You’re worthless, dumb, ugly, fat, stupid, *%#$%*+!#, lazy, damaged goods, pathetic, disgusting, crazy, uneducated, broke, broken, hideous… Nobody else is going to want you. The harmful and hateful slurs continue on and on throughout a verbal and emotionally abusive relationship. When have these words been spoken to you and about you? The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is an absolute lie from the pit of hell. Words do hurt and can last a lifetime. How many of you are still hiding behind a mask because of what someone said to you as a child, pre-teen, teenager, young adult, adult, etc.? You understand where I’m coming from, don’t you? Words can have a lasting effect and damage a person’s self-esteem.
A transparent discussion with Veronica Pryor Faciane as we share parts of our stories as survivors of domestic violence. #mentalhealth
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. At least 5 million acts of domestic violence occur annually to women aged 18 years and older, with over 3 million involving men (Huecker & Smock, 2020).
I’ll ask the question again: Have you had an open, transparent, and honest conversation with your family, friends, colleagues, and employers about domestic violence? The time is now to #SpeakUp
When thinking of and considering vulnerable populations, do the victims of domestic violence come to mind? They should. Do the children who are now required to stay at home because of school closing, come to mind? They should.
While some may see social distancing as an opportunity to have “me time” and get some things in order, others are faced with the daily cruel reality of being forced to stay at home with their abuser. In addition to being isolated from the experience of going to work, or their abuser going to work, victims are at increased danger within the confines of their homes.[Read more…]
Fear of being judged:
When we talk about an abusive relationship, the question often asked is “why do you stay?” In some relationships, the abused may choose to stay in the relationship. Only the person in the relationship can attempt to describe why he/she didn’t leave. They often have difficulty communicating with others about the abuse. One reason for this difficulty is the fear of being judged.
One might be pushed to ask harsh questions and demand serious answers from people who remain in abusive relationships. In some instances, family members, friends, coworkers, etc. are quick to blame the person who chose not to leave. The victims are oftentimes ensnared in a vicious cycle that is often difficult to break. Studies have shown that leaving an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time for an abused woman or man. In many instances, the threat of leaving or actual separation have resulted in the death or disfigurement of the abused partner.
Some victims remain in the relationship because of:
- the sentiments they still hold dear and don’t want to let go of
- believing lies of the abuser that no other man/woman will want them
- financial restraints
- threats to their life, children, family, friends, pets, etc.
- others encouraging the abused to stay in the relationship for one reason or another
- fear and manipulation
- hope that things will get better
I would attempt to describe this as a hope that there would be a return of the good times. Additionally, sometimes it’s a choice to remain in such relationships because, in the abused eyes, it is a sincere attempt to protect others. In this sense, it is more of a sacrifice to stay when they believe the choice to leave will bring harm to children, finances, pets, others or even legacies.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34 ESV)
Hope for the abused and abuser:
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NIV)
Instructions for those who suspect abuse:
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2 ESV)
The essence of love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)
The greatest gift we can share with the abused and the vulnerable is love. This love includes having a listening ear and being non-judgmental. “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1 NLT) The truth of the matter is; although abuse may not be happening in your home, it could very well be occurring to someone you know and needs the courage to #SpeakUp without being judged. Although it takes an abused person seven times to leave, by seeking help, they continue to gain the strength needed to leave the abusive relationship.
you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please CALL 911.
For crisis and counseling services, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Hotline advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to provide confidential crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“The dynamics of an abusive situation can vary miles long. Maybe you watched your mom get abused or you may even think abuse is normal. You may even like being abused or maybe you accept abuse because you believe you can make someone love you. Talking down to an abused person will not open their eyes. You’re just doing the same thing their abuser does. Sometimes a woman doesn’t know where she even lost herself! She just knows she found herself in an abusive situation. An abuser generally won’t just leave. They’ll call you out of your name, tell you, you can’t cook, attend church with you, criticized you from sun up to sun down but will not just leave. Also, most people will have high respect for an abuser while the abused stand idly by smiling and knowing the truth but … won’t say anything. It’s not ok. I appreciate Monica L DeBro for her vision and mission to help the abused.” Casey Perry