l Watch Me
l Note MeOctober is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.. and breast cancer is a serious, horrible thing
-- but while we're talking--
let's ALSO talk about keeping the WHOLE WOMAN SAFE- not just her breasts.
I'm just gonna say-- when you hear, or suspect something that sounds like Abuse- don't think "it's not my business" or "she'd leave if it was serious"or "if she wanted help, she'd ask for it". Abusers spend a lot of time cutting their victims off from the skills/education/jobs that would give them the financial ability to get away. An abuser spends time isolating their victim from everyone. Conditioning them to believe that it's all their fault. That no one cares. That no one will help them. Teaching them that speaking up will have no effect other than to make things worse. The life of an abused person is one that forces you to lessen the severity of the incidents- because if you stand up for yourself, if you don't let it go- you only paint a bigger target on yourself. It causes you to lose perspective on what is acceptable- because you're living a life of nothing but "horrible" so "horrible" become the "usual" very easily.
They say it takes an average of 7 attempts before a victim actually manages to get away. Sometimes, all you need is someone, anyone
to notice, to ask, to make that call when the screaming starts. Sometimes all you need are a few minutes to breathe, and think, and to hear from anyone "This is not normal. This is not your fault. This is not something you HAVE to live with. No one deserves this. YOU do not deserve this. There are resources, and people out there to help you survive and be safe" and point you in the direction of help-- because she's sure as hell not hearing anything like that from the world she's trapped in- she's hearing the exact opposite, day in and day out, reenforced with negative actions.
So if you hear a fight? If you hear that scream? Call the police and report it. Maybe all she needs is to know that there are people out there who care, that other people ALSO think it's wrong- and that there are resources available to help her. Because I guarantee-- when he's in her face- she'd rather be anywhere else in the world at that moment- she just doesn't have anywhere she thinks she's capable of going to or safe to go to.
This is coming from someone who reached the breaking point. I was going to kill myself because I couldn't live with it anymore, and didn't think I had any way out.. Until I met someone who DID see, who DID care, who DID put their self in harm's way to stand up and help me leave- and gave me a safe place to go to.. and so I packed up, and left the second my husband was 400 miles away, and broke ties with every person I ever knew (so they couldn't reveal my location), moved as far away as I could, and changed my name. The only place I retained my real name, was on my art- because it's the only thing I had left that he hadn't been able to take from me so I refused to let that one thing be tainted.
I was there for 14 years before I found a way out- and technically? I didn't find a way out. My plan was to go out into the shed one day and blow my head off. Someone else saw what was happening and pulled me out long after I'd given up. Not once did any of our neighbors call the police during a fight. I didn't think there was anyone who would help, or would believe me, or would be safe from him if I told them about it. It's easier to turn your back on someone than it is to stick your neck out for them. More than half of my family didn't believe me despite many of them having come to me years previously to mention his anger issues.
Abusers spend a lot of time letting you know that if you DO make it apparent that something isn't right you WILL suffer for it.. so I spent a lot of time and effort trying to hide it for most of my life- you get to a certain point where you have nothing left- you believe that the only thing you have left is what other people "think" of you- and he reenforces that constantly by berating you for just being you-- so you really strive to preserve your "normal person" person around everyone else... and then finally having to admit that you're in that situation? It's a really humiliating, difficult thing to just roll over and show your scars to people who think you're "the happy one"- even worse to people who won't believe or help you once you've begged for help. Half of my family refused to help when I begged them for help years and years earlier- as a result- when it got really bad? I didn't bother asking the other side of my family because I didn't believe anyone would believe me, or help me, or that they'd be safe if they did help. I was really sure I was stuck there til I died because there was no other existence possible for me- and after 14 years I just couldn't take it anymore.
I happened to get really lucky and meet an amazing person and I've had 11 years of happiness and love that I never thought existed because of it. 11 years that I wouldn't have given myself if I had of stayed.
A lot of people aren't as lucky as I was.
When you hear it, when you suspect it- make the call. You don't have to step in and put yourself in danger's way- you can make an anonymous call--checking on the situation is what the police are for.
Just pick up the phone and ask the police to check on the situation.
It could make all the difference in someone's life.
It could remind them that this is not normal.
This isn't something they have to accept.
They can get help, and protection.
They deserve it.
It could save someone's life.
Make the Call.
(The image descriptions in these two pieces go into more detail about my story)
Don't let the bullies rule the world.
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