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Domestic Violence

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This time last year, I posted a thread about this topic and very little discussion was generated. I think it is so SAD that we continue to not talk about domestic violence, to keep it "behind closed doors" and label it as a "private matter."
Domestic violence affects EVERYONE. If you are not currently in an abusive relationship, you probably have been or know someone who was/is in one. I speak very openly about the abusive relationship I was in in college and how I finally ended it for good. The more we talk about domestic violence openly, the more we are taking the stance that it is NOT OK and should be treated like the CRIME that it is. NOBODY has the right to abuse their partner and a wedding ring certainly does not change that!

post #2 of 42

I think, though I could be wrong, that the reason why this topic doesn't generate much discussion is because everyone is pretty much in agreement when it comes to domestic violence. There's no debate... no, "She shouldn't have made him angry." No, "She got what she deserved."

I do personally know someone who was in an abusive relationship. I recently went with her (and a police officer) to get her things from her old home. It was heartbreaking. I never want to have to do that again. The emotion is overwhelming... the sadness is impenetrable... the pain is disgusting.

So, while I understand that you want to bring this issue to the forefront of people's minds, it's a tough subject to talk about because there's really no debate... nothing for people to go back and forth about. What you said in the second paragraph of your posts sums up what I think the vast, vast, vast majority of people on here think. So, don't take it personally if the topic doesn't generate much discussion... we agree with you. *hug*
post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
You're very right and I don't know why I didn't think of that. I am just so used to hearing people say that it's not a big deal or blaming the victim; I am very used to hearing from "abuser sympathizers" I guess is the best way to put it.

We have a family friend in a a very, very abusive marriage. I've tried to help her but she has some severe mental health issues (common for people who have been abused for years and years) that are preventing her from leaving her husband. Anyway, my mom took her to the hospital recently after she had a fall at the gym (fortunately just a sprained wrist). Her husband met her at the hospital and said, "Too bad she didn't fall and break her neck to put us ALL out of our misery." This kind of thing just sets me off!

I am so glad your friend is getting out of that abusive relationship. It is a very brave but very SMART move on her part and I wish her luck in her new,safer life!
post #4 of 42
Thanks for the well wishes for my friend. It made me so mad to hear her crying that she still loves him and that this was her home. I wanted to scream and cry and punch walls... This whole situation is especially hard for her because she's Indian... she and her (soon to be) ex moved here together (arranged marraige), and she doesn't know anyone that isn't friends with him. She's very scared, very sad, and very anxious about what's to come. But, on the bright side, even with all of that working against her, she still got out... still got away. She's doing what's best for her, and I think that deep down she knows it.

I hope your friend can get away from her abuser as well. It's hard to sit by and watch while our loved ones get hurt.
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
That so incredible that your friend got out....being in a foreign country in an arranged marriage....cultural issues often prevent women in such situations from leaving...she has my respect and admiration. Is she hooked up with the local domestic violence shelter? They can help protect her from her husband in ways that she probably never dreamed of!
post #6 of 42
Originally Posted by ugaimes View Post
That so incredible that your friend got out....being in a foreign country in an arranged marriage....cultural issues often prevent women in such situations from leaving...she has my respect and admiration. Is she hooked up with the local domestic violence shelter? They can help protect her from her husband in ways that she probably never dreamed of!
Amy, you're so right. I've seen it happen to a few of my students forced into arranged marriages. There may even be a group in Jillian's friend's area catering especially to girls and women in her situation.
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
You're right Tricia. Scranton PA is not a large town (my good friend is from there ) but many larger cities (Philadelphia perhaps?) have domestic violence agencies specifically geared towards particular cultural groups, such as Spanish-speakers or Southeast Asians. It'd be great if she could get hooked up with an agency geared towards women of similar ethnicities. I'd look at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's website, www.ncadv.org.
post #8 of 42
I just want to share part of a email that i got today:

names and city have been changed for security reasons

"Jack has assaulted me twice since we were last in touch and is now in jail receiving psychiatric treatment etc.

Not going back with him this time, going to see a flat in Birmingham tomorrow and putting this up for sale. Harry is coming down to freshen up painting etc so that I can get estate agent in and put up for sale. He is due to go to court on 27 October, not only has he been beating me, he has been going with other women. Also going to see a lawyer in Birmingham tomorrow and going to the hairdressers as he threw a can at my head on my birthday on 12 August, hopefully it has healed enough for me to get my hair tinted etc, it has went really grey with all the worry, stress, etc."

This woman has been together with this man for about 30 years, every time something has happened she always says she wont go back to him, can i really believe she will do it this time?

Amy I wish i could do the same work as you do, I admire you so much, and wish I could help so many other women in these positions.

As you know my family is also abusive ect and I really wish i could help other women out there who are in this situation!

SO MANY WOMEN ARE IN THIS SITUATION, It doesnt matter which country they are from either, it is sad, but the women have to stick together or atleast find someone who will give them hope at escaping their abusive environment.

just my two cents
post #9 of 42
I don't see how you do it Amy.

The anger would eat me up. I can feel my blood pressure rising just reading this thread.

I would have to go home and watch "The Burning Bed" every night to see some justice being done.

This subject and pedophiles are two of the worst.
post #10 of 42
A very close friend of mine has been an abused wife for almost 30 years. Even after enduring many drunken rages, beatings, broken bones, blame for everything that's happened in the last 100 years and punishment accordingly. She even bore the blame for their daughter being murdered at 17 "since you're such a ^$&%$*&%, no wonder she's dead."

Like ugaimes's friend, she suffers from mental illness as a result of all the abuse and receives government disability checks (which she gives promptly to the a**hole) as she cannot work.

Their other 3 kids have BEGGED , her family has begged, we even had an intervention on our front porch on night after the local police basically said "we are not coming to help, she will not press charges so there is nothing we can do." Her children stood on my front porch and , her son (18 at the time) crying that he did not want the youngest sister (who was 10) to come home from school and find Mom dead.

She just cannot break the cycle.

I wish to God I had 10 minutes alone with him in an alley.
post #11 of 42
I'm sorry, I don't think I could take that. You are a very good friend.

I think I would have to tell her to contact me when you leave him and I will help.

You are better than I am.
post #12 of 42
It is a hard cycle to break. I was so naive when I moved away from home with my boyfriend that I didn't even know men hit women. It never happened in my parent's house. He had me believing that is what happened when you didn't do everything perfectly. The best thing he ever did for me was wreck his motorcycle and die. Then I got into a worse situation, including my daughter this time. If it had not been for the wonderful man that I have had 22 wonderful years with, I have no doubt I would be dead or in prison by now. To be such a horrible situation, it is unbelieveably hard to get away from. I planned and plotted for almost 2 years, until an opportunity to escape presented itself. It still almost got both of us killed.
I don't know if anyone here is in that situation, I am sure someone probably is, but I have to tell you , IT CAN BE DONE. You can get away. Please don't waste another day of your life.
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
we even had an intervention on our front porch on night after the local police basically said "we are not coming to help, she will not press charges so there is nothing we can do."
I cannot tell you how many times I've heard police say this and how ANGRY it makes me each time. It is their JOB to respond to every crime that occurs, regardless of whether or not the abuse survivor wishes to press charges. If they say they're not going to come any more, they're giving the batterer carte blanche to continue his abuse .

If you know anyone who is in an abusive situation, the #1 thing to do is just to listen to them and do not judge. Unless you've been in an abusive relationship (and even then, no two situations are exactly alike), you can never tell anyone what to do. But, you can always be a shoulder to cry on and offer advice. Give them the website for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (www.ncadv.org) and their toll-free number: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They can like survivors up to resources in their area.

Like krazy kat 2 said, it IS possible to escape abusive relationships, no matter what the circumstances. It is in no way easy- in many respects, it is even MORE difficult than living with the abuse. However, advocates and law enforcement can help survivors (and their children) move, change their identities (social security #s, drivers licenses, the whole shebang) if the survivor is ready It ALL comes down to the survivor being ready. Fran, I sure hope your friend is ready to leave, but if for some reason she returns (the average survivor leaves approx. 13 times before they leave for good!!!), try to be encouraging and support her no matter what.

(BTW, I no longer work profesionally as a victims advocate (I'm a judicial case manager for the courthouse now), but I guess once an advocate always an advocate ).
post #14 of 42
There are so many courageous women on this board. I salute you.
post #15 of 42
Leaving an abuser is a hard decision - especially when stuff like this happens: Men set woman on fire.
post #16 of 42
Sadly, ugaimes, my friend has not reached that 14th time. She actually lived on her own with the kids for almost a year, and then the holidays rolled around and the drama unfolded again...

I pray for her to have the stength to save herself. She has one child at home in her last year of high school, maybe then she will not feel she has to "do whatever it takes to keep the family together" as I have heard her say so many times.

My husband does not even know where she lives now, because if he did he would go take care of the a**hole himself.

to you for your good works.
post #17 of 42
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
the local police basically said "we are not coming to help, she will not press charges so there is nothing we can do."
That is HORRIBLE! In FL if the cops come out to a domestic disturbance, SOMEBODY is going to jail. The victim doesn't have to press charges; the state will.
post #18 of 42
Thread Starter 
What a bone-chilling story that is of the women whose boyfriend burned 60% of her body...my God. What's scary but so common though is that they already had a history of abuse. People hardly EVER wake up and say "I think I'm going to kill my wife today." 99.9999% of the time, abuse builds over time. It starts with maybe being overly possessive (which many people think is "cute", like "Oh he just loves me so much, that's why he doesn't want me talking to the guy who bags my groceries") but then it builds to more severe verbal abuse, ultimately leading to physical abuse (though not always; some relationships are extremely verbally/emotionally abusive without ever becoming physically abusive). Sexual abuse (such as marital rape) may also occur. You can find some good basic info on domestic violence here: http://www.ncadv.org/learn/TheProblem_100.html.
post #19 of 42
What needs to happen is all states need to change thier domestic violence laws. Some states now have laws that allow charges to be pursued even if the victim doesn't want to. If the cops are called, by anyone (neighbors who hear the fighting, etc) then charges are filed on whoever is doing the abusing. They've effectively made it illegal to hit your partner, period, not depending on the vicitim to file charges. That's how it needs to be!

We also can't forget that women can be abusers, too. My husband was in an abusive relationship before he met me. She routinely hit/punched him, taking advantage of the fact that he wouldn't hit back, because "men shouldn't hit women." It ended the night she threatened him with a baseball bat, and he took it and threatened her with it. He'd reached his breaking point! They split that night. When he met me, he said "If you ever threaten me, I will be gone." Can't blame the man! Neither of us have any violent tendencies, and I see us having many more happy years together.
post #20 of 42
Originally Posted by fatkitties View Post
We also can't forget that women can be abusers, too.
This is a good point. I think that in some ways, it might even be harder for men to seek help when they are the victims of domestic abuse. I can see how they would be judged differently than women who are victims.
post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
fatkitties, you make some excellent points.
Yes, more states need laws that allow police to make arrests despite what the survivor wants. Our laws here in GA certainly reflect that. In many ways it helps the survivor. Many survivors (both male and female- you bring up a great point with that, too) decide to drop charges because they are afraid of retaliation from the batterer. By taking it out of their hands, you actually help them even more because it potentially leads to punishment for the batterer (though that is RARE with most DV cases- most just sentence them to pitiful anger management classes that do NOTHING to help) and takes the onus off of the survivor.
Also, more states are moving towards evidence-based prosecution in DV cases. This means that if the survivor refuses to testify (let's say they envoke marital priviledge, for example), the ADA can still pursue the case based on the testimony/evidence provided by the arresting officer or other witness. A very good thing for DV cases!
post #22 of 42
Good thread! I also wanted to point out yesterday, Amy...(as another poster did) that sometimes no debate is a good debate I feel that there isn't really any argument or debate to this area and I feel that many TCS'ers understand the gravity of the situation and are aware of the problem.
IOW, how can you argue AGAINST awareness of violence??

I also want to stress what Amy pointed out regarding the different and varying areas and levels of abuse. Just because your friend isn't being hit or punched or kicked or burned on a regular basis doesn't mean that she isn't (or he) being abused.

The most common forms of abuse in these relationships are the name-calling, the degradations in public, the jealousy and subsequent controlling and manipulative behaviours...Many women think "well, he doesn't hit me at least!"...But the verbal abuse deteriorates will power, soul, and strength while physical wounds do heal..And many women can't recognize several little seemingly innocous behaviours as abuse because they are IMMERSED in it.
You know how hindsight is 20-20!

I have been in a physically abusive relationship as well as a seriously verbal abusive relationship..The latter was before I went to school for social work (hence before I worked in the field with disadvantaged people of all avenues) but the other was AFTER I had been to school. I was doing my practicuum at a women's centre and we counselled clients in this area but I didn't realize that I myself was being abused because a) the shame was great..especially in my field! and b) because I was working with women who had it "so much worse".."my situation isn't as bad as that..I should stop whining" etc, etc...

Thankfully, my friends were able to convince me the relationship was toxic and I finally had the strength to say "get the hell out" for the last time.
(the last straws were when he attempted to pick a fight with a close friend for sitting too close to me (and I had to call the police) and the other was when he called every one of my friends swearing and demanding to know who I had been sleeping with as he smelled latex on my underwear in the laundry! So many moments were so embarrassing for me. Sorry, graphic I know..but that was when I finally realized he was over the edge of sanity.)

So, yes, this topic can and does affect everyone (and great point about female abusers Fatkitties!)..
post #23 of 42
Thread Starter 
Wow Cin, that is horrible about the two abusive relationships . I can understand how that must have been so difficult, helping other survivors and coming to terms with your own verbally abusive relationship . You're right that the verbal abuse really does stay with you. Every time I think Bradley and I are going to have a disagreement, I almost expect him to go off on those horrible, demeaning tangents that my ex used to do (though Bradley, thank God, does not have an abusive bone in your body). But it's b/c I lived with severe verbal abuse for two years and it's something you never, ever forget.
post #24 of 42
It's horrible to say but the best revenge really is the satisfaction of living a good life (or better than the other person ) afterwards..

After not having seen him for years, I happened to meet up with him at a party a few months ago. I could see that he hadn't changed a bit. His situation has even drastically worsened (though thank god he isn't with anyone right now)..

I even gained some closure after he apologized to me for his behaviours..But it was still a little too little and a little too late...
post #25 of 42
Originally Posted by Rockcat View Post
That is HORRIBLE! In FL if the cops come out to a domestic disturbance, SOMEBODY is going to jail. The victim doesn't have to press charges; the state will.

They may go to jail that night and the state may prosecute but when
the victim just takes him back over and over again it is so hard to watch.

It is so hard to understand why they continue to defend the person who has taken a knife to them or tried to drive them off the road.

I find it so hard to understand, when you hold your aunt while she cries
for this man in jail. She gets so angry with me because I will not allow my own children to be around him at all. I don't trust him, I don't believe the lies like she does.

I'm confused that she would revoke the permanent restraining order when so many agencies have worked in her behalf to protect her.

When my aunt tells my mother you have to accept my husband. How do
you do that? HOW?

Domestic Violence effects everyone involved.
post #26 of 42
Something that have made a huge difference in Sweden, where I come from, is a law that the woman doesn't have to press charges anymore. It will allways be an investigation when the police is called or if a witness rapports the abuse. If there is any proof or enough trustworthy Witnesses it will to go court and the abuser can be sentenced even if the victim denies.
There is also a new law on it's way that will force every community to provide shelters for abused women and offer emergency-appartements. In more and more police districts they educate polices especially to take care of abused women and they employ more women as police officers so that an abused woman doesn't have to tell about, somtimes very private abuse, to a man. There is still a long way to go but this has really increased the amount of cases that comes to court and given more ways to get out of an abusive relationship.
post #27 of 42

In England we have that too
post #28 of 42
I just recently got out of an abusive relationship... luckily for me the third time was enough.
I never realized how absurd pretty much everything about that relationship was until I finally got totally out of it.
The cops came once, and since his wounds from me defending myself were actually worse than mine, nobody got arrested.

I have seen so many abusive relationships (you know, like every single woman in my family) that it almost seemed normal.

That is why I'm so glad you posted this thread... It's not normal, or okay, or excusable.

I'm just now starting to deal with the consequences of the last three years of my life. Granted, I did a few things I'm not proud of either... but him.
post #29 of 42
Thread Starter 
Zissou's Mom....wow, that is FANTASTIC that you had the courage to get out! I salute you and everyone likes you that gets out of abusive relationships . You are SUCH an inspiration for people who may currently be in abusive situations who feel like there is no way out. There is ALWAYS a way out. It may not be easy (it rarely if ever is) but it is ALWAYS worth it in the end, to be free from the abuse. And you're right..... him!

I'm glad this thread is generating discussion (not a debate, but a discussion) about this issue.

If you have been following this thread and you may want to talk about DV but don't wish to post publically, feel free to PM me or email me at labaja1126@yahoo.com. I'll be glad to help however I can.
post #30 of 42
Thank you ugaimes for raising this thread again. In support of the police (i have a family member who is a cop) it drives them nuts and they feel so helpless when they go into houses of abused women and she won't press charges. They have often expressed to me how it has to be one of the worst parts of their job walking away without helping. Usually what they try to do is antagonize the husband/bf until he takes a swing at them...and then they can take him for assault on a police officer, and that gives them time to sent the support workers to try and talk to the woman. It's not much...and I know it keeps the cops I know up at night.

I think the laws need to change, and hopefully they will as these situations get talked about more and more in the mainstream.
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