If you are being physically abused, or if you know some one who is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
If it is a life or death situation, call your local police at 911 right now.
Hi, my name is Stacey Clark and I am the founder of Leap, Learn, Live. I want to talk to you about domestic violence because it is the kind of abuse that keeps going on long after the original abuser is gone. As a child, I witnessed the brutal beatings my mother suffered at the hands of my father, and as a child I was riddled with guilt because I was unable to help my mother. It's been forty plus years but my guilt and the memory of those vicious beatings still have the power to reduce me to tears. It turns out that the violence in my home left emotional scars on everyone, we just didn't realize it. I am quite certain that on some level each of us has battled PTSD brought on by childhood trauma. As a family we are still trying to heal. No woman or child should have to struggle through life because of the shame, guilt and insecurity brought on by domestic violence.
This is why I am sharing my story and information I've gathered that could very well save a woman's life and her children's future. As we near the end of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in America, I want to talk frankly to both women who are being abused, and people who are witnesses to abuse. My goal is to empower women and good Samaritan's with the information they need.
First, I need to say is this…
“It is never, ever, on any day of the year, okay for a person to batter, mentally or physically abuse another human being!”
I am no expert, but growing up in the house with a physically abusive father taught me that a man who will beat and abuse his woman will kill her, or try to!
The simple truth is; hurt people, hurt people, and broken people will break other people. Ladies, these angry, broken men have an inability to navigate interpersonal relationships because of their own inner turmoil, but their condition is not your fault. You do not owe them anything. If you are being abused; do like the movie said and, “Get Out!”
For the abused...
Know who you are dealing with...
NOTICE: Abusive men may be crazy, but they are not stupid. Ladies, DO NOT try to reason with an abusive person, ever. They are mentally or emotionally ill, not stupid. Beating on you is what they want to do, and they will not willingly give that up. They will do what they need to do to keep you under their control for as long as they can. They will isolate you from family and friends. They will keep you broke and dependent on them. They will threaten to kill you and your kids (it's no threat, they will try to do it).
Also ladies, know this like you know your own name, if they beat you, and then say, “I’m sorry. I love you,” it’s a lie! They are not sorry, in fact they are more energized by beating you. It makes them feel superior and strong. And no, they do not love you. They cannot love you. They are incapable of loving you. But, they are very good at lying and being dramatic. Again, just get out as soon as possible because it will happen again and again.
Quit lying to yourself. The abusive person may not be the only one with a flare for the dramatic in the relationship. Your own ego may be lying to you, and feeding off the negative drama. If your ego is telling you that an abusive person needs you, or that you can do something, anything to change that person, it is lying to you. Here are the facts and what you must do to save yourself:
The ones you trust most have the power to do you the most harm. Men are not the only sick people in the world. When my mom was dealing with my father's abuse, it turned out to be her so-called friends who were egging him on. Later in life, one of them actually told me that she didn't feel remorse because my mom had everything and she had so little. Jealousy is an ugly character trait, and women have it as much as men. When you are ready to make a move, you need to be your own best friend until you are safely away from that man. Think of it like this, if your friends or family were willing to watch you get beat without trying to get you to safety, they are not to be trusted. To get safe:
For witnesses of abuse...
Know the signs...
Domestic violence is happening all around us, and the chances that you know someone who is being abused are pretty good. However, you may not know who it is. It could be your best friend, sister, daughter, mother, cousin or a co-worker. There are tell-tale signs you can look for. Keep an eye out for things like:
Safely get involved...
NOTICE: If you see or hear someone being abused, call the police at 911. Get video footage if you can do so without drawing attention to yourself. Do not go to the house, or get in to an altercation with the abuser. Dangerous men are just that. I have a friend who while walking down a busy street, saw a man beating a woman so he said to the guy, “That’s not cool” as he passed by. The man shot him in the back. He almost died. He was just fourteen years old at the time. If you want to help, bang on something loud, or do what you can to distract the abuser, but do not get yourself in the crossfire of his rage.
Once you have a chance to talk to the woman, give her information about the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and discreetly help her to get to a safe haven nearest her. These days you can send her in an Uber. I say this because I wouldn't want her crazy man, coming after you in a fit of revenge. Remember, he is crazy not stupid, and some how crazy folks seem to be more resourceful than the rest of us. Go figure. Also, there is the chance that she will go back to him and I wouldn't want you to get hurt, only to have to watch her go back.
Being a good Samaritan has to be it's own reward when it come to things like this. So, do good deeds, but be smart and safe. Help, but do not sacrifice you or your family's safety to do so. Knowing in advance how you will handle a situation like this is probably the key, and with the stats so high (1 in 4), it seems to me, everyone needs to have a plan in wait because more than likely it will be your turn to kick in more sooner than later.
Once again, if you know someone who is being abused, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224 for advice on how to best help her. Or call 911 if it is an emergency.
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