October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month today we learn about Power and Control
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control. At The Hotline, our frame of reference for describing abuse is the Power and Control Wheel developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN. In the diagram below, the Power and Control Wheel assumes she/her pronouns for the victim and he/him pronouns for the perpetrator, but the abusive behavior that it details can happen to people of any gender or sexuality.
The wheel serves as a diagram of tactics that an abusive partner uses to keep their victims in a relationship. The inside of the wheel is made up of subtle, continual behaviors over time, while the outer ring represents physical and sexual violence. Abusive actions like those depicted in the outer ring often reinforce the regular use of other, more subtle methods found in the inner ring.
I am a survivor and advocate of Domestic Violence. I am so glad I lived and finally ended the cycle of violence.
After I finally left my first husband for good, I went to counseling and attended a women’s dv support group to what I call deprogram my brain from all the negativity and abuse I experienced for 10 years.
Over time I healed and went on to become a volunteer then a group coordinator, then I presided over the support groups spoke to incarcerated women, churches, police,women’s organizations and I then became a DV Shelter manager and did this for for at least a decade. That was my 1st calling. I think as we live and experience things in our life we get different callings. That was definitely one of mine. To go out educate anyone and everyone on DV (domestic violence)
My first marriage was never really a happy marriage. Yes there were happy times but if I look back I felt more like a hostage than an equal partner in a marriage. This man I married shown me a side of him I never saw when we dated, or else I never would have married him.
I was a battered wife and it all started about 2 weeks after I was married. I arrived home from work 90 minutes later than usual because we were so busy at work and my husband went off. He called me a whore, bitch, slut at that point he didn’t hit me. But the verbal abuse I experienced for being late at work was just ridiculous. We didn’t have cell phones in the 1980s.
You know why he went off ? Because dinner wasn’t ready. Of course I apologized.
It wasn’t long before I became his personal punching bag. I was hit , punched, kicked, slapped, more times than I can count and I’m grateful I’m alive, because I came close to death a couple times.
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort.
It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.
Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other.
1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488. The number of women who were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post.
That’s almost double the number of people who were killed fighting in the war. People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:
Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.
The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry and does love them.
It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
Statistics suggest that almost 5 percent of male homicide victims each year are killed by an intimate partner.
They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.
Please I beg you if you are in an abusive relationship get the hell out , don’t walk …..run
Make a plan slowly hide money a few pieces of clothing in a duffle , copy all important documents like birth certificates for you and the kids , marriage license, restraining orders, social security cards for all of you. If you have to flee and you will…. you will need these to get some for of help with say public assistance,medical, court help etc…..
Keep them with someone you trust completely who will not tell anyone.
It will never be better it will get worse. Sorry doesn’t mean shit when you keep getting kicked, pushed,punched,slapped, called names like bitch,cunt,whore etc…
You are told so much bullshit that plays mind games that over time you begin to believe all his crap like no one will ever love you, your nothing, your lucky I love you because who else would.
The topper is after your beat and bloody or slapped They look at you and say …..you made them do that to you. If you …… fill in the blank
Would have only had dinner ready
Or the house cleaner or didn’t spend so much at the grocery store.
Or why did you have to open your mouth.
They find every way to blame you … nothing is ever their fault and often they hit you for no reason. It’s all about control and their own low self esteem.
They don’t want you to succeed,they discourage you from bettering yourself.
They don’t want you to go to school, Hell they don’t want you to see your family or your friends!
They want to alienate you so all you have is them. Then they beat you call you names.
It’s like being in a war you are brainwashed and tortured by the enemy – but the enemy in this case that is hurting you torturing you is your spouse or significant other.
Being in a DV situation can physically and emotionally harm the kids, some females grow up to be abused and some males will grow up to be abusers and vice versa.
When you are in a domestic violence situation especially women you are a significantly higher risk of experiencing PTSD,depression, anxiety,substance abuse and thoughts of suicide.
Don’t believe all the I’m sorry it will never happen again. It will happen again and each time will be more violent than before.
How many times do you need to hear I’m sorry it will never happen again?
You matter, you were not put on this earth to be someone’s punching bag. You were not born to be verbally abused, physically abused, psychologically and or financially abused.
You were put here for a purpose but being abused wasn’t it. I know you are tired, exhausted and just ready to give up. Or you may be in denial. I know exactly how you feel and so millions of other women.
Put your hand on your heart, feel that? That is your heart beat…. you are alive for a reason. That reason is not to be a punching bag.
I know you may love this person and think he loves you too and he will change. He mostly likely WONT. If you love someone you don’t beat them down you lift them up.
Do NOT be as foolish as I was and stay for 10 years because of fear and the lack of self esteem that came from being told we didn’t matter , we were worthless….nothing.
You are somebody special you have a purpose, that purpose is not to be abused by someone else ….you must get out before you are killed or critically injured.
Working in a Domestic Violence Shelter to me was a privilege. I was blessed with the opportunity to help other women get out and make a plan to get out. These were women of all races, religions, economic and social backgrounds. From a politicians wife, to the cops wife to the preachers wife to the single mom to the teenager in an abusive dating relationship.
They have a special place in my heart because I know what they feel.
So what is Domestic Violence? Domestic Violence is a violent or controlling behavior by a person toward a family or household member, usually towards an intimate partner. Although the partner is the primary target, violence is often directed toward the children and pets as well. Approximately 95% of domestic violence victims are women. It is a learned behavior. Abuser and victims come from all walks of life, races, income levels and ages.
There are many types of abuse:
Verbal: Yelling, name-calling, threatening to hurt or kill, criticizing your appearance, belittling, constant blaming
Emotional: Social isolation, neglecting physical or emotional needs, abusing pets, accusations of an affair, monitoring telephone conversations, criticizing family and friends, embarrassing you in front of others
Sexual: Unwanted sexual advances, committing rape or incest, forcing you to have sex with others, forcing pregnancy or abortion.
Psychological: “Brainwashing”- a person’s self-worth is destroyed through harassment, threats, deprivations of food and sleep
Physical: Hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, inflicting injury with weapons, homicide
Economic: Withholding financial information, controlling money & bank accounts, making you account for every expenditures.
I dealt with many bruises on arms legs big ass bumps on the head from so many blows to the head,, a black eye here and there , busted lip, pushed from a moving car, hand broken in 5 places, kicked with steel toe boots, cornered he loved yo corner me then punch or slap me on time I was punched and pushed so hard my head went through the glass on our front door I had to have over 120 stitches and my head was wrapped as if I just had brain surgery I lost so much blood I almost passed out, blood was going all over and then the I’m sorry came out of his mouth, all I remember was saying I hope I die so you go to fucking prison, then I will be finally free. This happened when my daughter was asleep in the other room and thank God his nephew came over he cleaned all the blood up off the floor and wall, taped cardboard over the glass on the front door and stayed with my daughter who was asleep, she was maybe 4 or 5. Hard to remember exactly.
I could have died that night.
At the ER they asked what happened he immediately said I fell. I told them to get him away from me. The police came and removed him from the ER.
On the way out he said remember how your getting home and it’s fine he will go alway and pack and be gone before I’m done getting stitches.
That was code for bitch shut up our daughter is home and he’d take her.
He always threatened to take her that’s why I had her now live at my parents. And even though I saw her daily it was not the same.
I told the nurse what happened , but lied to the doctor stitching me up. He knew he looked at me and said you could have died consider a plan to get out. I told him my daughter is home with our nephew how much longer as code to him to please don’t keep lecturing me I will get out when it’s right.
After I was all stitched up I actually got back in the truck and went home my head felt as if I was never going to be the same. How was I going to go to work in 4 hours? My parents are going to freak out.
I called my mom after he went to work told her I wasn’t feeling good and could she come pick up her granddaughter, she said they could asked what was wrong I said nothing really just not feeling well. She said did that bastard hit you again? And when am I going to leave ….. just what I didn’t want to hear another lecture to make me feel yet stupider.
When they came to pick up my daughter who cried when she woke up and saw my head. I told her it’s ok mommy hurt her head and I will be ok in a few days. But grandma and papa was coming to get her so I could go to sleep and heal my boo boo.
It was clear she wanted to stay with me and I wanted her to stay, but in case he came home and wanted to fight again I can’t have her in the cross fire.
My dad cried when he seen me. My mom teared up and my dad said please come home, I told him it will be worse right now if I come home. Because he will just come there like before.
I told my dad I will plan to leave soon. He went and bought us dinner so I didn’t have to cook and I think it was his way of letting my husband know I see what you did and I’m watching you.
That was just one of hundreds of incidents over 10 years.