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H.O.W. Breaking The Silence

Updated on January 15, 2014
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month | Source

Recently I heard two women speak on their experience with domestic violence. I was moved by their sharing of the daily assault they endured while married to an individual who dominated and controlled their lives. Although one's sufferings were physical, the other woman was verbally abused. Nevertheless, both underwent intimidation and were victims of domestic violence.

According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. This is quite a large number of women who are suffering in silence. These women may be someone you know well or even someone that may become a victim in the future.

Resources That Help In Dealing With The Violence

It's A Daily Occurence

Domestic Violence, or battering, is a patten of behavior used to control another person through fear and intimidation and often resorts to threats or use of violence. The assaults may also include children of the partner as well and involve sexual, emotional and psychological abuse.

Imagine living daily with someone who you cannot please and is a loose cannon, any words you speak are likely to set them off on a rage of violence. Victims not only suffer physically, but their homes are often destroyed. Punched walls and broken furniture are reminders to remain silent. The isolation from family and friends is often a byproduct as well as shame in having to wear marks of the abuse in public.

Source
The silent suffering is at times detected through visual appearance.
The silent suffering is at times detected through visual appearance. | Source

Olivia's Story

The following is a brief summary of the domestic violence Olivia (name has been changed to protect her privacy) endured. Her hopes are that others who are suffering will learn from her experience and make the decision to speak out and remove themselves from an abusive relationship.

"I would like to open this discussion sharing my personal experience. I was a battered woman in my first marriage, but it was a verbal assault. He tormented me on an everyday basis and it affected me so that I could not function like a normal mother. I feared for my life and my kids. He constantly told me I was no good, that I was worthless, and criticized me for every little thing I did.

I thought I couldn't take the chance of leaving at all. I stayed silently suffering. Living from day to day thinking that this could be fatal to me, or that I may have to leave my kids behind if I fled. It was eating me alive!

But, I stand before you today as proof it can be done; there is no need for anyone to endure this pain. I fled knowing that I had to survive. I could not leave my children in the hands of the abuser who would have destroyed me and them as well. I knew that I had to take the step and run. And, I did."

Olivia later shared with me that her chance to escape the abuse happened one day when her husband left for work. She quickly took the children out the door and ran to her parent's home. She mentioned that he did follow her and confronted her father, but her father stood firm and forced the abuser to leave.

Today, Olivia is completing a degree in health care and is making a new life for her and her children.

The abuse affects the children. It is a cold, hard impact upon their lives.
The abuse affects the children. It is a cold, hard impact upon their lives. | Source

Contessa's Story

Here is a small part of Contessa's (name has been changed to protect her privacy) story.

"I was physically abused for years. I endured being beaten and intimidated on a regular basis. I spent time in jail due to the law's interpretation of a domestic violence occurrence in my home. Here is how it happened: One day, my husband beat me but left no marks on my body. I went to hit him back. My nail was broken and swiped across his face leaving a cut and mark. As a result, when the police came to investigate, I was taken into custody because he showed the physical abuse."

When I asked Contessa what caused her to leave the abusive relationship. She stated, "When he picked up my child by the back of the hair and neck and slammed him down onto the bed, I knew I had to leave. You can hit me all you want, but when it begins to affect my child that is the end! I waited until he was asleep and climbed out the window with my kids"

I am happy to report that today Contessa is also completing her degree in health care and living safe and well with her children.

Can We Imagine a World Without Violence?

Advice from the NCADV

Safety Plan

If you are still in the relationship:

  • Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs - avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with weapons (kitchen).
  • Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.
  • Keep change with you at all times.
  • Memorize all important numbers.
  • Establish a "code word" or "sign" so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.
  • Think about what you will say to your partner if he\she becomes violent.

Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence.

If you have left the relationship:

  • Change your phone number.
  • Screen calls.
  • Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.
  • Change locks, if the batterer has a key.
  • Avoid staying alone.
  • Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
  • If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.
  • Vary your routine.
  • Notify school and work contacts.
  • Call a shelter for battered women.


If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action.

Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Important Documents to Take

Personal
Other
Medical
Social Security Card **
Lease information
Photos of past abuse
Marriage License
Deeds
Police reports
Birth Certificate **
Insurance documents
Medical prescriptions
Checkbook Account
Charge Cards
Doctor's information
Proof of Income
Bank Statements
 
** Include child's information
 
 
 
Note: Take those that are in your name as well as your partner's.
 

Listen For The Silence

Both women shared that one in every four women are being battered, many go unnoticed due to the fear of the abuser. Even if they report the abuser and he is jailed, upon release the abuser will return to finish the job or try to amend the relationship. The victim experiences additional oppression and it makes it difficult to escape because it breaks down their personality, they lose themselves and their surroundings. They begin to think like the abuser and fall into patterns of abuse. It is a vicious cycle.

They also said the government had programs to help abused women but the "safe houses" they send you and your children to are often in crime-ridden areas. The homes or apartments usually need cleaning, are infested with pests and have very little furniture. It is almost as depressing as the environment you just left. As Olivia stated, "It makes the decision to leave hard because you wonder if it is worth the trouble."

If you know of someone who is being abused and suffering in silence, encourage them to talk to someone. Let them know that you care and will listen. Refer them to the NCADV hotline, a toll-free number, at 1-800-799-7233.

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    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Mothersofnations, thank you for sharing a brief snapshot of your past and how you overcame. So many women (and men) cannot break their ties with an abusive partner for fear of being alone. I am happy you overcame your fear and have become a women of strength. Yes, God is wonderful!

    • mothersofnations profile image

      Mothers of Nations 2 years ago

      This is a great article. Voted up and shared!

      I support several causes, two of those being Prevention of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. As a past victim I can tell you there isn't always help and sometimes you have to figure out a way to do it on your own but it can be done - you just have to plan ahead and follow through. I'm grateful the Lord opened doors for me. Trust in Him!

      Some women feel they can't (or don't want to) endure the difficulties of starting all over again, but I can tell you it's well worth it! And you soon realize what strength and courage you truly have to do it and succeed in life.

      God helped me through it all and I give Him all the glory, honor and praise for everything, everything! God bless you...

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Ubani, so true; people seem to suffer at the hands of those who treat them as less than human. When will it stop? I pray that some day we will see an end to this abuse.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 3 years ago from Lagos

      A touching and sad tale. Abuse in any form is a sin. It is a shame that people in this new dispensation of things can still be so demeaning. so sad!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Jackie, there still so many out there who suffer abuse and remain silent, even men. It's a shame. With all the help and support there is, they still seem to be a prisoner to their abuser. You have merit on this, it is upsetting to know the creeps get away with the crime! Thanks for your visit and support. Enjoy your weekend, dear lady.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Sure don't know how I missed this. It reminds me of Farrah Fawcett in "Burning Bed" and I tell you I never saw such good acting. I am not one to watch a movie over even when they are good but I watched that a number of times and I was so happy each time to see her light that fire. I know that is silly of me and that is not the way things should end but I have seen women that I wonder how in hell they took what they did and here was a woman who could not convince the law or anyone else he was bad news and she finally said this is enough and he never bothered anyone ever again. I wish all men had to watch that movie just like I wish all rapist had to have chemical castration. Women and children in this life are never going to see fair treatment or have the one who abuses them get what they deserve because our judicial system sucks. Sorry to go off but at least I am at the end here, lol. I use to write about these things but they just really get me going and I am not much of a lady when it comes to creeps. Up and sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Craftytothecore, I am in tears as I read your story. You are an example of how and why people suffer in silence. You must have a strong character and have faith in others to stay so long in an abusive relationship. I admire your strength. May God bless you and keep you. Thank you for sharing so that others can relate and find hope.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      This is such an important topic. As a survivor of domestic abuse myself, I can relate to this topic. I might even have a few words of advice for those that are going through this.

      I wasn't beaten. My abuser did it mentally and emotionally.

      When I first met him, I thought I had found the relationship I had waited all my life for. But immediately, following the wedding, his parents moved in with us. His mother started dictating what I should wear. His parents eventually left because we were going to be moving.

      Six months prior to the move, he became aggressive. Throwing books off a book shelf in to the garbage and pouring oil on them saying if he couldn't take them with him, then no one could ever read them again.

      I suggested we start to pack slowly so by the time we moved, everything would be packed and labeled nicely for easy finding after the move. He didn't like that. I was pregnant. I knew there was no way by the time we moved that I would be able to help with the move.

      After settling down. I became really ill. I was working in a really good job. But my pregnancy wasn't agreeing with me. I was taken out of work and placed on bed rest. He became extremely agitated that I lost my income, but yet he made a very generous amount. We didn't need my salary.

      He started verbally abusing me during my pregnancy telling me that I needed to go back to work and not take advantage of him. Eventually, the baby came. I didn't go back to work because I had no child care. I had a second child.

      From then after, he changed. He found a job two states away. He started leaving at dawn and returning late in to night. I was essentially a single mother. I had no help. Every time I made a friend, he made sure to sabotage the relationship. All the while, blaming me saying I wasn't very social with people.

      He eventually started coming home, to just leave and go out to drink. One night he didn't return. He was in an accident leaving the car smashed up, and I had no car after that.

      Finally, after having a disagreement with my mother (we've never had a mother/daughter relationship), he called an ambulance and had me removed from my home with my two children grabbing on to my legs screaming my name. In this state, when the police are called, someone has to go. He told them I was acting depressed. The ambulance came. 3 police officers escorted me out of my home in front of my grandfather who nearly had a heart attack pleading with the chief. The chief said it was out of his hands because had I been depressed and hurt myself, the police would be liable. Despite it being all lies and made up, the police didn't care. They had no choice. When I got in the ambulance, the medic took me by the hand and told me to get away from him. She has seen this type of abuse a lot and it doesn't get better after that.

      I had to go to the psych ward for an eval. After meeting with me, the psychiatrist knew I was the victim. She called him in and started shouting at his face telling him he is an abuser. She told me to leave him because he is toxic!

      She released me 2 hours later. I went home and told him I would see him in divorce court. Four months later, he was gone. He moved in to an apartment that he had planned to do before he called the authorities. It was all a big plan to get me out of the house so he could have his fun.

      It was a very painful road for me. People at church no longer welcomed me because I was getting divorced. My own mother made it worse by starting rumors and creating gossip because she lives for drama. In a sense, I married a man just like her.

      But today, I'm pleased to say that I overcame all of that and can speak out about it. Eventually I learned that if you read domestic abuse stories, they all sound alike, just different players.

      I am re-married to the most wonderful man. He is a wonderful caretaker with me of my son with Autism. He is there for us in so many ways, I truly feel blessed.

      The one thing I knew to do when this happened to me, was to shut off my emotions. I became robotic. I didn't let anyone say a word to me. I tuned them out. I had a plan to move forward. I had to get through that terrible ordeal. But I did it. The psychiatrist was ironically the one that helped me the most by confirming that he was toxic. So, here I am to share my tale. Hopefully someone else will find comfort in knowing that there is life after these situations. In fact, life is better! :D

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Babara, first, I can see from your sharing how your strong spirit leads your love for everyone. It is a blessing to know that people still care about their neighbors. We must all keep this in mind, turning our heads is allowing the hurt to continue. Blessings, dear lady.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi teaches12345,

      I voted up on this awesome hub as it should help anyone who needs it that has the opportunity to read it.

      I stopped the abuse of a neighbor once when I was sixteen years old. The man hit me, and my Daddy had follow me over to the house because the neighborhood could hear the man beating his wife.

      My sweet easy going Daddy hit the man so hard he sit in corner until the police arrested him.

      Daddy helped me packed for her and we moved her where he could not find her, again. I am surprised I lived through all my teenage years of helping people in trouble.

      And, yes I still do things to help others, as I cannot just turn my head---but I have not been hit by another man while helping someone. I am well trained now.

      Thanks for your great hub---you have a caring heart of a teacher.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Rosemay, thank you for sharing from your personal experience. It is good to hear the positive outcome from abuse cases. I will have to check out the YouTube stories. I also am glad women and men now have options and go not have to live silently suffering. Merry Christmas to you as well.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Awesome hub Dianna and a very important topic. One that everyone needs to be made aware of. The stories of the 2 girls are typical and add reality to your hub.

      Years ago there was no help at all for abused women. When police were called they didn't want to know it was 'only a domestic'. Thankfully now the law is on the woman's side and it is considered a crime of violence.

      here in New Zealand we have recently seen many TV ads on this subject, if you type "violence 'its not ok'" into youtube you can see those ads and I am sure they are making a difference.

      The safe house I stayed in for 5 months was awesome in the way of support and we all mucked in together to clean and cook etc, after all it was our home for a while at least, we didn't expect to be waited on hand and foot.

      May I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Midget, thanks for sharing the message with others. It's an abuse that imprisons many and support will help them to break free.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Dianna, thanks for sharing this. For myself, I can understand the difficulty of walking out of abusive relationships under threat or worse still if there are no good friends or relatives to turn to. Thanks for sharing. I pass this on to help to raise the awareness of this issue.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Deborah, I am so sorry for the years of abuse you experienced. I am glad to hear that you made the choice to escape from the suffering. It is terrible that anyone has a story to tell or relate to when it comes to the violence. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Blessings.

      Hattie, getting people to reach down into themselves to answer the questions is what will help them to choose freedom. It sometimes takes a stranger to bring it a reality of understanding. Thanks for your reflection. Be well and strong.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Thanks for sharing...this is why I write what i do about relationships. Woman give their personal power away, and some times men too. They end up living in pain and suffering as well as the children. I would never recommend anyone staying in a relationships like this...and breaking away from it is a struggle...you also have to dig down deep inside and ask yourself is it really worth staying with someone like this. :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      teaches this is so good.. and I am crying.. I was abused in my second marriage verbally AND PHYSICALLY ONE DAY I JUST LEFT.. IT WAS AWFUL.. I can relate to this..

      sharing my dear

      Debbie

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Promoting equality among all people should be the banner of this movement in every country. Perhaps one day we will see the end of this horrid abuse. Thanks for contributing with peace, Vinaya.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      In my country, domestic violence, especially against women, rampantly occurs because of male dominated notion. But in the recent years, people, men and women, are uniting to promote egalitarianism.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas.

      Cheers

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Lady E, you make a point on the emotional pain versus physical. It takes longer to hearl from within a person. Yes, as we promote awareness let's hope they learn to choose freedom. I hope your day is going well.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      Good of you to keep awareness raised on this issue. I think the emotional pain is even harder than the physical pain. Thankfully, more women are becoming stronger inwards and walk away from it. The advice you gave is brilliant too. Thanks

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Genna, so sorry you experienced such abuse. Thankfully, you got out and live to tell us how to choose a better life. Thank you for contributing from your experience on this topic. God bless you.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Reba, your visit adds so much to the subject of domestic abuse. It affects both men and women these days. Our prayers on behalf of others and our taking action to reach out may help someone to break the silence. They must know there is hope. May God gift you with a special love today.

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      Thank you for a very important hub. I think of the hub I wrote about taking a Marriage Quiz before marrying, and I think of how so much of this abuse could be prevented, or at least avoided, if we raised our young women to ignore our sexist culture, and for our mothers to model high self esteem and reinforce that by empowering their daughters with encouragement, and teaching skills that girls can hone to be strong, thus, not even tolerating a wisp of abuse from ANYONE. If all children were raised by loving parents who knew how to model strength for their children, I daresay abuse would be almost nonexistent. However, we have created a world where the big fish eats the little fish; might makes right. We even brag about the U.S. being "the greatest country in the world" strictly based on our material wealth and military might. As long as this paradigm prevails, abuse will continue. It is only when we learn to embrace the values of love, respect, personal integrity that abuse will be viewed as a sick perversion instead of something that is practically quite the norm these days.

      One thing that my parents modeled for me is to not take any physical abuse from anyone EVER, so I always effectively defended myself from the time I was a small child. However, they did not know how to model for me, much less teach me, about psychological abuse. Thankfully, I have always been able to extract myself from psychologically abusive relationships because of the confidence I have in myself and my faith in a loving God who is always there.

      Again though teacher, you have effectively delineated the issue of abuse, and raised awareness of its evil spectre. Knowledge is power, and I pray that your hub helps to empower others to have the courage and strength and yes, faith in themselves, to walk away from abuse, and to never look back.

      God bless you,

      Reba

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Such an important issue that often goes overlooked by society as “not our problem,” and ongoing fears of retribution from the spouse or partner. The abuser can return to silence the woman; or apologies flow with gifts of flowers and false assurances that “it will never happen again.” Verbal abuse can be just as vicious and damaging as the physical kind; the scars run deep, and are a long time in healing.

      This hub touches me, deeply, on many levels. I was in an abusive relationship in my early twenties, and it took me three years to realize that it wasn’t “my fault,” and gather the courage to exit without looking back.

      Voted up and sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Nell, sorry to hear of your friend's story. How sad and unfortunate. Domestic vilence is a silence that kills. Perhaps someone learned from the sharing of your story here. Thanks for your insightful comment. Be safe and strong.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Thanks for telling these stories, I am lucky its never happened to me, but sadly it did to my best friend in the whole world. It caused her life to spiral out of control and now sadly she is no longer with us, if only we could have helped her back then, great hub, nell

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Eddy, their story has a good ending and we can all celebrate their choice to accept freedom. Your experience certainly enables you to look at women like this and know the pain they have experienced. Knowing gives one the ability to help others to heal. Be blessed in your work today,friend.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much for sharing this one Dianna;it is sad and even more sad so common .

      I was in a marriage like this for 26 years until I found the strength to leave and I always feel happy when I hear of someone else who has managed to escape. A great share my friend.

      Eddy.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Fpherj48, your comment is filled with hope for those who are battered; men, women and children. I believe one of the best propositions regarding this cause is to lobby for better safe houses. Our church has a well run, quality program and the safe house is excellent. Yes, the privately owned agencies/organizations offer a much better alternative to the government's. Thank you for the value added here. Blessings, dear lady.

      Michele, the silence is heavy within these women. They live in fear for their lives and the lives of their children. Let's keep reaching out to them and offering choices. God bless you.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for writing this hub. So many women do not cry out for help, or if they need help they never get it until they are hurt very badly.

      Voted up.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      teaches......This is a powerful piece and so necessary to be told repeatedly, to women everywhere. Yes, there is help and because they operate mostly under anonymity, for safety's sake, we must make the effort to afford women and children this information.

      Looks to me like a beneficial cause might be to lobby for improvement, repair and advancement of the "Safe Houses."

      On the brighter side, I know that safe havens exist, which are run by private agencies and well-maintained, kept clean and can house several women and children in immediate crisis.........UP ++++

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Ruchira, thanks for your support of the topic. I too hope it helps someone out there to make a choice for a better lifestyle. Enjoy your week.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Useful hub, Dianna.

      Domestic violence is unbearable and very tormenting to the person who is in the situation. You have given the essential tips and ways to avoid it.

      I sure hope people affecting by it...get this useful advice. voted up and sharing it across.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mary, there are some really wonderful men out there, such as those you know and the ones in my life. Wish all women could experience this blessing. Thanks for your thoughts on this topic, very much valued.

      Rebecca, it's such an alarming truth and hits home when you see the evidence. Enjoy your week and stay safe.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Those statistics are alarming. Well done Hub for domestic abuse awareness.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I know this abuse happens, and I understand why so many women remain in these relationships and seem to be helpless. So sad. I just saw a commerial on TV for Safe Space. It was a recording of a child screaming "her Mommy was being hit by her Daddy".

      I was lucky in that I was always treated with love and respect by the men in my life.

      Great Hub. I voted UP and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Tillsontitan, I agree the abuse should not happen to anyone at all. I just heard another story of a child who was abused by her parents who eventually gave her up to the court (abandoned her). Sad isn't it? Yes, we need more programs to help stop the abuse. Thanks for your added value to the topic. Enjoy your evening.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Yet another sign of a deteriorating society....no woman should have to live with abuse and no child should have to see his/her mother abused. We need more facilities and programs to stop the abuse.

      I was once asked to contribute some household items for a woman who had left her abusive husband during the night with her two children. In addition to the normal pots and pans I included a set of wine glasses. She appreciated those wine glasses so much saying they were the closest thing to a normal life she now had...how sad!

      Voted this wonderful hub up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mjkearn, I was a little surprised too on the stats of 1 t0 4. It was unfortunate she had to serve jail time for her husband, the law is not always able to interpret well in such situations. Thanks for your visit and add to the conversation.

      Cyndi, it does take a lot of courage to get up and leave an abusive relationship. We often hear of a death instead of an escape to freedom. Great reflection on this subject. Enjoy your week.

      Glimmer, Oliva is a beautiful woman, strong, intelligent and she is doing well. She was wise to make the decision to leave when she did. Thanks for your visit and contribution to the topic.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Really awesome hub teaches. I love the examples of the women like Olivia who escaped the abuse. All too often we only hear the stories of woment who did not. Thank you for this hub. Shared.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Wonderful hub, Teaches. You do a great job of highlighting the fact that domestic abuse is a problem, but if a person has enough support and courage, they can get past it. This is an important hub!

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Teaches

      Great job on highlighting an issue that I for one didn't think was still such a huge problem. 1 in 4 experiencing some form of abuse is a stat that I wouldn't have thought possible. Also the physical abuse verses none, leading to jail is a very sad reflection of the way things work.

      Thanks for writing and sharing. Voted up and ticked.

      MJ.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Btrbell, you have mentioned an important fact on the financial abuse. It is a big part of the reason many cannot leave the abusive relationship. Great add and thanks for coming by here today. I hope your weekend is going well. Take care.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you! This is an amazingly informative, comprehensive hub on a topic that as miuch as we all know about it, continues to be a pervasive problem around the world. Again, thank you for writing about it and steps to be protected. I think it is important for women (and men) to know as tyou stated that not all abuse is physical violence. Emotional abuse and financial abusr can keep someone a victim also. Voted up, awesome and useful!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      TeacherJoe, yes men are also battered and abused. It is a concern indeed. I wish no one had to endure such abuse and suffering. It is so unfair to take advantage of someone and rule over them with fear. I have family members who have experienced this: both men and women. It is very sad. I am glad that you stood your ground in the attack and acted wisely. Thanks for stopping by and adding flavor to the article post. God bless you today and always.

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 4 years ago

      Good morning teaches.

      Very good advice. I am looking forward to your next article about abused husbands. Believe there are many that suffer in silence because of shame. Do you know that in many places in Canada all a woman has to do is call the police and inform them her husband is abusing her and her is taken to jail no trial (which is illegal). An interesting article in Ann Landers stated that most women start the fight but the men get blamed for it (both verbally and physically). I had an experiance where the woman I was in a relationship with was screaming in my face about something I had nothing to do with. Then she stood there and dared me to hit her. If I had of hit her (and if she was a guy she would have been flat out on the floor) I would have gone to jail, no questions asked. Why is it okay for women libbers to pick a fight with a man and when the man defends himself he is instantly the bad guy. We need to be fair. I heard something sililar on Focus on the Family.

      God bless you.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Dr BJ, thanks for your comment and visit. I hope that this will make a difference to someone who is suffering and needs to hear they have a choice.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      And God bless you, Dianna, for sharing this information and realistic advice for the large portion of our population who desperately need it.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Just wanted to thank everyone for commenting on this topic. It is a global concern. I was torn hearing these women share from their heart on how each day they died a little inside as they realized their husband was not going to change.

      Some of your stories are similar to these women, I am sorry you had to suffer silently. I hope that we recognize those women (and now, men) who suffer domestic violence among us and reach out to help. Give them the message that they do not have to endure this abuse, there is another way of life filled with hope and peace.

      God bless each of you this day for caring.

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      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This is a well written hub that gives to very good examples of women who were abused but did eventually get away. I lived that life with my first husband. Staying with relatives was not an option as he threatened to burn down their houses. It took a lot of strength and I manged to get my degree as an RN so I could support my children, then I left. I moved and hid briefly, then the judge said he had a right to know where his children lived, so that was a very brief respite even though we were divorced. Eventually he left town but it was a tough road. Alanon helped me tremendously, as the worst of the violence involved alcohol and drugs. I made friends and they supported me completely until I could stand on my own two feet. I usually don't share this part of my life, but if you are living with this problem, he will not change. It is up to you and there are shelters and caring people that will help you. Do not stay in an abusive relationship.

      This is an awesome hub and I think it will help people recognize the signs of abused women, and maybe they can offer help also.

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      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is a wonderful hub! There are so many women out there that are being either verbally or physically abused. I did my best to try to talk a client into leaving her "partner" when I worked at the Dept. of Human Servies. Her name was Beatrice. Anytime she came into the office, she had bruises, busted lips or black eyes. She had no money and no one to turn to. I gave her the name of the Battered Womens Shelter, but she apparently never called. About 2 weeks after the last time I talked to her, they found her body in a ditch behind the motel where she and her partner had been staying. She had been beaten to death. I felt so bad! He later turned himself in and is serving life in prison. There needs to be more we can to do help these women. I am glad you are bring more attention to this issue. Voting up and awesome!

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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Very compassionate insight! This is a world wide problem. Voted up, beautiful and interesting.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Amazing write teaches!!!

      Thank you for your great contribution to H.O.W.!!!

      Very thought-provoking and profound piece here. On twitter I follow an organization OutOfDarknessGa, who help to fight against such, well against human trafficking.

      Very tragic indeed! Thank you so much for writing on this subject, which is on-going everywhere it seems. Even in the small county in which I now reside, lovely young women are vanishing and are never heard of again. So very disturbing. The Sunshine Center here helps a lot of women in a great way as a safe-haven from their abusers.

      Thank you for putting real faces here with your astounding write.

      Voted +++++ God bless you. Sharing.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing the women's stories and the information, Dianna, and a special thank you for sharing the practical information for women involved in an abusive relationship. This is an important hub!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is such an important message and cause. So much of this happens, and for many it is a silent killer. If it does not kill physically, it kills emotionally and psychologically. Thank you for raising awareness about this issue.

    • nmdonders profile image

      nmdonders 4 years ago

      These stories make me angry and sad. I wish none of it existed. The stats are disgusting and shocking but all of this needs to be said. Thank you for sharing this. As sad and hurtful as it is I'm glad people talk about it.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Dianna, interesting, thought provoking article which I hope will be widely read through Google and elsewhere - whilst having no experience of this myself, I have had friends with awful experiences of domestic abuse and it is heartbreaking to watch and hear about, you want to jump in and can't sometimes. You have given good advice here in this useful H.O.W. article.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Dianna, thank for sharing these two courageous and strong women's stories here with us. I can't even imagine, but you gave great advice and tips for those who are going through this or if someone knows another going through these types of abuse. Have of course voted up and shared all over!!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I have heard about this type of abuse for years, but have never met an abused woman..However I am sure it is a well kept secret with many. I cannot imagine living under such conditions, but I know there are many emotional states that women go through and often blame themselves. I think the emotional and verbal abuse would eventually strip you of all your self worth. At least these women got away. There is an organization in Phoenix, Arizona..I think it is national..Sojourner....They have done some amazing things. Thanks for bringing this out as it is often a well kept secret....

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Teaches,

      What a well written, comprehensive and haunting piece. 1 out of 4 is a statistic that is beyond belief and tragic.

      The stories of Olivia and Contessa help others put a face on this issue. I am always happy when these women are able to reclaim their lives, making them so much healthier and happy for them and their children.

      I can recognize when I am teaching a nurse with a history of abuse or trauma. They are absolutely the hardest working, the kindest and the most committed to improving the health or life of their patients as well.

      I dream of families opening their eyes and as you have written, listening for the silence. You have raised awareness and given helpful solutions/ resources. Amazing work...Voted UP and UAI.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      I was emotionally battered for 20 years. For the sake of my children and especially to avoid a more miserable life, I had no other choice but to learn the best ways in the book to minimize and avoid battering. I survived and eventually stepped out of the 'cage' stronger and equipped with the necessary experience to support and comfort others still compelled to walk this unfortunate road.

      My passionate wish, however, is to become financially able to establish a kibbutz for women and children where they can be self-sustaining in peace and harmony, not obliged to tolerate battering of any kind by men with the mentality of a poorly-raised toddler.

      Excellent contribution to H.O.W. ! Thank you, teacher :)

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 4 years ago from Illinois

      teaches, this is such valuable information. I know that when I went to a shelter back in 1990, I was shocked to see the women who were there with me. One woman was 72 and had been suffering abuse for decades. Another woman was rich but was also financially abused by her husband. I would like to add a link to this on my domestic violence hub. Thanks for sharing.

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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      It is very important to know how to protect oneself from harm. The stories are really sad. Great hub on a very important social topic..

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Olivia and Contessa's story represent so may others that want to stay anonymous as well for fear and lack of self steem. Another issue is the financial limitations, or kids involved. Regardless, there is hope and there are hotline numbers to look for help. Thanks teaches!

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      teaches this hub touched me deeply ...not only is it as always a well written and informative hub but the personal stories touched my very soul. I lost a close friend years ago who dealt with an abusive parent then moved on to an abusive partner...it is a silent killer I miss her and wish I could have done more to get her out of the situation she was in.