One of the trap victims of domestic violence may fall into is believing the abuse they suffer is their fault. Abusers seldom take responsibility for their actions. Instead they deflect the blame to the victim. In a conversation once with a man who constantly abused his girlfriend, he said to me “I really love her.” I asked, “Then why do you abuse her?” His answer was, “To tell you the truth I don’t know. Sometimes she makes me so mad.” I was not at all surprised that he chose to blame her for his inability to control his anger.
Victims of domestic violence need to know it is not their fault. You do not deserve abuse. You should never accept abuse. Do not keep silent about abuse or feel ashamed it is happening to you. Instead speak up. Seek help.
Cases of domestic violence is up as many individuals find themselves quarantined with abusive partners. For many there is little they can do about it. There is a saying, “prevention is better than cure.” If we apply this to many life situations, we can avoid making serious mistakes.
The most important way to prevent being trapped in an abusive relationship is knowing the signs to watch out for. A woman may say of a partner; he loses his temper sometime and tells me mean, hurtful things. He is controlling and jealous but he never hits me. His temper, jealousy and controlling ways are all warning signs you should not ignore. The mean hurtful things he tells you, is an indication that emotional abuse has already begun.
When it escalates to the point where he encourages you to cut off communication with your friends or make you choose between him and your family you need to run. Isolation is one of the biggest clue that he is grooming you for abuse. If you cut off ties with the ones closest to you, when the abuse begins, you will have no one to turn to. The longer you stay the more control you lose and the harder it is to leave. Know the signs. Look out for them, and take action to avoid unnecessary hurt and pain.
Over the past months I have been following two stories of mothers who have gone missing. In March of the year Andreen McDonald of San Antonio, Texas went missing. Her husband was charged with tampering evidence. To date her body has not been found. Her six year old child will no doubt be asking when is mommy coming home.
The other case involves a woman from Connecticut. Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five went missing three weeks ago. Her estranged husband and his girlfriend were charged with tampering of evidence. The search continues for this missing mother.
There is little hope of finding these women alive. My message to these men and others with the same thought process is that no good can come with harming others. If you are in a marriage and it is not working out, walk away, get a divorce…life goes on. Don’t leave your children to suffer.
Your silence is the greatest weapon your abuser has to use against you. The longer you keep silent and accept abuse the more he will break you down and rob you of your self-esteem. Soon you will believe you can’t do any better, no one else is going to love you and a little love with abuse is better than no love at all. Stop! Do not believe his lies. You deserve better!
Domestic violence continues to be a scourge. Though it affect both women and men, women are three times more likely to die than men. The fight to end violence in relationship is not an easy one as often many people do not seek help until the abuse becomes unbearable and the relationship so toxic that addressing it becomes more complex.
Before it gets to that point one must take action. Learn to recognize the signs that someone may be grooming you for abuse. When someone raises his hand and strikes you, then apologize and you forgive him and stay and the cycle is repeated again and again, that person is grooming you to accept abuse as a part of your relationship. Don’t fool yourself into believing he will change and things will get better. It never does. The moment the abuse begins is the moment you must get out of the relationship.
One of latest gruesome story coming out of India is that of a twelve year old girl who was gang raped by an uncle and two of her brothers. According to reports she was taken to her uncle’s house where the rape occured. When she threatened to go to the police, she was reportedly strangled. She was then beheaded and her body was dumped in bushes. The uncle and one of her brothers have since been arrested.
The fact that a child was treated in this manner is mind boggling. To know that the people who perpetrated the act is her own family makes it even more despicable. When, if ever, will the abuse of women and the culture of rape in India stop. One has to wonder if the government is doing enough to protect women and girls. India has a terrible record of sex abuse against minors with over 36, 000 cases reported in 2016.
We need to create a society where a woman is not afraid to use her voice. Too often women keep quiet about sexual abuse because they fear no one will believe them. Sexual abuse against women and girls should not be accepted as a way of life. Men must take responsibility for their actions. Respect women. No means no!
There is the need for greater support for women and girls who become victims of human trafficking. More need to be done to eradicate sex trafficking and sex slavery of our women and girls. There is the need for greater awareness. If you suspect that a woman or girl is at risk say something. These vulnerable women and girls must be protected.
People who engage in acts of sex trafficking and holding women as sex slaves should face harsh punishment. We must protect or girls and women and give them a voice. If you suspect that someone is the victim of human trafficking call the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888
Abuse of women is a form of human rights violationthat affects women just about every where in the world. Ironically one of the thing which contributes to abuse is the lack of unity among women and the fact that in some societies women actually take part in abusing other women. In places such as India and Pakistan mother-in-laws and sister-in-laws often beat and torture a new bride if they are not satisfied with the dowry that the family receives. There is no unity among the sisterhood and they see nothing wrong with hurting one of their kind.
In countries where Female Genital Mutilation is practiced, it is often the women who carry out this gruesome operation. In the Cameroon and other places that practice breast ironing it is the women who hurt their daughters and inflict physical as well as psychological scars. Women disfigure and hurt their daughters in what they say is an attempt to protect them from rape and harassment by men. These women fail to grasp the understanding that what they are doing is just another form of abuse. It is a no win situation for many young girls; if the men don’t hurt them, their mothers will.
One of the biggest obstacle in eliminating abuse against women worldwide is the fact that in many countries women have been conditioned to accept abuse as a part of life. Women suffer abuse inforced marriages and do nothing to protect their daughters from experiencing the same fate. So the vicious cycle of abuse is allowed to continue. For many young girls there is no escape, no way out. There is no one to stand up for them and no one to protect them.
The change must start with women taking responsibility for protecting their daughters instead of hurting them. Women must unity in the fight forequal rightsfor women. Young girls must no longer be denied the right to an education and they should not be forced into child marriages for which they are not prepared physically, mentally or emotionally. Women must understand that abuse of any form is not acceptable.