Thursday, September 29, 2005

Domestic Violence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month -

As many who know me I am a survivor of domestic violence myself.
Some of my experiences have been chronicled here in past postings.

I am away from the perpetrator who committed the last acts of violence on me that drove me from my home into a shelter for more than a year now yet the effects are still with me.

And the effects of all the abuse I suffered over my lifetime that allowed me to be in that situation stay with me today.

Domestic Violence is insiduous.
It does not discriminate against age, sex, religion, economic background, history, ethnic origin or educational level.

It permeates throughout our lives each and every day.

We work with, live next door to, go to church with, shop with, bank with, attend sporting events, gossip with, hire out for skills, and eat at resturants with all kinds of abusers on a daily basis.

An abuser doesn't look like anyone else but yourself.There is no identyfying mark on his/her forehead to distiguish them from another more civil person.

That person more than likely has told the victim a thousand times how much they are loved.
That person more likely than not has voted in elections. That person has attended church at some point in their life if not regularly.
That person may have served in the armed forces of our country or someone country they share allegiance.
That person often has a mortgage, pays for credit card debt and braces for their child teeth.
That person often has a degree from an institution of higher learning or a skill learned from a trade in which they are employed.

You wouldn't necessarily know an abuser just by looking at them.

However, there are traits that are classic. Once one is educated as to what they are they are flags that need to be noted.
I learned these flags while I was lodged in a domestic violence shelter.

I consider myself an educated person; I read more than one newspaper a day, Ii read all kinds of information online, I watch the news and some talk shows, I listen to broadcasts on major news networks and cable.
I thought I was informed.
Yet, I didn't know all that there was to know.I was ignorant of many facts.

And when it is what you knew from your earliest memories you are clouded to reality.
It appears as normal although unpleasant.
It appears as there is always an explanation absolving the abuser of his guilt.

I hope to provide information this month coming up in thiss forum to help educate those who may be as ignorant as I was. To personalize it in some way to reach those who may still be living with it on a daily basis.To assist those who want to change their destiny as it is today in showing there is another way.

I am one of many who are living proof it can stop; there is another way to live.

My son Dan is addressing this issue also on his blog-

You may not be able to change your abuser.I couldn't. However, you can change your environment.

One of the classic symptoms of an abuser is not to be recognized as one so they will convince you its you, not them who has a problem.

You do have problems if you are living with abuse but you aren't the perpetrator.

If you suspect someone is a victim of domestic violence or if you yourself are a victim I urge you to contact someone.Clergy, United Way, the YWCA, a crisis hotline, look in the phone book under womens center or some type of listing such as that or call your local law enforcement are places that can provide assistance to help.

You don't have to live like that one more day. Not even one more hour. It can stop.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Hi Margaret. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourself. *Hugs*
P.S. I'm using a pseudonym but you'll figure out who I am from reading my blog!