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”

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Verbal Abuse: Don’t Just Stand There, Say Something!


He was raging behind the closed door with a loud dominating voice.  Spewing out hostility, his words pulsated with venom. Like a verbal battering ram, it went on and on and on.  It was like a bad movie, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I wanted to rescue her, she must been terrified!  My heart was pounding, my mind was racing and my stomach was in knots.

What Should I Do?  What Could I Do?

So many thoughts like rapid fire intersected in my mind. Would I make it worse if I got involved?  Was it even my place? After all, they were both adults.  Surely if they knew someone had been a witness to this bullying session, they would be humiliated.

I wondered how often these “private” sessions took place and if they were a routine part of their relationship.

Then, the raging escalated.  The mental gymnastics of balancing discretion and reason were abruptly interrupted by reality.  My mind raced even more imagining what might come next — a verbal assault upgraded to a physical assault.  She whimpered and pleaded in what seemed like a tiny helpless voice, and I feared for her safety. Something inside me switched. Suddenly all reasoning and caution were thrust aside. I couldn’t stand it any longer.

There’s a time to get involved, and this was it.  I had to step over that line…

There was no stopping me.  Placing both hands palm out, I slammed the door open.  It was as if I had supernatural strength.  The abuse was going to stop, and it was going to stop right then! Startling the abuser, I pointed my finger in his face and yelled: “Stop! You leave her alone, or I’ll call the police!”  That was enough to shock him back to his sensibilities and halt the immediate threat. 

 

It’s always easier to do nothing because we don’t want to rock the boat.  

Even in that lightening speed process, I still took a moment to ask myself the question: “If I choose to get involved, will I risk my future relationship with the abuser, or even the victim of the abuse?”  The answer was yes.  I did realize that it might backfire.

If you get involved, it is a risk, but understand, it is a calculated risk. It’s true, you might be shunned for getting involved in someone else’s business. But it might also help to consider what the consequences of inaction might be.  Are we more concerned about the victim or self-preservation?

What we tend to miss, is that the words “someone else’s business” should be read with the quotation marks in place. The truth is, abuse is not just between two people. Abuse affects the lives of the people around them, knowingly or unknowingly.

You don’t just get involved for victim and the abuser, you do it for you.  The reality is, the victim may never leave, and you might risk losing a relationship with the abuser—but either way, you will have to live with yourself and your choices. You don’t have to bust down doors, be wise.

But, Don’t Just Stand There…  Say Something!

It might be intimidating to take a stand for what is right. Your friend or family member may be upset or even hold a grudge, but the message you send when not saying anything is much worse.  We all know the old expression: “Silence speaks louder than words”.  In silence we may be communicating that: abuse is okay, or, whatever happens behind closed doors is your own business.

Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women is Never Okay!

In my case, it was somewhat surreal especially because no one ever talked about it after the incident. It was almost as if never speaking about it erased or nullified it — as if it never happened. But it did, and I will never forget. 

Even today, years later, the abuse continues to some degree, but I am not sorry that I intervened.  I have to live with my choices.  My choice was to protect, to advocate, to be brave in the face of rage, and to choose love.

Our greatest hope is that intervention will act as a catalyst for change, but we can’t will it to happen.  People–both the abusers and the victims–have to want to change.  I would do the same thing again if the circumstances called for it.  What about you?

© by April McCallum, Destiny’s Women

(Photos by Juin Hoo, Mike GrahamKo_An)

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