Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wake up, People! Domestic Violence is an Epidemic!

While the intent of my blog is to chronicle the journey of surviving and healing after abuse, it's worth speaking about the main catalyst of my blog in the first place. Domestic Violence. I doubt I would be blogging if I hadn't been assaulted. 

Here are the facts:
  • On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day
  • 1 in 4 women in the United States are victims of Domestic Violence at some point in their lives.
  • Each year, intimate partner violence (IPV) results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women
First, if you are currently in an abusive relationship, please get help.  I'm begging you to leave! Get out! Your life is too precious to continue to be beat down and abused.  Life is too short to be in a miserable relationship.  The time is now to leave and get help.  Call someone, find the local shelter, go to a friend's house, have him arrested, and get a restraining order.  Refer to the Domestic Violence Hotline website for their hotline (1.800.799.SAFE (7233)) , how to develop a safety plan, and where to get help locally.  You can do it!  Remember it is not your fault! There is support out there.  You are not alone.

And if you have children, I plead with you for their sakes, leave!  Studies show that boys who witness domestic violence are more likely to be abusers when they are older.  Girls who witness domestic violence are more likely to be victims themselves.  Break the cycle! And more importantly, a child's life is too precious to be subject to abuse emotionally or physically.  A child's job in life is to experience the magic and wonder of childhood.  To learn about the world and to grow into better people than ourselves.  Don't for one minute waste their precious lives!!!!

Second, what is abuse?  Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual, or physical.  From the website, some examples of abuse are:
  • name-calling or put downs
  • keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
  • withholding money
  • stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
  • actual or threatened physical harm
  • sexual assault
  • stalking
  • intimidation
"Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence."

It was difficult for me to get my head wrapped around the idea that I was being abused.  While, I was not beaten regularly, I was put down, I was grabbed and shoved against the wall, I was hit and thrown off the bed, I was forced to have to sex where it was all about control.  And then finally the last straw, being thrown to the floor and having my head slammed into the floor in front of our son.  I knew then I had to put a stop to the abuse or else he would keep sweeping it under the rug and blaming me for the abuse.  So, if you are being abused in any manner listed above, GET HELP!

And finally, more than three women are killed every day by their husband or boyfriend???  This is not acceptable! These are the individuals that say they love us and will take care of us.  And 2 million injuries per year???  How many more go unreported?  Come on people, wake up!  This stuff is happening every day in our neighbors' houses down the road, to people we think have the perfect marriage, to rich people, poor people, blacks and whites.  I believe our culture perceives that domestic violence only occurs with poor African-Americans or Hispanics, or maybe poor white women in the backwoods of southern Appalachia.  But it doesn't!!! The reason I include the picture of myself on this site is to show that abuse can happen to average, middle class, blond hair, blue eyed, white women.  Not poor women, not fat, ugly women.  To anyone!  Violence against women in our culture is more prolific than we'd like to believe.  Domestic Violence is an epidemic.  We'd like to think that with the strides women have made for more equality and equal pay in the workforce, more equality in marriage, that women have a stronger presence in our culture.  Yet, domestic violence still occurs.  Men still abuse women simply because they can.  Our culture still objectifies women and promotes the stereotype that men must be strong, domineering, and in control.  I obviously don't know the answer or can solve the problem here.  My purpose is get victims to seek help and to make others more aware that domestic violence occurs where you'd least expect, and we as a society can not keep sweeping it under the rug either.

1 comment:

  1. My heart quickens as I read your experience with DV. I cannot imaging how hard it must have been. It breaks my heart to learn about struggles women face with DV. Thanks for this valuable information. I think many will find it useful.