Domestic Violence Awareness

She went to bed with a prince charming one night, and woke up to a monster the next morning. {a blog by DV survivor Ashley McCowan}

Silence.

Silence is what we are focusing on today.

I had session one of my 2018 Domestic Violence Awareness campaign. Our main focus was silence, and words our abusers used to control and manipulate us. I am sure that most of you know those words we are talking about…I wanted to put this photo of the new campaign out there, because it speaks volumes.

 

so many people live in fear, in silence.

To make a movement in the fight against domestic violence, It’s crucial to understand WHY people stay silent regarding Domestic Violence.  It could be because the victim doesn’t want their family to know. They are feeling ashamed.  It could be because they don’t want their career to suffer, or coworkers or bosses to view them differently or think they cannot handle their tasks. It could be that they are afraid of the retaliation from their abuser, or their abusers family. They could be afraid that if they do speak out, they will not have a support system and will be alone in their fight. Afraid to lose their children. Afraid for their life. Afraid to fail. I am sure I have readers from all of those categories, and much more. There are many reasons victims stay and do not speak up. That is why Domestic Violence is so hard to fight. So many intricate details that make it hard for victims to speak out. Speaking up about being abused is very scary. Letting people into your life is very scary. Admitting that your life has become this is even more scary.

The reality to this is there is no way to FULLY understand DV. We should all work harder to empathize with Victims rather than expect answers as to why. “Why did you stay?” “Why did you go back?”  “Why would you let him do that, I thought you were strong? Why would you let your kids be around that? Why do you not want to be treated. so and so would love you, and treat you good and you chose______ over him. So, it’s your own fault, you had other options and you chose the abuse” You see, it isn’t cut and dry. Abuse comes with extreme manipulation and control. so badly that you generally don’t know if you are coming or going. so bad that you truly don’t even know who you are anymore, and have no confidence to even make decisions for yourself any longer. DV is not just black and white…it is a HUGE grey area. WHY they stayed is irrelevant. They stayed, and we have to help them get OUT.

Imagine this.

you’ve been married for 10 years to the love of your life. He wakes up one morning with only one leg, one arm, and no hair or teeth. Do you drop him because he changed over night, or do you tell him you are going to love him despite the changes. Do you tell him you are going to work through whatever struggle you two may face together because “till death do us part”?  your seemingly perfect life has changed forever. You two used to love going out on the town and dancing the night away. You can longer do that due to your husbands condition. You are willing to give up on that because you love your husband, you can live without that.

Domestic Violence is the same way. Most abusers do not come into the relationship abusing you. They get you good and stuck, or trapped in a corner with no way out first. They create a bond with you like no other, make you feel like the million bucks you are worth… and then BAM. everything changes. You spend your time from that point on trying to make the relationship what is was before everything changed. Because, of course- the change is all your fault. You long for that relationship. You finally get out, they talk you into coming back because your husband you fell in love with is in there SOMEWHERE, he promises to change, and the cycle starts over.

PLEASE do not expect a victim to up and leave because her abuser isn’t who she thought he was. In most cases, it wasn’t something we could see coming… ultimately, she went to bed one night with a prince charming and woke up to a monster the next morning.

According to NCADV

 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murders are female.

Let that sink in. We wonder why women do not speak up when they are abused. along with everything else going on in their life…. there is FEAR. Abuser’s do not think, or act rationally when they start to lose control of their victim. Victims fear seeking help will make their situation worse. It will intensify the already emotional roller coaster of abuse, and at that point…you feel like you absolutely cannot go on any further. As soon as an abuser can no longer control you, or your emotions they generally turn to those close to you and try to change the way they view you. That is so hard to deal with as a victim.

Please if you are abused, suffering in silence…speak out. Turn to someone for help! Turn to ME for help, I will help you. I have a Facebook Domestic Violence Support Group, I also have a private support group that is completely secret. If you would benefit from that, please email me at the email in my resource tab.

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