Abuse of any kind is ugly and painful. Most victims want to be cleansed from the residue of abuse but often find the stains are difficult to remove. I sat in silence while I was married to my abuser for several years. The silence somehow protected my children and myself from the harshness of admitting and leaving from Domestic Abuse. When we sat in silence, everyone around us was happy to see the façade of a happy family. It wasn’t until we told the truth that we discovered how much people could really handle. The day that my husband attacked was the most silent day of all. I didn’t call the police or call help. I was in shock and he called all the shot that day. I didn’t know who to tell, my kids sat in silence, and we just clung together. When I did tell a few people, they were shocked and many minimized the instant as a “Lover’s Quarrel”. It was much more than that and we sat in fear for months.
My blessing was the fact that I got counseling for several months following the attack. The counselor helped me to understand my abuse and how it affected my children. Later a different, counselor helped me to understand the importance of sharing my story. Here are 3 reasons to share your story of abuse.
There is Healing and Strength When You Tell the Story:
When you sit in silence, it wears you down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When I sat in silence, I was at my weakest point. My abuser knew that he was in control and he could easily attack me. My weary body and mind could not fight. I was unable to fight back. Talking to a counselor gave me the strength and courage to fight.
My definition of fighting back is the following:
1) Protecting Your Kids and Yourself
2) Asking for help
3) Leaving Your Abuser
4) Create Your Exit/Safety Plan
5) Finding Resources
6) Get a Strong Support System
Telling Your Story Provides Educates Other People:
Most people only identify with the physical abuse of Domestic Violence. However, physical abuse is always partnered with mental, emotional, verbal, sexual, spiritual, and financial abuse. In addition, Abuser’s also abuse children in one or more of the listed forms. By telling your story, you educate people about the signs of abuse. If people don’t know the signs, they can’t help effectively (there are people that try help and make things worse). By sharing your story with one person, you could help an entire family.
Telling Your Story Can Give Comfort:
Victims are ashamed, embarrassed, isolated and feel guilty. They usually suffer alone and find it hard to fit into mainstream society. It helps to know that someone truly understands and you don’t have to explain or defend yourself. Knowing that you are not alone makes all the difference in the world. You may never know who you reach, but just know that your story can help someone else get out alive.
Victims die every day because people don’t want to talk about Domestic Violence. I will talk a personal stand and tell my story no matter what. I have decided to be free and not to be trapped by fear, shame, embarrassment, isolation or guilt. I will not sit in silence.