October is breast cancer awareness month and while that is a very important,
domestic violence is the number one cause of injury to women.
In case you didn’t know, October is also domestic violence awareness month. It is believed that at least 10 million children have witnessed domestic violence. More than three women a day die from domestic violence related injuries. (For more statistics- http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/).
Those are statistics, but let’s be real. I’m will to bet that everyone has either been a victim, knows a victim, or knows of a victim of domestic violence. That is something we don’t talk about enough. We have all seen that co worker that comes to work with shades or extra heavy make up on. We have whispered about the “situation”, but rarely do we ask if they need help because we don’t want to get involved. The problem with that is, when we see a news article about that same co worker, we say “that is so sad, I knew she had it hard” (insert side eye here).
In high school, there was a guy who I witnessed beating his girlfriend in the hallway weekly. I won’t mention names, but anyone who went to school with me probably knows who I am referring too. One particular day, he was beating her by the lockers and a teacher came and broke it up. We all stood there saying how crazy he was and how she was stupid for being with him. The thing is, I knew both of them and he was always nice to me.
That is the idea behind domestic violence though. The aggressor is crazy and the victim is stupid. The truth is 1 in 5 teenage girls have been/is involved in a similar situation. Don’t wait until your children are adults to talk to them about domestic violence. It should be right up there with the “bad touch” talk.
In my day, I have been called a few unflattering names, however I don’t think stupid was ever one of them. In my early 20’s, I still found myself involved in a relationship with a clearly throwed off guy! This guy was all kinds of crazy. Like most women, I thought because I hit him back, I was not in a domestic violence situation. In fact, I gave him a run for his money and we would fight like two grown men. It went on for a period of time before I finally walked away. It was that or kill him and I had a child I had to think about. However, that short period of time is stained in my memory forever. Anyone who knew/knows me finds that hard to believe because I am such a strong woman. That just goes to show ANYONE can get in a DV situation.
So let me hip some of you to this FACT-just because you swing back doesn’t mean you are not a victim. The good news is from a VICTIM you can become a SURVIVOR and from that, you become a CONQUEROR! That is how it goes. To the people in this situation-there is help, there is a way out, and most of all there is a life waiting on your afterwards. If you want to get out, but don’t know how call a DV hotline, they can help!! (1800799SAFE).
If you know someone in the situation-don’t judge them (I always said it would never be me), don’t ask questions (you already know), just let that person know that you are there if they need help or want to talk, you can always call a DV hotline and ask them what is the best way to help. They are trained and informative.
Now I am in a happy, healthy relationship but, I had to reprogram my mind from that argue to fight mode. When you have been in a DV situation, it is a natural reaction that you prepare for the worst.
Fighting fair means talking it out, not being insulting, and learning how/when to walk away. It means agreeing to disagree. This is normal in a relationship, verbal and physical attacks aren’t!
Peace & Love