As surely as a trip starts with the first mile, or an omelet begins with breaking one egg, domestic violence starts with one word or sentence. The first occasion may consist of being told, “Shut up!” Perhaps it will soon be followed with, “Nobody wants to hear what you have to say.” The confrontations have begun. Then will come “stupid…ignorant…fat…useless…” How many times were we called “bitch” before it escalated to further threats and louder verbal abuse?
I am convinced almost every time domestic violence begins, it is with a single word or phrase. We simply must be aware of the signs. You hear it once? Start gathering information about the agencies and organizations available to assist potential victims. Schedule an appointment with a counselor who has specific training in domestic or intimate partner abuse. Don’t wait until the words turn to punches.
Take is seriously. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is pure bunk. The words broke my spirit, and nearly cost me my life as I tried to escape the verbal and emotional abuse. Taking my own life was not the answer for me, and it is not the answer for you. BUT, there are answers for you. Find an agency by going to the Victim Support page on my website.
Know the National Domestic Violence Hotline number: 1−800−799−SAFE(7233).
Never ever dismiss or overlook the first signs of potential domestic violence. Remember, statistics clearly point to the fact it will only get worse. Rarely, if ever, does it get better. Today it’s a word—tomorrow could be a fist, or worse…
Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Read her story in her book, ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused—Her Victorious Journey to Freedom and visit her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – When it’s Time to Think About Leaving (cshennecy.wordpress.com)
- Emotional Abuse and Domestic Violence – Partners in Crime (cshennecy.wordpress.com)
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Where Does it Begin? (cshennecy.wordpress.com)
- Hope and Help for Domestic Violence Victims (cshennecy.wordpress.com)