Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beautiful Blogging ~ a not so beautiful topic ~ Domestic Violence

I thought I would tackle a tough issue this week!  In my work as a therapist I meet so many woman who are being abused that don't even realize it!  Of course physically abused women are quite aware they are being abused but what about other forms of abuse?  I found this definitions from http://www.domesticviolence.org/definition/ and I think it is quite accurate. "Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating."

Examples of abuse include:
■name-calling or put downs
■keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends

■withholding money

■stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job

■actual or threatened physical harm

■sexual assault

■stalking

■intimidation
 
Understand that domestic violence is about CONTROL! It is never the victim's fault nor do we ASK for it!  It is about CONTROL!!!!!  So often I hear "well it was my fault.. or I egged him on... or I hit him too."  The fact of the matter is people don't "egg" anyone on because we are all responsible for how we react or respond to any situation.  Moreover, it is not all that uncommon for victims to begin fighting back as they grow weary of the abuse.
 
Domestic Violence can include physical, sexual, emotional, financial, & verbal abuse.  Below is the Power & Control Wheel which is a great tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent relationships in which the perpetrator uses to control his partner.
 
You can find this here which you'll be able to read a bit better.  Or click on the picture for a larger view.  After reviewing the Power and Control Wheel do you perhaps see yourself?  Or someone you know?  It is hard to know exactly how common domestic violence is because it often goes unreported.  Please note that domestic violence affects everyone - no matter your race, education level, or income level.  While I realize that I am focusing on women, men too can be victims.

Domestic violence is cyclical which means it generally follows a pattern or cycle.  It begins with an "incident" or some form of dv, which is then followed by the "makin up" stage which is followed by the "calm" (aka the honeymoon stage) which is followed by the "tension building" stage.  Of course not all dv relationships follow this cycle and the making up  and calm stages may even disappear.  For more information please visit http://www.domesticviolence.org/cycle-of-violence/
 
I really get disturbed when I hear remarks such as "why doesn't she just leave him?"  Obviously if it were that simple most would just walk away.  However, many women are psychologically "beaten down," financially controlled, or don't believe for whatever reason that they can escape. 
 
Where to Turn for Help
In an emergency:

Call 911 if you need immediate assistance or have already been hurt.

For advice and support:
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

For a safe place to stay:
Call your state’s branch of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence or another local organization. For contact information, visit State Resources.

Click here for the source
 
Most every community has some type of shelter or emergency assistance for those experiencing domestic violence.  Look in your local phone book or go to the sites listed above.  Be sure to use a "safe" computer where the perpetrator does not have access to.
 
Of course this post only scratches the surface of domestic violence.  Please check out these sites for further information:
~The National Domestic Violence Hot line - http://www.thehotline.org/
~Domestic Violence.org - http://www.domesticviolence.org/
~Helpguide - http://helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm
~Women's Law - http://www.womenslaw.org/
 
Or of course you can always "google" domestic violence and get a ton of information.
 
OXOXOX,
Jacalyn

9 comments:

Laura's Rose Garden said...

Hello Jacalyn,
Kudos to you for posting about a very real problem in our society. My brother, who is now in his sixties, finally left his abusive wife of almost forty years. He endured years of bullying, verbal and emotional abuse. People used to say why doesn't he leave, but it was hard for him to leave because of many children and then grandchildren and also because of the financial situation. He decided that he had had enough and just left and didn't take anything with him. More evidence of years of abuse.. he just wanted to get away. I think he will be ok. We are all so relieved for him.
Thanks again.
Regards, Laura

Lisa said...

What an informative post! Thank you for sharing all of that information and I only hope if any of your readers are suffering at the hands of another, they will now find the strength to get help.
Lisa@SuburbanRetreat

Graceful Rose said...

Jacalyn, I feel such compassion for these abused men and women. This past weekend on the news, a man killed 5 people because his eggs weren't right. Can you imagine what his poor wife went through before he killed her and her sister and her neighbors and then himself. So many women feel trapped and not able to take care of themselves. People seem to be even more violent these days than before as many older people in their 50s and 60s are in the drug culture and this always leads to violence. I am a medical transcriptionist and I am amazed when I type reports of the people who abuse drugs. It is not just young people. Thanks for posting.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh you speak so much of the truth. I can tell you one reason that women don't leave - MONEY!!!

sandie

Doni said...

Jacalyn, Your post caught my attention because I've been abused in my past. My first marriage was awful, and from what I read on the wheel, many many of the descriptions on there fit him perfectly. I went through almost 10 years of abuse and the reason I didn't leave was because of a number of reasons. Money, Church or Religious stigmas (what would they think?), and believeing in lies that he told...
He divorced me thankfully or I guess I'd be dead by now. I used to keep a letter in my desk even after the divorce where I stated that if I was ever found dead, go look for him. He would be the one that did it. The fear of him lasted for many years. It's not something that can be overcome quickly...
What would I tell someone in that situation now? Many things. It will take a long time to get them to hear though...I know, I was there. But...if I knew that money didn't matter, what the church or other people thought didn't matter, and I didn't believe the lies, I may have left him. Maybe...it's hard when you're in the middle of that kind of stress and fear...FEAR being the most common emotion for years...
To anyone actually reading this who is in a situation like this, please realize that others are too..you're not alone, and there is help. Make a call...go someplace else, start over...it's VERY WORTH IT, and the fear will eventually go away...
Blessings to all who are there..
Doni

A 2 Z said...

Hello Jacalyn,

Very provoking post. There is so much abuse out there! I lived in the Middle-east for a while and the treatment of women is unbelievable. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

It is so hard to think so many think this is ok. I really hate it. Thanks for posting this I hope it will keep someone safe and help someone move on!
Hugs, Lisa

Incipient Wings said...

such a powerful post.thanks for sharing.

bettyl said...

It certainly needs to be addressed. Thanks.

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