up they just continue on with the violence because that is the only thing they know. Often times, abusers will have high stress factors in their life an do not have the coping/management skills to deal with it.
*Again, domestic violence is not only a man on woman situation but can be a woman on man, man on man, woman on woman. Forget the stereotype that only men are abusers.
*Domestic violence victims can become survivors with time and help.
I have a group on Facebook for those who are survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, incest and rape where we discuss what to do to get out of it.
Some points I have made and which have helped at least two women leave their domestic violence lifestyle are as follows:
*Find someone you can trust and give them a code word. If you are in a serious situation and need the police to come to your location, giving someone you trust a code word can help save your life. You don’t need to tell them why you will need them to call the police if you say the word but just need them to call the police if they hear you say it. Choose a common word which your abuser will not know is a code word for help. In one case, a woman called her boss and said she needed a vacation and was going to enjoy a nice piece of chocolate cake. The code word was chocolate. When her boss received a call from her with that comment, she called the police who showed up while her husband was straddled on top of her punching her in the face repeatedly. She managed to get away.
*Save a few dollars at a time in a second location. Abusers may notice if there is suddenly a few hundred dollars missing from the bank account but the victims may be putting aside five or ten or even twenty dollars when they have a little extra. Store this in a secondary location so it is safe and when you have enough and are ready to leave, you will have some money to fall back on.
*Take pictures or video of every bruise and injury you sustain at the hands of your abuser. Save it on a thumb drive and keep this with the money at the secondary location. Save them by date so you know exactly when you sustained the injuries. Keep a diary with that information as well to go along with the pictures or video.
*Keep a copy of all doctor’s office visit where you are seen for injuries you have sustained. Keep this at the secondary location and add the doctor’s office visits to the diary. Include dates, times and reason for visit along with any treatment you received.
*Get copies of all your important documents. Store your government issued ID copies in the secondary location. Social Insurance, drivers license, birth certificate, medical information.
*If you have children, make sure to also get copies of school records, birth certificates, immunization records and any other government issued documents. Store these in a secondary location.
*DO NOT USE YOUR CHILDREN AS AN EXCUSE TO STAY. Some domestic violence victims believe it is better for the children to be in a home with two parents rather than one even though it means they see violence on a regular basis. There is no good reason for your children to have to stay in an abusive home. If you are scared, imagine what your children feel knowing their parent is terrified and there is nothing they can do to stop it. Children would rather not be in a violent home even if it means being with one parent.
*Research local shelters for victims of domestic abuse for singles or families, depending on your situation. Try not to do this at home using any of your media devices to access the internet or the abuser may check the history.
*Don’t give up. You may be a victim today but tomorrow you will be a survivor.
As a witness to domestic violence as a child, I can tell you that it changed me. For many years there was a severe lack of trust of any male, including my own husband who has always been a good man to both myself and my children. He literally loved me through every tear and nightmare while showing me that love doesn’t have to hurt. My hope is that you know that too.
For those in a domestic violence situation:
*This is not your fault. You don’t control the world and you certainly don’t control the person who is angry enough to be violent. You don’t lift their hand, clench it into a fist and then force them to hit you with it. The fault is that of the abuser.
*You have done nothing to deserve being hurt. No one is perfect, not even the abuser, though they might tell you they are. Just because you don’t do something does not mean you deserve to be hit.
*You are beautiful. You are handsome. You are amazing. You are strong. You are a hero. You are not the negative words which come out of the abusers mouth. They say the words to hurt you because they lack control in their own lives.
*You deserve happiness and love. You deserve soft touches and gentle hugs.
*You are not alone. You may feel as though no one will care or help you but that is not true. I care. I will be here if and when you need me.
Please see and hear and help instead of turning a blind eye and deaf ear. You can make the difference between life and death. Happiness and sorrow. Be the change you want to see.