Let’s Talk About It – Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence in a family has a major influence on a persons life. It is never good to experience and most of us who have parents who have been through it, have a lot of work to go through. It is also most difficult to understand why and how it happens because it seems to be something that not many people are keen to talk about openly. For example, women might be easy to forgive and conjure up an excuse for their partner, telling friends and doctors that the bruises are from an accident. A man may omit sharing any experiences of humiliation and psychological abuse from his partner out of fear or embarrassment. Why does this happen? Why don’t these people just leave the person? It doesn’t make any sense! Well, it could be any reason from financial dependency to fear that they won’t have the support that they need to keep the abuser away after they leave. Sometimes people live in fear long after they have left the unhealthy relationship.

Some of the most frustrating times of my life have been spent trying to get someone to understand that possessiveness, codependency, and intimidation does not equal love. Was I successful? Not really. Did it affect me as a child? Of course, it did. Did I make it through? The answer is a big fat yes. It was not easy, but I took full responsibility for my life and how it turned out and I am grateful.

So, how did I make it through life this far without letting my past and my mother’s example of love pin me down into a life sentence of feelings of unworthiness and pity?

The answer: Time, education and inviting quality people into my life. The first thing I had to do was stop letting my past control me. I had to stop thinking I can rescue someone who does not want to be rescued, and understand that I am worthy of all of the things in life I have always wanted, a loving partner, good friends and unforgettable life experiences. It was time to stop playing the victim and take control of the wheel. After I did this, then everything changed.  I was free.

The point of this post is not to talk about how to get over this experience, that will be another time. The point is just to talk about it. Not everyone has the resources and the opportunities to get out of the situation they are in, that is why there is a lot of work to be done. The more we talk about it and let it be known that it is not normal and that we do not have to go through these things alone, the more men and women feel like they will have a voice and are able to steal their lives back and start living fully.

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Domestic Violence, Abuse and Co-Dependency is not always physical

Taking money from the other person whenever they get paid and not letting them have any personal say in how they spend it, controlling every aspect of finances.

Requiring a partner to accompany them everywhere, making them feel rude or unfaithful because they choose not to.

Degrading her or him or making fun of the others personal hobbies, to the point that they neglect their own interests.

Limiting access to the partners education.

Asking the partner who he or she is trying to impress or calling them names when they attempt to put on make-up or dress up nice, leading to the point where they begin to wear nothing but unisex and baggier clothes that does not show off any of her form.

Any form of hitting or physical violence, for any reason.

Pressure to do drugs or drink then putting the other person down for getting hooked on substances.

Having sex or sexual contact with the other partner while asleep or without permission, no matter how long you have been together or if you are in a serious relationship.

Any form of manipulation or intimidation

Not giving a partner privacy and stalking them at work

Not giving them privacy at home for personal care or family matters

Not letting the other partner have their own non-mutual friends or accusing them of cheating every time they make any.

All of these are tactics that break down a person to make them things that they are not capable of having a loving partner who treats them with respect.

At this point, the partner forgives easily because he or she does not understand the level of respect that he or she is entitled to or deserves. When a child sees this, this is what they are taught. They will expect nothing more than this from their own relationships. This shows the children that they use force to get what they want, and not their words.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 5.45.57 PMDomestic Violence Does Not Only Happen to Women

Men can be abused. Men can be abused by women. It is common for a man to let a woman abuse him and not do anything to protect himself out of fear of abusing her. Men can be also psychologically abused just as much as a woman. Partners can do so many things to hurt the other without raising a hand, such as using a child against one another and taking advantage of custody rights or withholding child support.

Abuse Can Continue After the Relationship is Over

Sometimes partners can use money as a leverage to get their way, making their ex feel like they have no power and will lose any court case or fight. Partners can use tactics such as talking bad about the other parent to the child to get the child to favour them. Other tactics include constantly being late on child support payments, not honouring agreements with custody and shared responsibilities as well as blackmail to name a few.

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How can you help someone who is in this situation?

The answer is simple, let them know that you are there for them when they are ready to handle it. Give them resources. Give them resources to education.  Give them resources to counsellors, to domestic violence shelters, to anonymous hotlines.

Sometimes the person will not be able to get away from the abuser and even deny that there is anything wrong. At this point, all you can do is give them the resources and let them know that you are truly there for them and are willing to help in any way you can.

TALK ABOUT IT, even if you are not being abused. Awareness helps people understand the problem and identify it as well. When a man or a woman being abused feels like there is a major support group to go to for help, they are more likely to think about it as a realistic alternative.

CONCLUSION

There is no perfectly normal family, and these challenges can help us grow and empower us to make a big difference in the lives of others. We can take responsibility for our place here on earth and pass down the knowledge to others who are in similar situations and to prevent them from happening.

Below are a list of resources for people who feel like they may know someone who is being abused or is being abused themselves. Nobody should have to feel alone. Spreading the awareness helps educate potential abusers as well and may save a life.

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http://www.beckysfund.org/story/my-testimony/  - Becky’s Fund strives to address domestic violence in all sectors of our community, establish prevention-based educational programs to counter domestic violence, and collaborate with others in the community to find ways to change the behavior and thinking behind issues that cause and perpetuate domestic violence.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

www.ndvh.org

National Dating Abuse Helpline 

1-866-331-9474

www.loveisrespect.org

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center 

International Toll-Free (24/7) 

1-866-USWOMEN (879-6636)

www.866uswomen.org

National Child Abuse Hotline/Childhelp 

1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

www.childhelp.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline 

1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)

www.rainn.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

National Center for Victims of Crime 

1-202-467-8700

www.victimsofcrime.org

National Human Trafficking Resource Center/Polaris Project 

Call: 1-888-373-7888 | Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)

www.polarisproject.org

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights 

1-510-465-1984

www.nnirr.org

National Coalition for the Homeless 

1-202-737-6444

www.nationalhomeless.org

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 

1-800-537-2238

www.nrcdv.org and www.vawnet.org

Futures Without Violence: The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence 

1-888-792-2873

www.futureswithoutviolence.org

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health

1-312-726-7020 ext. 2011

www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org

CHILDREN

Childhelp USA/National Child Abuse Hotline 

1-800-422-4453

www.childhelpusa.org

Children’s Defense Fund 

202-628-8787

www.childrensdefense.org

Child Welfare League of America 

202-638-2952

www.cwla.org

National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges 

Child Protection and Custody/Resource Center on Domestic Violence

1-800-527-3233

www.ncjfcj.org

Center for Judicial Excellence 

info@centerforjudicialexcellence.org 

www.centerforjudicialexcellence.org

TEENS

Love is respect 

Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

www.loveisrespect.org

Break the Cycle 

202-824-0707

www.breakthecycle.org

DIFFERENTLY ABLED

Domestic Violence Initiative 

(303) 839-5510/ (877) 839-5510

www.dviforwomen.org

Deaf Abused Women’s Network (DAWN) 

Email: Hotline@deafdawn.org 

VP: 202-559-5366

www.deafdawn.org

WOMEN OF COLOR

Women of Color Network 

1-800-537-2238

www.wocninc.org

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence 

incite.natl@gmail.com 

www.incite-national.org

LATINA/LATINO

Alianza 

1-505-753-3334 

www.dvalianza.org

Casa de Esperanza 

Linea de crisis 24-horas/24-hour crisis line 

1-651-772-1611

www.casadeesperanza.org

National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities

1-651-646-5553

www.nationallatinonetwork.org

IMMIGRANT

The National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project

(202) 274-4457

http://www.niwap.org/

INDIGENOUS WOMEN

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center 

855-649-7299

www.niwrc.org

Indigenous Women’s Network 

1-512-258-3880

www.indigenouswomen.org

ASIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER

Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence 

1-415-954-9988

www.apiidv.org

Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) 

1-212- 473-6485

www.caaav.org

Manavi 

1-732-435-1414

www.manavi.org

AFRICAN-AMERICAN

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community 

1-877-643-8222

www.dvinstitute.org

The Black Church and Domestic Violence Institute 

1-770-909-0715

www.bcdvi.org

LESBIAN, BI-SEXUAL, GAY, TRANSGENDER, GENDER NON-CONFORMING

The Audre Lorde Project 

1-178-596-0342

www.alp.org

LAMBDA GLBT Community Services 

1-206-350-4283

http://www.qrd.org/qrd/www/orgs/avproject/main.htm

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 

1-212-714-1184

www.ncavp.org

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force 

1-202-393-5177

www.ngltf.org

Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse 

1-206-568-7777

www.nwnetwork.org

ABUSE IN LATER LIFE

National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life 

1-608-255-0539

www.ncall.us

National Center for Elder Abuse 

1-855-500-3537

http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/

MEN

National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS) 

1-720-466-3882

www.nomas.org

A Call to Men 

1-917-922-6738

www.acalltomen.org

Men Can Stop Rape 

1-202-265-6530

www.mencanstoprape.org

Men Stopping Violence

1-866-717-9317

www.menstoppingviolence.org

LEGAL

American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence 

1-202-662-1000

www.abanet.org/domviol

Battered Women’s Justice Project 

1-800-903-0111

www.bwjp.org

Legal Momentum 

1-212-925-6635

www.legalmomentum.org

Womenslaw.org 

www.womenslaw.org

National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women 

1-800-903-0111 x 3

www.ncdbw.org

EUROPE 

AMCV- Associação de Mulheres Contra a Violência

http://mulher.sapo.pt/J92/276923.html

APAV- Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima

http://www.apav.pt/home.html

CIDM- Comissão Para a Igualdade e para os Direitos das Mulheres

http://www.cidm.pt

Comissão para a Igualdade e para os Direitos das Mulheres

http://www.cidm.pt

Cooperativa Sociale - Italy

http://www.gaf.pt

Escola C+S de Almeida Garrett

http://www.malhatlantica.pt

GAF- Gabinete de Atendimento à Família

http://www.promosud.it

UMAR- União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta

http://www.terravista.pt

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-888-373-7888

help@humantraffickinghotline.org  |  www.humantraffickinghotline.org

International Directory of Domestic Violence - http://www.hotpeachpages.net/europe/

AUSTRIA

IBF - Intervention Centre for Victims of Trafficking in Women + 43 1-796 92 98

BELGIUM

PAG-ASA + 32 2 511 64 64

Payoke +32 3 201 16 90

Sürya +32 4 232 40 30

Multilingual brochure for victims of human trafficking

BULGARIA

National Hotline for Victims of Violence(operated by Foundation “Animus Association”): 0800 186 76

National Hotline for Children (operated by the State Agency for Child Protection and Foundation “Animus Association”): 116 111

National Human Trafficking Resource Line: (operated by A21 Bulgaria): 0800 20 100

CZECH REPUBLIC

La Strada SOS Hotline +420 222 71 71 71

DENMARK

 - 

ESTONIA

Human Trafficking Prevention and Victim Help Hotline +372 6607 320 

FINLAND

System for victim assistance +358 71 876 3170

FRANCE

National Coordination for protection of victims of human trafficking hotline (Ac.Sé): 0 825 009 907

GREECE

Human Trafficking Resource Line (operated by Α21 Campaign): 1109 (for international calls please call 0030-2310-525149)

HUNGARY

Hotline telephone number for victims of domestic violence or Trafficking (Available 24/7)

In Hungary: 06-80/20-55-20 – Crisis Management and Information Hotline.

Abroad: 0036 80/20-55-20

IRELAND

Hotline for the confidential reporting of suspicions of trafficking:1800 25 00 25

ITALY

National hotline against trafficking 800 290 290

LATVIA

Hotline against trafficking (in Latvian) 80002012

LITHUANIA

Klaipedasocial and psychological services centre 8 800 66366

Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau mailbox for providing information in connection with human trafficking.

LUXEMBOURG

Luxembourgnational contact for expertise in the field combating and preventing of trafficking in Human Beings (Police Grand-Ducale) +352 4997 6210

Out of hours contact: Centre d'Intervention National: +352 4997 2341

MALTA

Vice and Economic Crime, Police General Headquarters, contact for victims of human trafficking or reporting a crime in relation to human trafficking +356 2294 2000

NETHERLANDS

CoMensha (in Dutch) +31 33 4481186

POLAND

National Intervention and Consultation Centre for Victims of Trafficking +48 22 628 01 20

PORTUGAL

Hotline against trafficking 800 202 148

SOS Imigrante, hotline for all migrant situations 808 257 257

ROMANIA

Hotline against trafficking 0800 800 678

SLOVAKIA 

Slovak Crisis Center DOTYK + 421 903 704 784

SLOVENIA 

KLJUČ KEY- Society, Centre for the fight against trafficking in persons: 080 17 22

SPAIN

Institut de la Femme 900 191 010, 900 152 152

SWEDEN

National Support line, a national telephone support line for women who have been subjected to threats and violence: 020 50 50 50

Terrafem, a non-profit organisation that runs a national helpline for immigrant women: 020 52 10 10

Report child trafficking (in Swedish)

For more information please visit website of the National organisation for Women’s and Girls’ Shelters in Sweden.

UNITED KINGDOM

CRIMESTOPPERS, for victims of human trafficking or people having information that will help lead to the identification and recovery of victims in the UK: 0800 555 111

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