Last night, one of our neighbors cried herself to sleep. She was slapped, punched or choked by someone that she loves—again. She thinks that she has done something to deserve being abused, but, nobody deserves to be hurt, physically or mentally, by anyone else! Especially by someone you love or trust.
Today, her abuser will tell her how sorry he is. He will promise her that he will never hit her again. She will want to believe him and forgive him, because she loves him. He has convinced her, over time, that she has nowhere else to go and they have moved away from her family and close friends. No one else wants her. Nobody else loves her.
The pattern of abuse and control will probably continue until she leaves or something happens to stop him. Although physical abuse is against the law, the victim seldom reports the incident, because of love for the abuser or fear of retribution.
Domestic violence and domestic abuse are patterns of behavior that are used to exert power and control over the victim. The abuse can take many forms, such as emotional, physical, isolation, financial, psychological or sexual. The victims are of all ages, races, sexes, cultures, religions, educational background, employment situations and marital status. Anyone can be a victim. The pattern of abuse will continue until the cycle is broken. And don’t be mistaken: domestic abuse exists in our communities.
It exists in the lives of our sisters, brothers and friends. It can be in any home, in any neighborhood. Chances are pretty good that you know someone that is being abused. Someone you know is living in fear every day. A relative, a friend or neighbor is in a situation that could be life threatening. What can we do to stop the pain? How do we let them know there is hope? How can we help someone escape from the fear of physical abuse?
Get information. Give support. Volunteer. Our community has a resource center for victims of domestic violence and domestic abuse. We have trained advocates and can give confidential assistance to victims of abuse, and information about breaking the cycle of abuse.
If you need help, or would like more information, call the Safe Journey House at 520-385-4970 or 1-855-385-4970 toll free. Help end the violence. Get help, if you are a victim.
/s/ Michie Smith
Advocate for Victims of Domestic Abuse
Safe Journey House