To whom it may concern:
You don't deserve what has happened to you. That light you forgot to turn off was an accident. The towels that weren't hung evenly on the rack can be fixed later. The crumbs on the floor aren't going anywhere. They can wait. Being home 5 minutes later than usual from work happens. You can't control that. The wrinkled sheets that you left in the dryer when your baby started fussing, or the phone rang, can be ironed later. Leaving to visit your parents before picking up the house is not a sin. Heating up leftovers instead of making a 5 course meal, after working a 10 hour day, happens. Initiating conversations with others, in hopes of making a new friend, is completely normal. Accidentally hanging a gray t-shirt in with a white one is OKAY. You don't deserve what has happened to you. Everyone make mistakes.
Getting beat up over little mishaps is not okay! You are a human being, you have feelings, emotions, your body understands pain, mentally and physically. You should not be getting kicked around, slapped around, or belittled. This is not okay.
It is also not setting a good example for the future women of America. Including my daughter. My sweet Adeline, I don't believe that any other parents think it's okay that their sweet little girl is being hurt either. Or do they even know? How long have you been hiding the abuse , and explaining away the bruises, black eyes, cuts, scrapes, and fountain of tears? How long have you been living in this situation and suffering in silence? How many times has a weapon been pulled, a knife held to your throat, a gun held to your head? Can you even admit it to yourself? This is a serious question. Can you admit it?
To whom it may concern,
If you don't want to have sex, you don't have too. Married or not. Making you feel guilty over it, or claiming you must be cheating on them if you don't have sex with them right this very second is emotional blackmail. They know you will give into this blackmail just for the sake of peace in the home. Sex for the sake of not being beaten, or to avoid emotional abuse is NOT love, it is a crime! It is nothing less than rape. Married or not. Don't forget, you are a person, a human, deserving of the right to a choice. You are not a possession. Yes, you heard me right.
To whom it may concern,
I have lived this life. I am here admitting it. I did get away. I did not suffer the unbearable amount of violence that so many have before me, and that so many continue to suffer through. Mine started with a fractured arm. He was a drunk. I came home from work at 2 am from my job waiting tables at Buffalo Wild Wings. He was drunk, grabbed my arm, and flung me across the room. He asked me how many men hit on me that night while working the bar side of the restaurant. When I told him to relax, no one was hitting on me, he went on to grab me by my throat, push me down the hall, bust the screen out of our 2nd story apt building, and try to push me through. I was able to free myself, get to the ER, and have my arm looked at. Their first question was "How did you hurt your arm?" My answer is what sent my life into a downward spiral. I lied. I answered by saying "I fell down the stairs" From then on, it was excuse after excuse. I was so scared, and embarrassed to tell the truth, that when I was given a black eye (while holding my 2 year old) and was knocked unconscious, people would ask what happened, and I would laugh and say "You'd be amazed at the strength of a 2 year old's right hook" Yes, I blamed the black eye on my 2 year old, and shoved it off as an accident during a rough housing episode. I've been chased with knives, and held down on the floor with a knee in the chest, and two hands around my neck while my 2 year old son slept peacefully down the hall, never knowing that his mother was being strangled. Guess what though? I got brave. I was bigger than him at the time. I had put on a lot of weight because of the depression. I felt I could take him. I wiggled an arm free, and do you know what I did???? I fought back!!! I punched him right in the face. Blood spewed everywhere. I took control. I saved myself! Guess what happened next though? You're going to love this. He called the cops on me. ON ME!!!! Reported that I was going crazy and beating him. This is what an abuser does. I don't have to tell you that though. You too are living this life.
To you, the person this concerns,
You can leave. You can find a support system elsewhere if you don't have anyone to help you. There are multiple shelters with safe guards in place. Places like this fabulous organization called DomesticShelters.org They will help you locate a shelter with just a few clicks of your mouse. There are people who desperately want to help. There are resources available. YOU CAN DO THIS.
To whom it may concern,
Leaving is scary. My Aunt left. She got her divorce, and thought she was going to move on and be happy, and she was until she took her last breath. Her ex-husband stalked her, got in to her house, and shot her in the back of the head with a sawed off shot gun while she was asleep, peacefully, next to a new man. One who loved her, and cared for her. One that made her smile everyday, She knew she was going to die when she left. She said it over and over. She took every precaution, but it just wasn't enough. She's gone. She's left 3 children. Her ex killed the new man in her life as well, then he turned the gun on himself.
This event tore us up. This tragedy ripped our family to shreds. The shine in the eyes of my family faded a little that day. The happy go lucky days of family gatherings and laughter have lessened. The laughter from the days before her passing are just an echo in my memories. There isn't a day that any of us don't think about her. These events stick with a family. The pain fades, but doesn't leave. The happiness returns, but it's tarnished. The only glimmering eyes I see, are those of my babies. My youngest most innocent baby helps keep the light flickering. The innocence in her heart help make life simple again. Sometimes life feels normal and unchanged. I have the innocents, the children, my children, my cousin's children, all the children to thank for that. The small pure souls of happy children bring my family back to life when they're around. Their unconditional love, their giggles, their smiles, their kind hearts. They make things OKAY. Even if it's just for a short time, it's better than no time.
To whom it may concern:
This was not meant to scare you away from leaving a bad situation. This story, this very real story, was meant to prevent our future young ladies from getting into this kind of relationship. The cycle needs to be broken, and it starts with us. With moms raising good young men, and aware young women.
To whom it may concern,
I can't tell you what to do. I can't tell you you're stupid for staying. I get it. I can tell you that there are far more survivors than deaths. I can tell you that it's really hard to break free of a cycle that is ingrained in you. I can tell you that I do understand, and I don't judge you. I can tell you that you aren't stupid, but you should find help. I can tell you that I don't want you to end up dead. I can tell you that abusers do not change. Don't believe them. Their pleas for a second chance are nothing more than an emotional attack on your already fragile soul. It's just more manipulation to keep you under their thumb....to keep them in control. I can tell you that they do mean business when it comes to NEEDING that control over you. I can tell you that YOU, the person this concerns, DESERVES HAPPINESS. Yes, you!
Domestic Violence Awareness Advocate
Mother of a beautiful daughter, and two sweet boys.
My family and I doing a walk for Domestic Violence Awareness.
You can watch the walk video here. They interviewed my grandma, and a woman who survived be shot in the back of the head. A woman's strength is truly amazing!!
How can you tell if your daughter may be in a potentially abusive situation? Assess her situation using these guidelines that I borrowed from West Island Women's Shelter
How can I tell if a man I’m seeing will become abusive? Early Warning Signs:
He speak disrespectfully about his former partners
A certain amount of anger and resentment toward an ex-partner is normal, but beware of the man who is very focused on his bitterness or who tells you about it inappropriately early on in your dating. Be especially cautious of the man who talks bout women from his past in degrading or condescending ways or who characterizes himself as a victim of abuse by women. Be alert if he says that his previous wife or girlfriend falsely accused him of being abusive-try to get her side of the story. Be cautious of a man who says that you are nothing like the other women he has been involved with, that you are the first partner to treat him well, or that earlier women in his life have not understood him.
He is disrespectful towards you
Disrespect is the soil in which abuse grows. If a man puts you down or sneers at your opinions, if he is rude to you in front of others, if he is cutting or sarcastic, he is communicating a lack of respect.
He does favors that you don’t want or puts on such a show of generosity that it makes you uncomfortable
These can be signs of a man who is attempting to create a sense of indebtedness.
He is possessive and jealous
Jealous behavior is one of the surest signs that abuse is down the road. Possessiveness masquerades as love. Jealous feelings are not the same as behaviours. A man with insecurities may naturally feel anxious about your associations with other men, especially ex-partners, and might want some reassurance. But if he indicates that he expects you to give up your freedom to accommodate his jealousy, control is creeping up. Possessiveness shows that he doesn’t love you as an independent human being but rather as a guarded treasure. After a while you will feel suffocated by his constant vigilance.
He is self-centered
Watch out for a man that does most of the talking, listens poorly when you speak, chronically switches the topic of conversation back to himself. Self-Centeredness is a personality characteristic that is highly resistant to change, as it has deep roots in profound entitlement or to severe emotional injuries (in non abusers) or both (in narcissistic abusers)
Nothing is ever his fault
He blames something or someone for anything that goes wrong. As time goes by, his target of blame increasingly becomes you. He may make promises he can’t keep, coming up with a stream of excuses for disappointing you or behaving irresponsibly, and perhaps taking serious economic advantage of you in the process.
He gets too serious too quickly about the relationship
Watch out if he jumps too soon into planning your future together without taking enough time to get to know you and grow close, because it can mean he’s trying to wrap you up tightly into a package that he can own. If he won’t respect your wishes to slow things down, there is probably trouble ahead.
He abuses drugs or alcohol
Although substances do not cause partner abuse, they often go hand in hand.
He pressures you for sex
Not respecting your wishes or feelings regarding sex speaks of exploitativeness, which in turn goes with abuse. It also is a sign of seeing women as sex objects rather than human beings. If he says you need to have sex with him to prove that you truly love and care for him, this is a sure sign of abusiveness.
He intimidates you when he is angry
Intimidation, even if it appears unintentional, is a sure sign that emotional abuse is on the way-or has already begun-and is a warning flag that physical violence may eventually follow.
- Getting too close to you when he is angry, putting a finger in your face, poking you, pushing you, blocking your way or restraining you.
- He tells you that he is “just trying to make you listen.”
- He raises a fist, towers over you, shouts at you, or behaves in any way that makes you flinch or feel afraid.
- He makes vaguely threatening comments, such as, “you don’t want to see me mad” or “you don’t know who you’re messing with.”
- He drives recklessly or speeds up when he is angry.
- He punches walls or kicks doors.
- He throws things around, even if they don’t hit you.
He has double standards
Beware of a man who has a different set of rules for his behavior than for yours.
He has negative attitudes toward women
Stereotyped beliefs about women’s sex roles also contribute to the risk of abuse. His conviction that women should take care of the home, or that a man’s career is more important than woman’s, can become a serious problem, because he may punish you when you start refusing to live in his box. Women sometimes find it challenging to meet men who don’t have restrictive beliefs about women’s roles, particularly within certain cultural or national groups, but the effort to meet such men is an important one.
He treats you differently around other people
Adult abusers tend to put on a show of treating their partners like gold when everyone is watching, reserving most of their abuse for times when no one else will see. In teenage abusers, the opposite is often true. He may be rude and cold with her in front of other people to impress his friends with how “in control” and “cool” he is but be somewhat nicer when they are alone together.
He appears to be attracted to vulnerability
Some abusive men are attracted to women much younger and/or at different developmental and maturity levels than them, or they may be attracted to women that have had a recent traumatic experience. He is attracted to the power imbalance in this type of relationship.