You know, when Lene asked me to write a share post about Domestic Abuse.... I was a bit taken back. I wondered what would this have to do with RA and support? And, frankly, I knew nearly nothing about it. I was raised in a Christian household, I respect my Grandma, Mother, Sister and Wife and would never DREAM of injuring or attacking them. I would prefer to toss myself off a bridge than ever raise a hand to any woman. Just the thought..... I am, even with Severe RA, a foot taller and a good 100#s heavier than most women I know, and much stronger.... gives me the creeps! This is something you see on COPS or the nightly news, not something in my life.
I started researching the subject and found out how little I really do know about the subject. I started with a link Lene sent me, about the White Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women. You can find the story here. Now I am not about to try to get my wife's stiletto heels to fit my size 13 1/2 RA feet, but what a great idea this is to raise awareness! 500+ men showed up to support the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event that goes on every year in multiple locations. I now wanted to know more and dug deeper.
I was saddened to hear the founder of this movement, Jack Layton, passed away earlier this year after 20 yrs of driving the message home that violence against women is not acceptable. Reading into posts about him I found this article that hit home with me. "I have talked to many men who never otherwise would have understood the positive role they could play in working to end violence against women, if it weren't for Jack. Handing out ribbons in Union Station, making donations, offering up everything from office space to websites, few people could effectively say no to him when it came to the WRC." You can find the entire article here. This opened my eyes, just because this type of violence has never entered my life, does not mean it is not something that sorely needs addressed. I compared it to RA actually, before I was DXd with RA, I really had no understanding of it, and AFTER being DXd, I realized you really have to HAVE RA to understand it. Seems to be much the same with Abuse.
The White Ribbon movement was started after the 1991 Polytechnique Massacre where 14 women were killed by an anti-feminist in Canada. In response, this movement started out slowly in Jack Taylor's sons room and has since spread around the world. It is now an international effort of men and boys working to end violence against women. Its basic principle is the importance of men and boys to speak out against all forms of violence against women. In Canada, the campaign is run from November 25 (the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women) until December 6, Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Other countries support 16 Days of Action from November 25 until December 10 but campaigns can occur at any time of the year (as researched in Wikipedia).
There are many kinds of Domestic Violence. (to me, that is just a PC name for Abuse, which is unacceptable in any term) Domestic violence includes:
- Physical abuse like hitting, shoving, kicking, biting, or throwing things
- Emotional abuse like yelling, controlling what you do, or threatening to cause serious problems for you
- Sexual abuse like forcing you to do something sexual you don't want to do
Here are some key points about Abuse you should know.
- If you are in immediate danger, you can call 911. It is possible for the police to arrest an abuser and to escort you and your children to a safe place. Learn more about getting help for domestic abuse.
- Often, abuse starts as emotional abuse and then becomes physical later. It's important to get help early.
- Sometimes it is hard to know if you are being abused. You can learn more about signs of abuse here.
- Your partner may try to make you feel like the abuse is your fault. Remember that you cannot make someone mistreat you. The abuser is responsible for his or her behavior. Abuse can be a way for your partner to try to have control over you.
- Violence can cause serious physical and emotional problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It's important to try to take care of your health. And if you are using drugs or alcohol to cope with abuse, get help.
- There probably will be times when your partner is very kind. Unfortunately, abusers often begin the mistreatment again after these periods of calm. In fact, over time, abuse often gets worse, not better. Even if your partner promises to stop the abuse, make sure to learn about hotlines and other ways to get help for abuse.
- An abusive partner needs to get help from a mental health professional. But even if he or she gets help, the abuse may not stop.
Please keep in mind, if you are going through this that there is help out there. There are toll free numbers to call for support, don't forget family and friends or Clergy who may not even realize there is an issue. Domestic Violence Shelters are available in many locations, as well as Transitional Housing Units for Women AND Children. I am including this phone number for the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. Or you can go to this Web Site for them as well, the great thing on this website is it has a "QUICK ESCAPE" button on it, if your abuser comes into the room, hit it and POOF you are off the site! I tried it on my computer, they suggest you do, and it took me straight to Google in the blink of an eye! The bottom line is you DO NOT have to deal with this alone. I am quite sure it feels that way, but that is not the case. Please find help, reach out, take action. If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse. Help is available.
After reading all this, and from what I have seen on TV etc, brought me to my final question, WHY does the abused person STAY in the relationship? I found many answers to this as well. They may be worried about finances, how would I support my children and myself? Low self esteem, imagine being told over and over how useless you are......you would start to believe it!
They may have trouble contacting family, friends etc who could help them, many people may have no idea what is going on behind closed doors. They may be too embarrassed, frightened or confused to seek help, they may not know HOW to seek help. Bottom line is, it is NEVER that persons fault, no one brings abuse on themselves. Here are a few points I found to assist people that feel they may not be ready to leave an abusive relationship.
- Abuse often gets worse. It may be possible for a partner to change, but it takes work and time. If your partner is blaming you or other factors for his or her behavior, your partner probably is not ready to change.
- You deserve to be safe and happy.
- Even if you are not ready to leave, you can still contact a domestic violence hotline or a local shelter for support, safety planning, and services.
- People want to help. Many services are available at no cost, including childcare, temporary housing, job training, and legal aid.
- You need support. Reach out to people you trust.
I can only hope and Pray that this can help at least one person that suffers abuse. I do know that researching this post certainly opened my eyes. If nothing else, maybe it will open yours or someone you know as well. I will end by adding some links to helpful sites. Be safe and be aware of those around you who may need your help.
Published On: October 19, 2011