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October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Go Purple For October!

Bring awareness to domestic and the effects it has on victims, children, communities, and the economy by going purple for the month of October.

Most people know domestic violence is a terrible thing, but most don’t know what goes down “behind the scenes” when trying to escape an abusive relationship, and the effects that a broken system has on that already dangerous and terrifying experience. We desperately need reform to better help and protect victims and children from acts of violence. Wear purple, change your porch lights to purple, and search for or host an event or fundraiser to help victims and survivors of domestic violence.

Fact About Abuse

According to Psychology Today, victims often minimize violence. Violence includes throwing or breaking things, slapping, shoving, hair-pulling and forced sex. Here are some facts you should know:

  • Usually, abuse takes place behind closed doors.
  • Abusers deny their actions.
  • Abusers blame the victim.
  • Violence is preceded by verbal abuse.
  • Abuse damages your self-esteem.
  • The abuser needs to be right and in control.
  • The abuser is possessive and may try to isolate their partner from friends and family.
  • The abuser is hypersensitive and may react with rage.
  • A gun in the house increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent.
  • Two-thirds of domestic violence perpetrators have been drinking alcohol.
  • One-third of victims have been drinking or using drugs.

The Abusers

Psychology Today says, “You may not realize that abusers feel powerless. They don’t act insecure to cover up the truth. In fact, they’re often bullies. The one thing they all have in common is that their motive is to have power over their victim. This is because they don’t feel that they have personal power, regardless of worldly success. To them, communication is a win-lose game. They often have the following personality profile:

  • Insecure.
  • Needy with unrealistic expectations of a relationship.
  • Distrustful.
  • Often jealous.
  • Verbally abusive.
  • Needs to be right and in control.
  • Possessive; may try to isolate their partner from friends and family.
  • Hypersensitive and reacts aggressively.
  • Has a history of aggression.
  • Is cruel to animals or children.
  • Blames their behavior on others.
  • Suffers from untreated mental health problems including depression or suicidal behavior.”

The Victims

Escaping an abusive relationship takes a tremendous amount of courage, which is usually inspired by a life-changing fear. Most survivors experience victim blaming every step along the way from police, courts, schools, and even therapists. Better and more informed training is imperative to breaking this cycle. Make no mistake, what the system is doing is continuing to abuse these victims, and that’s unacceptable and needs to change.

The Children

Many times, children are also being neglected and/or abused when a partner is abusive, but even in cases where the children merely witness abuse can suffer from a variety of mental/health issues, some of which are life changing. More studies need to be done on the effects of trauma on children to provide better care for a more effective healing process. Systems need to recognize that not only do abusers usually NOT change, most end up with more severe charges. Better steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of children when a parent has such violent tendencies. Abusers often use children and the court system to continue to terrorize and abuse their victims, which unfortunately, far too often, works, as many abusers are granted unsupervised visitations, shared custody, and sole custody in cases with more severe victim blaming & corruption.

What Is Victim Blaming?

You may be wondering what I mean when I say “victim blaming,” and even if you have a general idea, most who read this will be shocked to learn the extents of it, and just how severe the problem is.

Simple definition: the tendency to hold a victim responsible for the crimes of the perpetrator, either directly/indirectly, or by minimizing. Statements like, “They must have done something to provoke it.” “Why didn’t they just leave?” “He just has anger problems.” “He’s only like that when he drinks.”  Comments like this are far too common and couldn’t be further from the truth. Abusers know exactly What they are doing. The process behind obtaining a victim is methodical and intentional, and abusers KNOW they can get away with it.

There Are Countless, Documented Cases Where The System Victimizes Survivors All Over Again. We Are Called Liars, Degrated, And Humiliated. Many Victims Are Threatened/Intimidated With Having Their Children Removed From Their Care When They Fight To Keep Their Kids Safe From Their Abuser. Abusers Are Often Forced Into Their Victim’s Lives, While Being Given The Power And Control They Need Through The Court System To Continue To Terrorize & Manipulate Them.

Until we can stand together, Humanity Against Violence, and shine light onto the darkness, victims will continue to be assaulted, raped, threatened, stalked, and murdered, and children will continue the Dangerous cycle of abuse.

There is a wonderful article I found on Partners for Peace that goes in more detail on Victim Blaming that I enjoyed reading which can be found Here. If you’re interested in hearing about cases where the system has victimized families, check out Punished For Protecting on YouTube and Facebook.

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Please know that you can get out & it will not always be an easy road & it will be lonely at times, but it only gets better. Life is too beautiful to live it trapped & abused & hiding under the shame of it all.

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Danielle Harrison

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