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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I love fall and one of the reasons for that is because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a time to remember those who have died because of domestic violence, honor the survivors, and spread awareness of the problem that affects as many as 1 in 3 women (and approx. 1 in 6 men).

Y'all have heard me talk ad nauseum about domestic violence, but I feel that it is a topic that, in general, is not discussed ENOUGH. It's brushed under the rug and often kept a secret. Just know that domstic violence thrives in that silence, which is why it is so important to speak out about it!

I am going to list some links that y'all can visit to learn more about domestic violence and ways you can become part of the solution:
Liz Claiborne's Love is Not Abuse Campaign- this site has some great information: quizzes, dating violence, domestic violence in the workplace, etc.
Love is Not Abuse Shirts - you can buy these tshirts (you know I already have one!!) to show that you support the cause.
This article in the October issue of Marie Claire discusses how you can personally get involved in the fight to keep and improve the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Various Products to Support DV Awareness
And here it is, the granddaddy of all domestic violence websites- the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It has more helpful things on it than I can begin to mention- scary statistics, links to local domestic violence agencies, hotline #s, advice on how to get out of a dangerous relationship, etc.
post #2 of 27
Thanks for all the info Amy! It's true that domestic violence is too often swept under the rug. I'm going to check out the sites and see what I can do to get involved.
post #3 of 27
wow i did not know that this month is devoted to domestic violence awareness, see you have already made at least one person aware!

i am a domestic violence survivor, and it troubles me that the subject does not get much attention any more, esp when i see that there are now so many teenage girls putting up with it from their boyfreinds, and no one seems to notice or care.

good for you for spreading the word!!

althea and the girls
sara and snoopy in spirit
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catnapt
wow i did not know that this month is devoted to domestic violence awareness, see you have already made at least one person aware!

i am a domestic violence survivor, and it troubles me that the subject does not get much attention any more, esp when i see that there are now so many teenage girls putting up with it from their boyfreinds, and no one seems to notice or care.

good for you for spreading the word!!

althea and the girls
sara and snoopy in spirit
Hugs to you for being a survivor. Every survivor is a role model for those who are still in an abusive relationship. You are the people we honor this month!
post #5 of 27
Thank you for all those links. All goes to a good cause
post #6 of 27
I use to do some volunteer work on domestic violence, well it did not relate specifically to it, although a large portion of people that came in were people who had been subjected to domestic violence. It was not on a counselling level but rather simple free advice on legal action that could be taken, such as protection orders which was very common since divorce was often not a route due to many reasons. When I stopped, I came away with the feeling that the response is problematic. But it is not possible to fault the response since in many instances there are simply no options available that will solve that particular problem.
post #7 of 27
Good info, thanks for sharing... and now I know.
post #8 of 27
I am curious as to what you mean by "the response is problematic".
To which response do you refer and what do you mean by problematic?
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
I am curious as to what you mean by "the response is problematic".
To which response do you refer and what do you mean by problematic?

Well one example would be this.

1) Person is battered but the person does not want to leave because of the requirement for monetary support and/or concern for providing for the support of the child. Support homes are not a viable option either because of the lack of it or refusal to enter them.

2) Unable to persuade the person to leave.

3) Counselling for the couple fails.

4) Sending the person who uses violence to jail fails either because
A) violence is still used upon leaving jail or
B) person who is battered does not want the attacker to go to jail because of the need for monetary support. See (1)

5) The option of staying with relatives to tackle the monetary problem may work but if the attacker starts disturbing the relative, unless the relative is patient, the relative may soon decide the situation is too hot. Or even if the relative is patient, they decide not to continue the support because of the fear to their own children.
post #10 of 27
IMO, the more we bring this out into the open, the less it will occur. I was in an abusive relationship in the past. I was in denial. I thought if I hit him back harder than he hit me that I wasn't being abused. Theres a lot more to it than that. Control is a biggie. I didn't understand that when it started. It doesn't take long for the control to advance to separation from your loved ones and then mushroom into abuse. When that happened to me, I felt so stupid for allowing it, I couldn't tell anyone. Before it happened to me, I couldn't understand why anyone would let it. Thats why Amy is so right.

Potential victims need to know what to look for BEFORE they are in too deep. I was able to get out. Some never will. Thanks for the thread, Amy.
post #11 of 27
Thanks for the links, Amy, and for all you do to assist the survivors of domestic violence. This is an issue we all need to be more aware of and involved in.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
IMO, the more we bring this out into the open, the less it will occur. I was in an abusive relationship in the past. I was in denial. I thought if I hit him back harder than he hit me that I wasn't being abused. Theres a lot more to it than that. Control is a biggie. I didn't understand that when it started. It doesn't take long for the control to advance to separation from your loved ones and then mushroom into abuse. When that happened to me, I felt so stupid for allowing it, I couldn't tell anyone. Before it happened to me, I couldn't understand why anyone would let it. Thats why Amy is so right.

Potential victims need to know what to look for BEFORE they are in too deep. I was able to get out. Some never will. Thanks for the thread, Amy.



i think that people/society in general? still seem to think that violence is acceptable and that what happens in a relationship is "none of their business"

and i think they are wrong!

the first time my husband attacked me (it was because he thought i was ignoring him- i was asleep!! and was very rudely awoken!) and i was so shocked, i took off and went to my sisters apt.
she did not think much of it, so i went back, thinking that i was over reacting

well unbeknownst to me, my sister was in a relationship with a boyfreind who was extremely violent, and damn near killed her (as my ex- nearly killed me)

we had spent the first seven years of our lives watching our mom be beaten by an alcoholic dad on a regular basis.
her mother had regularly been beaten by her dad....

its not that you "don't know any better", either, you read and watch TV, you know that "society" does not "approve" of this, but you also know what you were raised with
and even more than that,
too many times,
when you go looking for help,
people turn a blind eye.

my now ex husband was strangling me in broad daylight, yelling that i was gonna die.

there were dozens of people on the street, they watched, but no one said or did anything.
NO ONE

i was able to break away and get inside a store, where the owner was trying to get me to leave
to "not take it in there"!
i ran to the back room, and the owner was still trying to get me to leave.
i refused.
i told him to call 911
he didn't.
finally, guess who called the police?!?!

my husband! to report that i had stolen money from him and was about to spend it.

i had left him about 3 weeks earlier and my sister had shown me how to go to the bank and ask for a bank check to withdraw money from out JOINT account- he locked up the check book (and the telephone, when he was at work, i was at home with an infant and no car) so i did not have access to any money.

the police had to explain to him that you cannot steal money from a joint account.

i requested that the police take me to the station so that i could file a report, on the way there they told me that if i went ahead with this that they would have to wake up a judge, and the judge would not be happy.
they convinced me it was NOT in my best interest to file charges.

this is just a TINY incident out of dozens over a course of several years, while i tried to get away from this guy.

i got all the restraining orders, they were useless
i was stalked day and night
he broke into my apts.
he stuffed threatening letters under my door in the middle of the night
he repeatedly reminded me about how physically strong he was.
and along with the threats of more violence, were the "i love you so much, why won't you come back to me?"
this would be followed by paragraphs and paragraphs tearing me down and calling me "hateful"

it was insane.

i had filed for divorce and while waiting to the court date, things kept getting worse. what abusers fear the most is EXPOSURE!!
if we went to court, he would be EXPOSED and it would be harder for him to find his next victim (which he would refer to as a girlfriend)

my lawyer told me that the only way for my daughter and i to be safe was to leave the state.
it was against the law, because i had filed for divorce and was not supposed to leave the state, so he said this is off the record, but its your only hope.

in the middle of the night, i left everything behind and went to stay with my sister several states away.

i have since changed my name.


he has since found another victim.

it IS the silence that and the inaction of others, that allows this to continue.
yes there are victims who do not "know any better" and are afraid to leave for economic reasons, and they should be supported both emotionally and financially so that they can leave, and start a new life.
there are victims who do not know that they are victims, because one thing that happens when you are abused is, to survive and to go on living in that situation, you have to purposely FORGET what happened.
its not hard to forget, society helps you forget
the abuser helps you forget too, by showing a COMPLETELY different face to the world and to others! everyone else thought my husband was such a "nice guy".
he did not drink and so few people could believe that this "nice guy" could turn violent when not under the influence of something.

he raped me, and i forgot it on an intellictual level, but in my body and on a deeper level, i did not forgot
after that day, i would walk around with a pair of scissors hidden up my sleeve.
i would keep boiling water on the stove, an aerosol can ready to spray him in the face, a hot iron on the ironing board.

deep inside myself, i knew that he was never going to touch me again without one hell of a fight, even if i died trying to kill him, that is what i was prepared to do.

it never got to that, he made one threatening remark and i took my baby as soon as he left for work, and ran to a friends house.

i never went back, although many of the people "helping" me suggested that i should
because it was SO hard to get any help and to keep them safe from this jerk as well
by then they had the photos of my bruised, the doctors reports, they knew i was not making it up
but they seemed to think it was still "my fault" somehow!!

you can not imagine how much that angered me!!

and unfortunatley i have not seen too much progress in this regard.

a few years ago, i witnessed a teenage girl being dragged by her hair into a building
i called the police.
the boy (about 17) took off, it turns out that he had escapted from a juvenile detention center

the girl swore nothing had happened.
you know what the police WOMAN said to me???

"i dont know why you are so upset about this"

two days later, this teenage girl went to school, she attended the same high school my daughter did,
with two black eyes and a swollen lip.

when does it end???
what is it going to take to stop it???

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
IMO, the more we bring this out into the open, the less it will occur. I was in an abusive relationship in the past. I was in denial. I thought if I hit him back harder than he hit me that I wasn't being abused. Theres a lot more to it than that. Control is a biggie. I didn't understand that when it started. It doesn't take long for the control to advance to separation from your loved ones and then mushroom into abuse. When that happened to me, I felt so stupid for allowing it, I couldn't tell anyone. Before it happened to me, I couldn't understand why anyone would let it. Thats why Amy is so right.

Potential victims need to know what to look for BEFORE they are in too deep. I was able to get out. Some never will. Thanks for the thread, Amy.
HI
sorry i guess this is still a very touchy issue for me, even all these years later, and i neglected to say,
you were NOT stupid, i understand completely how this happens, having been there, and even when people do NOT understand, if they were only supportive right from the get-go, it would help immensely to keep women from, as you put it, getting in too deep.
the more an abuser gets away with, the more violent he becomes.

you are right, some never get out- ALIVE!!
it is when you are leaving that you are at the most risk, when your very life is in danger and you need the most help you can get.
i wanted my husband in jail, i STILL do, after all these years, he never paid for what he did, and i still feel he should.

other men see that as long as you do not get caught, you can get away wiht a LOT.

anyway i am going off again, sorry!

what i wanted to say was, i am so glad you got away, i am glad you are alive and able to speak about your experience,
and i am so very sorry that you went thru that too

it was NOT and never was at any time!! your fault!
i hope you know that down to your very core.
its true, and you need to believe it.
no one ever deserves to be abused.
EVER

bless you for having the strength to tell your story. when i first read this thread, i said, wow this is neat, but do i really want to go there? do i want to go back to what i went thru?
do i want to get myself upset again?
because i cannot think about it without still getting very upset and very angry.

but you gave me the courage to say more, because i want anyone reading this to know that what you are saying is the absolute truth!! people seem not to be able to understand about the denial

but to them i say, what do you think was going on in the minds of those people watching a 24 yr old paper thin woman being strangled in broad daylight by a man three times her size???
what was that?
was it denial?
could they not believe what they were seeing?

why did not one person do anything. not even call for help??

what kind of denial is that????


ok, need to go have some tea and cool down!

anyway thanks again for sharing your story. i hope that you do not have any permanent scars from your experience.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Wow Althea, thank you for sharing what you went through . I'm glad that you are at a place in your life (a SAFE PLACE at that) where you can share what you went through with others. Hopefully someone reading that will get hope that you CAN get out of an abusive relationship if you take the proper precautions.

You mentioned that the officers basically talked you out of filing that report that night. And then a female officer not understanding why you would be so concerned over a girl being abused by her boyfriend . There are some wonderful WONDERFUL police officers but, as a whole, law enforcement has a long way to go before they start treating domestic violence the way it deserves to be treated.

Renee, as Althea said, you are NOT stupid. I am guessing the reason you really felt that way at the time is probably because he verbally and emotionally abused you and truly led you to believe that you are stupid (emotional/verbal abuse often goes hand-in-hand with physical abuse). YOU know you're not stupid and you did exactly what you need to do when being abused- you survived. Now you're in a great relationship with a great guy who also happens to be a feminist- see how far you've come?

I'm so glad this thread has people thinking and learning. Please share this information with anyone you know who you think may be in an abusive relationship (and MOST of us know people who are abused).
post #15 of 27
Catnapt, I don't know what to say. You went through so much and he's not even caught. It totally AMAZES me that so many people SEE WITH THEIR OWN EYES and do NOTHING to help. You even had to change your name! He has stolen so much from you. You must be a very strong woman to have gotten out especially with a child! I applaud you! I pray for your continued safety and for happiness for you.
post #16 of 27
Good for you, girl! Too many people stay in the relationship because no one will help them, or because they're too scared.
I've been in a similar situation, although not married or with child, thank God! I was, however, 13 yrs old when it began with a 19 yr old MAN. Sadly, a naive girl was taken advantage of and lied to, abused verbally, emotionally, and of course physically.
And it took 2 yrs for him to rape me. That was my wake up call. I was one of the lucky ones, and got away.
Did not press charges, did not tell anyone for nearly 3 yrs. Now, I'm a different person, but I use my experiences with violence to help and educate others.
Pls pray with me while we all mourn the losses of wonderful men and women who have lost their lives to domestic violence.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Nikki . Thank you so much for sharing your story. You went through entirely too much for such a young person to experience (or anyone for that matter).
I am very very impressed that you and Althea both recognized that someone who you are dating or married to can still rape you. Too many women are raped by their husbands/SOs and do not realize it is rape simply because they are in a relaionship.
It is my sincere hope that everyone here who is sharing their stories remains safe, healthy, and continues to find healing and encouragement in each day.
post #18 of 27
Wow, powerful testimonies and I salute you all.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Isn't it sad that a day-old thread about Katie Holmes being pregnant should have more than twice as many responses than a thread about domestic violence that's been around for over a week?

And we wonder why there's no stop to it .
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes
Isn't it sad that a day-old thread about Katie Holmes being pregnant should have more than twice as many responses than a thread about domestic violence that's been around for over a week?

And we wonder why there's no stop to it .
I heard that! I don't understand why a thread about some celebrity gets more responses than threads about important causes like this one.

Anyway, maybe we should start a website on domestic violence. Interested?
post #21 of 27
Maybe it's too hard. I am crying. It's been five years since I was raped by a "boyfriend". It's been seven years since I left an abusive (physically, emotionally, verbally) husband of twenty seven years. I was fifteen and he was twenty five when we "hooked up". The scars still run deep. You don't know until you've been there.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by consumercity
I heard that! I don't understand why a thread about some celebrity gets more responses than threads about important causes like this one.
Honestly, this is in the IMO section, and how many people are going to be Pro-Abuse?

Where as some people may actually think Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise siring a baby is a goo- hmm... maybe not.

Honestly, it's a hard subject. I've never been in an abusive relationship, and I have no friends that have been (obviously this is only as far as I know) and I am very thankful.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Y'all are very right- it is very tough to talk about it. I applaud everyone here who has survived an abusive relationship and has the courage to talk about it, even briefly.
I was in an abusive relationship for two years, but you can't get me to shut up about it . People handle things in different ways, obviously; I just hope we see a day when no one feels ashamed, embarrassed, or scared to talk about the abuse they endured because it is never, EVER the survivor's fault.
post #24 of 27
to you all.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
If anyone in the US has PBS (Public Broadcasting System), there will be a very powerful special on tonight at 10pm (Eastern) entitled "Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories" about the affect that DV has on children. Should be very emotional and eye-opening.
post #26 of 27
I know that this thread is dead now, but I didn't feel like starting a new one. So, does anyone know what to do when their abuser gets out of jail? Mine was in jail for the past little while (again, for assault), and was recently released. I saw him last night in the bar, and I got scared and left right away. The crappy thing is, I was with a male "friend" of mine, and now he doesn't know why we had to leave, he just know that I saw someone in there that i didn't want to talk to, etc... Should I explain this to him? We're not really in a relationship or anything, but we spend an aweful lot of time together, and the guy that just got out of jail, "D", is know for following me, etc. Restraining orders do nothing, so now I feel all paranoid all the time and don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions?
Sorry, I think I just need to tell someone (people) and I know that you all are great listeners
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SerenasMommy
I know that this thread is dead now, but I didn't feel like starting a new one. So, does anyone know what to do when their abuser gets out of jail? Mine was in jail for the past little while (again, for assault), and was recently released. I saw him last night in the bar, and I got scared and left right away. The crappy thing is, I was with a male "friend" of mine, and now he doesn't know why we had to leave, he just know that I saw someone in there that i didn't want to talk to, etc... Should I explain this to him? We're not really in a relationship or anything, but we spend an aweful lot of time together, and the guy that just got out of jail, "D", is know for following me, etc. Restraining orders do nothing, so now I feel all paranoid all the time and don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions?
Sorry, I think I just need to tell someone (people) and I know that you all are great listeners
Have you had a restraining order in the past? If you work with your local domestic violence shelter (in most places, you do not have to actually enter the shelter to get assistance), they more than likely have connections with the police department that will ensure that your protective order is followed. Also, is he on probation? If so, talk to his probation officer (or have someone from the shelter talk to them). They can put a LOT of sanctions on him and, if he really does not want to go to jail again, he will listen to them.

Also, regarding your male friend. IMO, I'd tell him. It is completely up to you, but talking about what you went through can be VERY empowering because it reminds everyone- including yourself- that what you went through was never for a moment your fault.
Please feel free to PM me if you want other ideas. I'd be glad to help . You should NEVER have to live in fear.
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