Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Break The Silence

Leslie Morgan Steiner is a writer and outspoken advocate for survivors of domestic violence -- which includes herself. The embedded video below explores why domestic violence victims don't leave, and is one of the most powerful TED talks videos I've watched, it really hit home as i was involved with an emotionally and at times physically abusive individual years ago. It took time but i eventually got out and escaped from the situation/individual. It's not something i speak about often but i am always honest if the subject of domestic violence and abuse arises. I speak up as i feel that open and honest dialogue is needed from everyone, to expand people's perception and to shed the stigma attached.

The who's and what's and why's of domestic violence are complicated and there is a perception that it applies only to women but the reality is that it affects both men and women. Domestic abuse applies to everyone, all demographics, sexes, colours, shapes and religions. The following excerpt comes from Lundy Bancroft, author of 'Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men' and  eloquently describes a common dynamic (but i should add that I strongly feel that His/Him is interchangeable with Her). 

"The abusive man’s problem with anger is almost the opposite of what is commonly believed. 
The reality is: Your abusive partner doesn’t have a problem with HIS anger; he has a problem with YOUR anger. One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. 

When your anger does jump out of you —as will happen to any abused woman from time to time —he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straightjacketed. You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy."

If you are suffering from domestic abuse or violence, please know that you are not alone. 
You are not crazy. 
You do not deserve to be treated this way. 
Regardless of your situation, you can change it.
Talk to someone, break the silence. 
Google domestic violence aid and the city you live in, there are services and people out there who can assist and guide you through your options.

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