October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, viagra buy viagra sale and with recent reports in the news about such cases, cialis generic this topic weighs heavily on my heart. I finally found the words to express my thoughts. In America, we inherently have a “victim blaming” mentality when it comes to accusations about domestic violence. We don’t shout at them and say they did anything wrong, but we “blame” them for staying. We look at them as weak for “not standing up for themselves” or taking the initiative to start a new life. Men, women, and children are all potential victims to this fate and are entitled to the support and love they heavily need. I’ll admit – I was part of that “blaming” culture because I never wanted to see any man, woman, or child in this position, but after my own incident, I realized why it’s hard to leave.
Let me tell you a story…
About 4.5 years ago I began dating a fellow classmate who seemed to fit my “type” (anyone who knows me, knows that I like my ‘cool nerds’). He was highly intelligent, witty, charismatic, made me laugh immensely, romantic, came from a good family and appeared to be an overall “good guy”. The first 3 months of our relationship was a typical honeymoon phase, but afterwards, he seemed different. It started out small, like constantly harboring on the little things about me, making everything seem like it was my fault, and being downright verbally abusive at times. I know at this point anyone would say to me, “Danielle, you should’ve left right then”, and you’re probably right, I should’ve but when you constantly hear such negativity and ridiculousness, unfortunately you start believing it – no matter how strong you are. This is how the abuse cycle starts…and then it gets bigger. I remember the first time he got physical with me: we were coming back to my apartment after class and I said something loudly that he apparently didn’t like. When we got into the elevator, he shoved me so hard that my back slammed into the bar and then repeatedly did it in the apartment. My fight-flight instincts kicked in to defend myself and I shoved him back. I was in complete, utter shock that a man would ever lay his hands on me. A few weeks later he came home drunk from a party and because I didn’t want to have drunken sex he pulled a knife on me – luckily I grabbed it from him. The last time he placed his hands on me was after an argument. He punched my chest with the heel of his hand over both breasts – I took pictures that night to keep as evidence. What did I do to deserve such treatment?
I should have left, you’re right, but I was afraid. I was afraid he would enact on his promises to hurt me. I was far away from my family and didn’t know what to do. I felt alone – but I wasn’t. I’m very fortunate to have a perceptive mother who knows that when I go abnormally silent, something is wrong, and something was indeed very wrong. I may not say it enough, but I am thankful for the family that I have. Without their undying support at that time, I would not be where I am now My mother flew to where I was to help me and after I got home, I slowly started to heal. I blamed myself for awhile, thinking that I was smarter than that for being in that sort of relationship and not leaving. I actively sought a domestic violence counselor and learned about how this pattern manifests. It’s all about control and ego; the feeling that they can mentally, emotionally, and physically dominate someone. I realized it wasn’t me, it was him. I was stronger than I thought.
My story is minute compared to those who have endured domestic violence their whole lives, but I would like to say to them: You are stronger than you realize. You may feel helpless or think it’s “love”, but you’re worth a million times more than what you’re receiving.
Sometimes my friends ask me how we should stop domestic violence. I don’t believe there is a clear answer to that question because there’s many factors to it, but here are some of my ideas:
Education – Education is power. Part of the reason we blame victims is because we do not understand the psychology of abuse and nor do we believe that it’s entirely real. It is very real. It causes immense emotional, psychological, and physical damage to anyone it touches.
Cultural attitude – First, statistics show that minorities have a higher percentage of domestic violence. There seems to be an ambivalence to it because “that’s just how we do things”, which isn’t necessarily correct. Secondly, we assume the victim is usually a child or woman, but men are also victimized. They deserve the same support as any victim of domestic violence.
Support and compassion – We all have an inner circle that we rely on for emotional support. It’s extremely, extremely important for those that are abused to have a security network. Unfortunately being in a violent relationship is isolating; the abuser wants you to feel alone and places you in that position. Family and friends: show them you’re there to give endless support, love, and advice. I understand if you may get frustrated with them for not leaving, but eventually they will, they will. Never give up on them.
Communication – This goes out to those currently facing domestic violence. I am naturally a private person myself, especially when it comes to my relationships. I like trying to resolve the issue myself before asking for advice, but sometimes this isn’t always the correct method. I know this is easier said than done, but try communicating with loved ones about what you’re experiencing. They won’t know unless you tell them.
The cycle of abuse often starts slow and unassuming, but it quickly progresses. It stops with you, with us. Let’s start today so no man, woman, or child has to face this alone.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading