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.
The numerous deaths of women due to domestic violence raises the question, “Are our men becoming more violent?” According to a new release by the United Nations Office on Drug and crime, 137 women worldwide are killed by partners or family members each day. Now that is alarming.
Not every case makes it to the news. In recent times there was the disappearance of Andreen McDonald in Texas. After months of futile search her remains was discovered and her husband arrested and charged with murder. We have the case of Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five from Connecticut who went missing back in May. To date her body has not been found. The most recent one that made the news was that Florida mom who went missing. Her body along with the bodies of her four children were found and her husband charged with murder.
The most horrendous story yet was that of Chris Watts, who murdered his pregnant wife and their two other children. He confessed that after his daughter Bella watched him smother her sister to death, said to him, ‘Please, Daddy, don’t do to me what you just did to CeCe.’ ” He killed her anyway. A young child pleads for her life and you still kill her. Where is the moral compass? Do men like Chris Watts deserve to live?
Domestic violence needs the attention of everyone in society. Talk about in the schools, in the workplaces, in the churches, In the prisons, in the social clubs. Talk to you brother, talk to your sister, if you know he or she is an abuser or is being abused. We must break this vicious cycle. Even if it’s uncomfortable, let’s start the conversation.
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!
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.
The following poem is a tribute to all the girls around the world who still have to endure the horror of breast ironing.
Punished for Being Beautiful
She is beautiful and she is so afraid,
In a perfect world her beauty would be a blessing,
But in her world it is something of a curse.
Boys will look at her,
Men will lust after her,
And for this she is punished.
Hot, searing iron is thrust into her breasts,
Her womanhood has to be disguised,
She is told It is for her own protection.
She carries the horror of this torture in her heart,
She wonders who will protect her,
From the pain of the hot iron being thrust into her breasts.
Who will protect her from the psychological scars
And from the physical pain,
Who will protect her from the distress
When she looks in the mirror and sees
Her scarred disfigured breasts.
She cries silently into her pillow
And she wonders is her pain will ever end.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Let’s get the conversation going.
An Open Letter to Men
From Women Against Domestic Violence
It is with tears in our eyes and fear for our lives that we pen this note to you. Domestic violence has taken the lives of many of our sisters leaving many of our homes broken and our children motherless.
Men we need you to understand that we are not the enemy so stop treating us like one. We give to you our love, our passion, our understanding and compassion, we trust you with our lives and all we ask is that you reciprocate and treat us right. Don’t see our love for you as a weakness, don’t leave us with cuts and bruises, don’t crush out our joy and leave us broken.
Men you need to understand that love is not supposed to hurt. If your love is causing your woman hurt then it means that you are doing something wrong. Any boy can hurt a woman but it takes a man to make her happy. So the next time you raise your hand to hit a woman stop and ask yourself am I a boy or am I a man. Treat women with love and respect….Be A Man!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Let us take a moment to reflect on the women who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Most of us know at least one person who was a victim of domestic violence.
As I reflect, a former classmate immediately comes to mind. She was a sweet beautiful soul who lost her life in her early twenties. She was in a relationship and broke up with the guy. Her ex got back in contact with her and asked her to meet him to talk things over; they had a child together.
Naively she went with him to a hotel room where her forced her to drink poison and later checked out leaving her dead body behind. This promising young woman’s life ended before it even began. She was the last person I expected to die that way. Her ex was charged and convicted for her murder.
As you reflect think of anyone know who is presently in an abusive relationship and encourage them to seek help.