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Date Rape and Domestic Violence: When Know Is Not Enough
When Know is not Enough
Domestic Violence : When Know Is Not Enough!
Ok folks, let's get be honest about things here.. If you are looking for some fancy words and and an easy self help session on dating and abuse, this is not where you want to be. I have been both on the receiving and unfortunately the giving end of dating violence. It started with a slap in the face to me when I was 14 and steadily progressed into a two year nightmare that took a restraining order against the boy to finally bring things to a halt. I suffered black eyes, bite marks all over my back, split lips and sexual assaults from the age of 14 to 16 and he was only two years older. I was body slammed, my face rubbed in gravel, shot at and basically kidnapped and taken to another state for 3 days. All of this happened back in the late seventies, and there was no "date rape" or anything like that back then. Everyone in school knew what was going on, even the teachers and principal and no one stepped in to help.I remember him pushing me around in the halls at school and only one boy stood up for me and told him to leave me alone, bless his heart.
I showed a girl in the bathroom at school the bite marks on my back and all she could do was stare in horror for a minute and then ask those awful words, "Why do you stay with him?". Of course she didn't know the threats he had made to me saying he would kill me, and believe me, being shot at once makes a believer out of you, especially at such a young age. He had also threatened to kill my family, and said he would do horrible sexual things to my sister's 6 month old twin girls before he killed them too. He did all of this stone cold sober. He didn't drink or do drugs, so no excuses there, he was just crazy. He cut me off from my friends and family, and I didn't trust the police, mostly because it was such a small town and it would have been awful to have to go to court and describe all the things he had done to me.
Here is the kicker. I KNEW from the beginning that what was going on wasn't right.As time went on, he had me so brainwashed, I began to start to fight him as much as he fought me. He was turning me into a female version of himself and I became anorexic and basically suicidal. Several times I thought about killing him because I thought that was the only way out. Then I began to think about killing myself because I was afraid if I didn't kill him when I tried, I would die a slow and painful death, because I knew he would torture me first. "No means no" had not been invented yet, but I "know" and knew that I had to get out somehow. Finally my sister saved me by getting the restraining order against him for me. Still, the police offered little in the way of protection for me, as he still stalked me all over town, until he finally found another "punching bag" who he married and promptly put in the hospital. I tried to warn her more than once.
You are probably wondering where my parents were during all of this. Well, they were so busy working and fighting with each other that I literally sometimes would go for days and not see them. If they saw me with an injury from a beating, for some reason they would get mad at me, and threw me out more than once. I had nowhere else to go, so I would end up back at his house, where his parents made me sleep in the floor at the foot of his bed like a dog. So believe me, I got a lot of nighttime visits and not a lot of sleep. Strange, huh? Never have figured that one out.
Anyway, this "No means No" slogan has lost it's punch, no pun intended. You guys and gals out there that are getting hurt verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually have got to KNOW when it's time to get out. There are too many resources out there to help you now, like safe houses, police protection and anti-stalking laws, File assault charges and stick with them. Don't listen to "Baby, I love you, I'm sorry, it will never happen again", because it will. The next time it could mean your life or one of your children's lives. There are some great books on DATE RAPE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND LOW SELF ESTEEM, AS WELL AS HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF for great prices out there. There are some really good examples of some at the bottom of this page. It has taken me a lot of therapy and I have made a lot of bad choices in my life because of the low self esteem this incident caused me. Parents, please keep an eye on your kids, and if thier boy or girlfriend seems over possessive, your child suddenly dumps all thier friends but the "love of thier life" and has unexplained bruises or other injuries or shows signs of depression, get involved!! Don't leave them hanging out to dry by themselves like I was. If I can help Just one child, or one person, male OR female by telling my story, it will have been worth it all. Please email me with any comments. I would love to hear from you!
A Few Last Words About This Subject
One very important thing I learned from my experience is this:
1. NEVER hit a man first! If you do, you have just put yourself in a situation where he suddenly views you as on the same level as another man. The testosterone kicks in, and his "Fight or flight" switch has just flipped on. 9 times out of 10, he is going to not only hit you back, he will beat the crap out of you if if you don't watch out. If a situation is starting to get a bit volatile, get out of there as fast as you can! Go to a trusted friend's house, or even to a shelter if you need to. Never lose sight of your car keys and your cell phone if you have one, in case you need to call 911. Don't hesitate to defend yourself in these ways, but take it from me, DO NOT try to fight back. YOU WILL NOT WIN!
2. Don't hesitate to talk to your children and friends about this subject, especially if you suspect they may be a victim of domestic violence, date rape or even marital rape. Yes-there is such a thing as "Marital rape". Men CAN AND DO rape their wives at times. Rape is a crime of power and control. It is really more about those two aspects than the actual sexual act itself. If you see bruises often and the person either won't talk about it, or you can tell or suspect they are covering for someone out of fear, try to gain their confidence and get them to talk to you about it. Maybe you can convince them to seek help and you just might save a life.
3. Never agree to leave a public place with someone you just met, no matter how nice they seem! They could be a serial rapist or murderer for all you know. The same rule applies to people that you meet on the internet. If you decide to meet, do it in a public place and ask a friend to go along with you. You cannot be too careful. Personally, I ran a background check on my husband before I ever went out with him alone! I never would have thought to do such a thing before I experienced rape and abuse. Take this advice and maybe protect yourself so you won't have to be a victim like I was.
These same rules go for men as well as womwn, as there are times where the woman is the aggressor and the man is the one being abused. It is just not reported as often, because men are embarrassed to ask for help if their wife or girlfriend is abusing them, either verbally, emotionally or physically. Men can be victims too. Unfortunately, we have become a society that is numbed by so much violence in the world that we often don't pay much attention until it literally hits too close to home! We either experience abuse ourselves, or someone in our family does, or God forbid one of our loved ones or friends dies as a result of this awful problem. Get involved and protect yourself at the same time.