We’ve heard the words, “I love you to death.” This statement can have different meanings to different people. Having been in several intimate partner violence (also known as domestic violence) relationships and almost loved to death, I do not particularly care for the statement. I would rather be LOVED to LIFE! When we love ourselves and others to life, we add to the essence of our lives and others.
“Having been in several abusive relationships, I speak from experience in knowing that it is hard for some women to break from the cycle of abuse. I knew it wasn’t normal and didn’t have the strength to walk away from the relationship. Each time I left, I somehow found my way back into something that was not good for me.
I’ve been stabbed in the arm, had a broken nose, choked to near death, and had a hot iron placed against my left leg which is now a permanent reminder of an abusive past. I have lost a baby as a result of physical and emotional abuse. Throughout all of this, God kept me, spared my life, and removed me from the relationships.
The most humiliating times in my life were occurred one of the relationships when I was thrown out of the apartment in my underwear and in another relationship begging not to be beaten while on a drive out to the field. When I was put out of the apartment, I did what was natural, ran for my life and hid behind a bush until someone passed by and called a friend for help. I could not figure out why this was happening to me at 18-years-old. It is not natural to be in an abusive relationship, yet something had drawn me in and it was hard to break away; even after this event.
On several incidences in one of the relationships, I was taken out in a field and beaten with a whip like an animal. The whippings occurred at night and in the middle of an open field in the country. The whip was burgundy with a long cord and was like the ones seen in the western movies used to keep the cattle in line. It was a humiliating experience and one that left painful lashes on my body that have since healed.” (Excerpt from Broken Believer No More—Chapter 6)
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is often a topic that is avoided, yet absolutely necessary to discuss. Not discussing IPV will not make the reality that men and women are being abused in relationships every day. Abuse can be physical, emotional, mental, financial, or spiritual.
According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence http://ncadv.org/learn-more/statistics
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
If you are currently involved in an intimate partner violence relationship, seek help immediately. If you do not want to talk with family or friends, The National Coalition against Domestic Violence hotline telephone number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love. Romans 13:10 (MSG)
Love Yourself to Life…not death.