Domestic Violence is a Choice

Let’s be clear on the issue of Violence Against Women. If a man physically and/or psychologically abuses a woman, it is not by accident and it is not by mistake… It is by choice. I posted an article on this issue in 2011 titled, Domestic Violence: But He Really is a Good Person. Here’s an excerpt:

How many times have you heard a woman say these words after she’s been abused: “But he really is a good person”. She then goes into all of the things that have been difficult in his life, all of the things that have kept him down and made him a victim.

As if to say what?  He really doesn’t mean to be a bad person. Just look at his life, the cards were stacked against him. As if to say: Because of his past, he doesn’t have a personal choice in his future actions? As if to say: If those bad things didn’t happen in his life he wouldn’t be the way he is today. Wouldn’t he?

Over and over we have seen statistics and read stories about women who have been caught in the storm of violence perpetrated by a husband or lover—someone she knows intimately.  They sit on their friends’ couches, in their therapist’s office, in a bar, or at a police station, with their bruises, cuts and outward scars. They say things like: “But he really is a good person.  I know he didn’t mean to do it.  He loves me.” Read Full Article

Every woman, every person, deserves to live their life to its fullness. Free from fear, free from torment, free from abuse, and the list goes on. Everyone deserves to love and be loved fully and freely. Take the first step to love yourself enough to be free. You are worth it!

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – ”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

What is Emotional Abuse?

“Emotional abuse is about someone manipulating your emotions on a psychological level” according to Gunta Krumins, BA, PMP, author of The Detrimental Effects of Emotional Abuse

Dr. Steven Stosny, Ph.D. says an emotional abuser controls another person by undermining his or her confidence, worthiness, growth, trust, or emotional stability, or by provoking fear or shame to manipulate or exploit; and that “Emotionally abusive behavior is anything that intentionally hurts the feelings of another person.”

Because of the silent nature of emotional abuse, it’s not untypical for a woman to feel hopeless, depressed, confused and/or trapped. In extreme cases, emotional abusers can break a person’s confidence and spirit to the point they can even convince their victim that they deserve what they get. It is twisted, damaging, and it’s all about control.

Emotional abuse is any nonphysical behavior or attitude that controls, intimidates, subjugates, demeans, punishes or isolates another person by using degradation, humiliation or fear.

Examples of Emotionally Abusive Behaviors:

  • Humiliating, degrading, mocking, bullying 
  • Discounting, distorting, negating, lying 
  • Accusing, blaming, and threatening
  • Isolating the victim from the people and things they care about
  • Deception and manipulating people’s emotions, decisions, and situations
  • Withholding affection and emotional support
  • Withholding financial and practical resources
  • Dismissive, disapproving, or contemptuous looks, comments or behavior
  • Threatening harm to the victim, their family, friends, pets, or possessions

“Emotional abuse seems more personal than physical abuse, more about you as a person, more about your spirit. It makes love hurt.” -Dr. Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

Additional Reading:

Stop the Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse: It Hurts When You Love

Quotes From Women Who Have Suffered Emotional Abuse

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

Share

Victim Advocates — Help Me, Don’t Help Me

 

How do you help someone who is being victimized but doesn’t want your help or isn’t even aware that they need help?

 

BE AVAILABLE.

It sounds way too simple, but the truth is… just maybe there will come a day when your loved one sees for herself how desperate her situation has become, and she will remember you. She will remember your openness, your kindness, a thoughtful gift, an encouraging word or that unconditional look of love and acceptance in your eyes. She will remember your availability.

Timing is Key – Don’t Push Too Hard 

Don’t push, prod, pry, or try to pull things out of her. Just love on her. When she is ready—and only she will know when that time is–she will come back around.  It is painful and wrenchingly frustrating to watch someone be marginalized and victimized. We want to step in and stop the abuse—to stand up and scream, “This is insanity!”

Unfortunately, when a victim of abuse finally comes to terms with the reality of her situation—it is so often after things have escalated far beyond any line we would have drawn hoping to prevent further pain.  She may know things aren’t right, but she’s not yet willing to admit that continuing in her present lifestyle is actually detrimental or dangerous.  She needs to make a conscious decision for her own well-being, but that rarely happens in our timing.

If we look from the outside in and jump the gun, we are liable to create more problems and that’s the last thing we want. She needs to see and to know for herself why it is time to get out of her situation.

Use Wisdom with Intervention

Too often, women return to their abusers because well-meaning friends or family intervene before she is ready, because they feel the need to made the choice for her. It is completely understandable because they love her and have legitimate concerns for her well-being.

In turn however, her abuser may clamp down more control because he is afraid of losing his dominance over her again. Or worse, try to “teach her a lesson” by inflicting more abuse in an attempt to instill even greater fear should she ever consider leaving him again.

As onlookers, we are painfully aware of the dire circumstances. We see clearly, the cause and effect unfolding before us, and before her.  Understandably, we want to play the role of victim advocates. We want to rescue, fix, and make things “all better.”

Awareness is key–but we also need to use discernment and wisdom as we try to help our sisters that are in trouble.

Be Purposeful – Keep Planting Seeds of Kindness

She may also be afraid and ashamed to talk about her abuse or disillusioned and not sure how to deal with what she’s feeling.

It costs so little to just love on our fellow human beings. The simplicity of offering a listening ear, a hug, inviting them to an event or for a cup of coffee can mean so much to someone who is longing for authentic friendship or validation.

Start with what you can do today. Your simple acts of kindness may eventually lead to a place of safety and trust for her.  In a figurative sense, leave your light on, keep that candle of hope burning.

“Walking with a Friend in the Dark is Better than Walking Alone in the Light”

–Helen Keller

Out of your thoughtfulness–your attentiveness, little gestures that say “I’m thinking about you”, and your open heart towards her–an opportunity may be birthed to move from a “don’t help me” to “help me” — simply because you purposed to make yourself available.

Then maybe, just maybe… her story will become a part of your story.

 

© by April McCallum, Destiny’s Women

(Photos by blai server, mgbrigby )

Share
©Destiny's Women™ is a blog founded, written and published by April McCallum -- "Championing the Life, Freedom and Destiny of Women" Creative Commons License
This work by April McCallum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.