Hushed Voices, Secrets Untold

Giving women a voice, one day at a time

Archive for the month “October, 2010”

Domestic Violence Prevention

Domestic violence is a vicious cycle that grabs a hold of families and repeats itself over generations. When I was a little girl, growing up in a home filled with domestic violence and alcoholism, my mother never had time to talk to me about how to avoid domestic violence as she was living her own personal nightmare. After my father died and we moved on, all my mother wanted to do was forget about everything that had happened to her. I don’t think she ever really dealt with all of the feelings and the pain. As I grew older, my mother never wanted to talk about the pain she endured, nor would she ever talk about my father. I grew up literally not understanding what had happened in my own home. Until I was living my own hell, called domestic violence, and then it was too late.

The key to prevention and breaking the cycle is speaking out, finding a voice and educating others.  Had my mother talked to me about her experiences, and given me the tools to be educated about domestic violence, the cycle may have ended with her. However, I never found out what behaviors to look for, what signs to look for, and how not to be drawn to men that make me feel good about myself in ways that are not healthy. If you have a daughter, please make sure she is aware of this problem, and what to do if it occurs. Also, talk to her about how a good man is supposed to treat her, and how to stay away from men that will only hurt her.

Another means of prevention is community education and volunteering at agencies that provide assistance to these victims. Getting the word out about this silent epidemic is key to prevent it from spreading.  Domestic violence is the silent epidemic no one talks about, because society has given a stigma to domestic violence survivors, like we have something to be ashamed of. This has to change if we are to conquer this problem.

I am not ashamed, I do not hang my head and want to hide the fact I was abused. If anyone should be ashamed it is the abusers NOT the victims. Once I was free, it took me years of therapy to understand that the violence occurred not because of something I did but, because he was insecure and did not love himself enough to love me the way I was meant to be loved. It took me forever to realize that none of my suffering was my fault. I finally realized I could be loved for me the way I was meant to be loved, and there was help out there, and another life free of pain and suffering.

If you are suffering and need help, I have listed four contacts under the Get Help section of my blog. You can click there and find the help you need.



What is Domestic Violence?

In my last post I talked about defining domestic violence. What is domestic violence? Domestic violence is about manipulation, anger and control. Domestic violence includes emotional, physical and sexual abuse, even if the abuse is subtle. Domestic violence can include loud verbal abuse or arguments, non-physical, but it is just as demeaning and degrading. The abuse can be sexual, using the bedroom as the punishment for wrong doing, or it can be simply physical, leaving tell-tale signs on the abused partner.

Those who abuse are all about anger and control. Everything must be manipulated and controlled by them. Their control is what gives them the “power” to demean and degrade in the relationship. Domestic violence begins silently like a brewing storm. One day he begins to question where you have been, who you have been talking to. This quickly escalates to him checking your cell phone, monitoring your calls, refusing to allow you to talk on the phone to others unless he is present, and then removing your phone completely because he is afraid he can no longer control you in fear you may call for help. Then he begins following you to work, refusing to let you take your own car to work, and then begins going everywhere with you including the grocery store and even the bathroom because he no longer trusts you.

Then the process begins of cutting you off from everyone and everything you love. This is the ultimate “power” trip for most abusers. He is in total control at this point; you have no one but him. He thinks he has you where he wants you. This is where the physical violence usually begins to escalate. The smacks across the table and the bruised cheeks are no longer enough. He has a point to prove. You belong to him and no one else. The violence becomes more routine and if he drinks that escalates as well.

This is why most domestic violence offenders are outraged when the victims finally leave or seek help. They have lost control. It is all about the control.

If you are suffering, you are not to blame, they are. Reach out, I know it is hard and frightening, but that phone call could save your life, and lead to a new life of health and happiness. If you need help please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number  1−800−799−SAFE  (7233). There are people waiting there who care.


Defining Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a vicious cycle that grabs a hold of families and repeats itself over generations. I am a survivor, my mother was a survivor. I never wanted to repeat the cycle that my mother endured. For some reason, children of domestic violence seem drawn to those that will repeat the cycle for them, people that are not good for them or their self-esteem. Growing up in a home filled with domestic violence I never wanted that kind of life for my children, but unfortunately I got drawn into that violent cycle as a young girl.

When I speak of my years living in a marriage with domestic violence, people always ask, “Why did you stay so long?” This is not an easy question to answer. When you are living a life of domestic violence there is a love/violence circle that goes on day after day, month after month, year after year. There will be days of peace and days of hurt and pain.

The days that are filled with hurt and pain are followed by apologies, flowers, promises to never do it again, and filled with love. Those days can be long periods of time or short ones. You never know with domestic violence offenders, they have anger issues, they drink and they have very short fuses. You never know what will set them off. It could be something simple as a wrinkle in their favorite shirt, it could be their food is not heated properly, it doesn’t really matter the reason, it just happens.

The days that are filled with hurt and pain, you say to your self, “How can I stay?” and the days filled with peace you say, “Why should I leave?” This cycle continues until you just cannot stay anymore.

As I continue this journey I will explore many of the answers to these questions and try to answer many more about finding help and escaping the hell that is domestic violence. For now, I would like to leave the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number  1−800−799−SAFE (7233). If you are reading this and need help please do not be afraid to call. There are people waiting here to help you. I know making this call is frightening, I made that call and it changed my life. Help is waiting, you are not alone.



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