Domestic Violence: Facts That can Help
Effects of Domestic Violence
She stood atop the stairs precariously leaning forward as she gently laid her reassuring hand atop her pregnant tummy. He was mad again and she didn't know if she should stay this time or run. The bedroom door slammed open behind her. She turned. He pushed.
There are only two things I know about my grandmother: Mom is the spitting image of her and she died because of abuse from my mother's stepfather. This may not have been exactly how it played out but this is how I've always imagined it. What I know for sure is she was pushed down a set of stairs while pregnant and died later because of complications having to do with the dead infant still inside her. I may never have been abused myself but this is proof how it affects us all. Because of him, I never got to meet my grandmother and my mother lost a sibling before she/he was ever even born.
Where to Go to Get Help For Domestic Violence
According to domesticviolencestatistics.org, somewhere between 55 and 95 percent of women who have been abused never sought help from organizations, shelters, or police.
One organization that, surprisingly, isn't always turned to for support is the church. According to many sites and articles, churches tend to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye toward what is going on instead of providing support. Luckily, there are still some churches and some sites that still try to help give that same support through the Bible. Even if it seems like there is no one out there who can help, there is. There's no excuse not to go out there and take a look.
Shelters have a stigma of providing an unsavory environment. However, they are not only a protective place for those who are getting out of unsafe relationships, but they are surprisingly nice. They can provide support, counseling, and information to help you. There are helpful sites to assist in locating one in your state.
Contacting the police is essential to preventing further abuse. The most common police response to domestic violence used to be to do as little as possible. They believed that violence within the home was exempt from laws concerning assault on the streets. However, due to the work of women's rights groups and others, this policy has changed and now the abuser is arrested. This is also because experimentation proved that future assault is much less likely once an abuser is arrested.
What to Do if You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence
1) It's not your fault
2) You deserve better
3) There's help
4) You are not alone
5) Your safety (and your children's) is important
Think he will change?
Change isn't impossible, but, unfortunately, it also isn't likely. It is most definitely something that would need plenty of time and help in order for it to happen.
Think you can help?
Staying and allowing the abuse to continue and escalate is the opposite of helping. All you are doing is enabling the behavior instead of stopping it.
A promise isn't enough.
They may mean it when they promise to stop, but most likely the behavior will continue. You believe he will change but, again, this is a slow process that involves a lot of work on his part. Even counselling doesn't promise change.
Don't be afraid to go.
Help is there. It is dangerous to stay, even though the unknown is scary.
Men That are Domestic Violence Victims
Men can be victims too. Unfortunately, there is less known about women abusers than men and the number of male victims of violence is not certain. This abuse is even less talked about than men abusing women for some reason. Perhaps because the society would view the man as weak because they cannot defend themselves against a woman. However, for every 100 abuse cases, 40 of them are cases of women assaulting men.
If you are a male victim or know someone who is, there is always help for you too. dvmen.org is one site that has a lot of information. Much of the same information as above applies although for men some things may be different.
© 2011 LisaKoski
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