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.