I considered originally writing about my thoughts on the State of the Union address last night, but I opted against it for two reasons: 1) nothing extraordinary was said but the same promises (empty) and rhetoric I mistrusted; and 2) I was inspired by reading recaps of television shows last and realized there was a far more important issue to be discussed. There is an epidemic we need to stop and put and end to it. We need to raise awareness and create a support system for the tragic victims of this epidemic, not just one of non-judgement but one of making the victim aware of the epidemic they are a part of. What is this epidemic? It’s domestic violence.
This post will have a lot of statistics and a lot of my (probably controversial and offensive) opinions. If that isn’t okay with you, you can stop reading any time. But I did warn you. These statistics come from safehaven.org.
I’ll start with what, to me anyways, is the most disturbing of the statistics. This is about the children in these situations. 3 million children every year witness abuse in their homes. Children who live in these homes are 30-50% more likely to suffer neglect and abuse. Studies have proven that boys who grow up in abusive households are more likely to abuse their own partners. We knew this. There was a viral video that demonstrated that children mimic what their parents do. I cringed at the part of the video when the child hit his mother alongside his father. What’s more alarming than that? Girls who are brought up in this same environment are much more likely to allow themselves to be abused. My thoughts? If you want to be smacked around by your partner, you’re an adult. The minute you let yourself stay in a situation like that with children makes you, in my opinion, just as guilty as the abuser. It’s selfish. You need to think about your children, because it’s not just about your safety or even their safety at the current time. You, and you alone, are responsible for allowing this cycle to continue. You are raising future abusers and victims.
One in 4 women experience abuse in their lifetimes. Most abuse isn’t even reported. I’m interested to find a statistic of how many that are reported that are not tried because a woman thinks that after the 15th time, he loves her and still won’t do it again. Then I would love to see that statistic against this one: 1 in 3 women are killed every year by their current or past abuser. That is a scary thought. These women are victims of these men and their own low self-esteem and lack of self-respect. They are easy prey for the hunters, and get fed lines of manipulation and false promises and derogatory speech to keep them at bay. They mistake punches for kisses.
Don’t allow yourself to be conflicted. Families who watch a family member go through this can only do so much when it falls on deaf ears. I’m conflicted how I feel about this. Part of me understands there is a lot of fear and anxiety in uprooting your family and seeking help for this. You feel ashamed you allowed this to happen and worried about people judging you. To be bluntly honest, they’ll judge you more for staying and allowing harm to come to your children. This is what makes me the angriest. If a woman wants to stay in that type of situation, then only you can make that (very stupid) decision. I’m not going to lie, I think it is disgusting to raise the children in that environment. The boys might think that all women are weak. Even worse, the girls will think that this is acceptable and when the moms will try to talk their daughters out of it, they will say “but it was okay for you mom. Isn’t it normal?” I hope their consciences are at peace with this because they did that. I know it seems harsh and insensitive, but adult decisions affect the decisions children make as they grow up. Get help. There are dozens of services that can help or find help. If you don’t have the strength or self-respect to do it for yourself, do it for your children. Even if you don’t think you deserve better, they do.