Updated: Sep 12, 2020
**Trigger warning: discusses controversial topic***
Imagine your partner, during a disagreement stated:
“I started this relationship because I needed a project and at the time you was it! I didn’t realize you were going to be so difficult… you should be happy I gave you any attention.”
Domestic violence is not just physical! This is a quote that was someone’s reality. No one should have to be subjected to someone else’s lack or respect. This quote speaks volumes of the person who spoke it than the person who received it. A relationship started in such a way is destined to fall apart.
Domestic Violence survivors are more common than what is reported or discussed in the US. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, almost 1500 men and women experience domestic violence per hour (2020). Typically, when a victim of domestic violence, DV, is subjected to these aggressive acts they reflect inward. The victim often believes there is something within them or about them that warrants this behavior.
“I should have made his favorite meal so he can understand how much I love him.”
“I shouldn’t make her so mad; I don’t like when she throws things at me.”
“I don’t like sleeping in my bed because he makes me do things I don’t like, but he is my husband.”
"I wish she understood how scared the kids are when she acts like this.”
Most survivors do not realize that these comments are decreasing their self-worth and self-esteem. The fear response to the abuse is to epitomize being perfect but this is unrealistic. No one is perfect and no one will do everything to the liking of another person. This concept is not realistic. Unfortunately, these lower-level DV happenings tend to be socially accepted. Most will justify these actions in various ways, but everyone should be safe int heir home. The widely inappropriate depiction of DV is the physical abuse- it is harder to justify a black eye, bloody clothing, or a limp body.
Do you know someone in a DV relationship? These tips can help you help them:
· Be understanding, not accepting of their situation. It is not always easy to escape DV.
· Help the survivor learn resources without providing hard copy materials to the survivor.
· Identify code words with the survivor to know when the threat of danger is life-threatening and what the survivor would like you to do with the information.
· Discuss harm reduction techniques that will reduce the aggressiveness of the abuser.
· When the survivor expresses that they are ready to leave or show up at your house do not shame them, just welcome them in.
· Revenge is not going to be helpful!
SURVIVORS, increasing your self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth is not an easy feat but possible. You are worthy of happiness! You are worthy of safety! You are worthy of love! You are worthy of gentle touches! You are worthy of gentle words! You are not at fault! You are beautiful! You have a lot to offer!
National Domestic Violence Hotline. Retrieved 2020, September 1, from www.thehotline.org/rsources/statistics/