When you look at the statistics of domestic violence they seem staggering. In the United States, it is reported that nearly 25 percent of women and almost 14 percent of men over 18 have been a victim of severe physical violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline website also reports that half of men and women, about 48 percent of each, are victims of psychological aggression.
That means out of the people you know there is at least 1 in 4 who has been a victim of severe physical abuse, while those who have been verbally abused are 1 out of 2. In other words, each person you are near or around has a high chance of being a victim of domestic abuse, male or female.
I have 3 siblings. I am the one out of 4.
I lived through domestic violence and my children were exposed to it. When you think about domestic violence, it is not just a woman who is being beaten and abused and can't leave.
There is much more to it than a black eye. It is all the things that come before it.
If the black eye or bruise was what started the relationship we wouldn't have to worry about domestic violence. Outright abuse is easy to spot, and people will most often steer away from them quickly. The relationship, however, starts out with someone who says they care so they want to know where you are all the time. Then they get jealous when you spend time with people, even girlfriends who you have known forever. You play it off at first saying they just want to spend time with you. Doesn't everyone pull away from their friends a little when they start a new relationship?
They tell you that a move across the country or away from family and friends will be good for you. You can start fresh and things will be better. When you get to that place you find you don't know anyone. Family and friends are too far away to help. You are then stuck in a place you don't know.
This is how abuse starts. It creeps up on the abused. It is not sudden.
People often wonder why a person in an abusive situation won't leave. The truth is they don't realize it is abuse until it goes too far. Then there is nowhere to go. There is no one to help them get away.
Leaving an abusive situation takes strength. It takes a giant leap and not knowing where you will end up.
There may be kids involved, there may not be. It may mean a homeless shelter or living with the bare minimum. We sacrifice so much for convenience, safety is not an exception. It is not until we are pushed out of convenience that we tend to move. It may mean having to hit rock bottom.
When we are at rock bottom there is only one way to go, up.
If you or anyone you know is in an abusive situation, there is a way out. There is HELP.
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