Recently I wrote my story for a fellow blogger. Oh- emm-gee I cannot believe I can use those words…fellow blogger. That is pretty awesome. I was asked to tell my domestic violence story and explain how I became a survivor. I finally told the entire story, without holding anything back. No more worrying about if he might find out or even caring if he did. So what? I am telling my truth and if it shows you in an unsatisfactory light that is your issue not mine. Maybe you should have remembered the old adage “What’s done in the dark always comes to the light.” Telling my story was not a way to get back at him or throw him under the bus for what he did; it was a way for me to finally rid myself of all the mental chaos I was still holding onto subconsciously. Once I started writing the words just flowed and I felt such an enormous weight lift off my shoulders. I am glad I did it. I hope that even one person reading it will get out. I hope someday there will not be a need for an entire series dedicated to surviving DV because people, men and women, will learn to keep their hands, feet and hurtful words to themselves. Unfortunately the facts are there is a need for series like this to exist, to give hope to those still living in fear and to let them know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The sad fact is DV occurs more often than you would think. It happens no matter your socio-economic standing, race, creed or even gender. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Did you know an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year? (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) 1.3 freaking MILLION! That is insane! Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes because there is a stigma attached to being a victim, like we stay because we like it or some other bullshit. The reality is we are freaking scared. Scared for our lives and for our children, you never know what an abuser is saying or doing behind those closed doors so judging a victim for not getting out is so wrong and hurtful. It is counterproductive. If you want to help someone you suspect is being abused DO NOT say anything to the suspected abuser, offer comfort, support, whatever you can to the victim in a non-judgmental way that allows them to get comfortable with sharing their ugly truth. Many of us have been told it is our fault for so long that we are afraid to say “I am being hurt” for fear of being judged and questioned as to why we “allow” it. If we could stop it we would, trust me that shit hurts-physically, emotionally, you name it, it is a deep down to your soul pain that is hard to articulate.
If someone is hurting you I beg you to get out, make that call to a hotline or the police, whatever YOU need to do to save you. And know that you are not all of those horrible things you have been told you are. You are brave, a warrior, a woman and a survivor, you are me.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf