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.