October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In an effort to increase awareness and encourage those who may be living with Domestic Violence to reach out for help, I have decided to begin writing my story. I will periodically write blog posts under a new category, Surviving Domestic Violence. I would also like to welcome you to share your stories with us. You may send them to me privately through my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to let me know if I have permission to share your story (anonymously) on the blog.
I am a Domestic Violence Survivor. This month marks ten years since the day I left my abuser. I have never shared my story before. But, I want others to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
The statistics in the United States alone are staggering. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be the victims of SEVERE domestic violence during their lifetimes. 38, 028, 000 women have experienced domestic violence during their lifetimes. 38 MILLION in the United States alone. 70% of women worldwide will experience domestic violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes. Clearly, the numbers speak for themselves.
The question I’ve heard asked the most of women and men in abusive relationships is “Why do they stay?”. This seems mind-boggling to those who have never lived through domestic abuse. There are many answers, none of them simple. The fact is many men and women are deeply ashamed of what is happening. Some have been threatened (even with their lives) against leaving. Often, their abusers have isolated them both socially and financially. Victims feel they have no one to turn to and no way out. They may fear for their children’s safety as well. Victims are often brainwashed to believe they “deserve it”. They begin to believe there is something inherently wrong with them. For these, and many more reasons, they stay.
Domestic Violence rears it’s ugly head in many forms. There may be physical abuse, emotional abuse and financial abuse. Quite often, all 3 go hand-in-hand. Abusers rely on their victims’ inability to leave by creating a near impossible situation for their victims, rendering them dependent on their abusers.
If you are a victim of Domestic Violence and need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (in the U.S.). They are there to listen and help provide you with many resources for getting out safely.
If you live outside of the U.S., please look up your hotline number.
It’s NEVER too late to reach out for help. NO ONE deserves to live with Domestic Violence. NO ONE!
In my next post in this category, I will begin my own story of surviving domestic violence. Again, I encourage all of you to share your stories by sending a private email to email@example.com. Please let me know if I have permission to share your story on the blog anonymously.