Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Are You a Victim of Domestic Violence and Abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse cross all economic, social, political and racial barriers. We cannot imagine how shamed we feel being involved with an abuser. Even telling one's family becomes impossible at first. We are aware that if our family knew the facts of our situation they would shun our partner. Until we are ready to face our situation in truth, we continue the charade. Though this is a sure sign that we are in an extremely unhealthy situation, the average sufferer of DV may try to leave the relationship seven times prior to succeeding. There is the constant fear that we will not be believed, especially if the abuser is successful and well liked.

In the early stages of the relationship the abuser may be cautious about revealing themself. The new partner may tell stories of past wounds at the hands of others. Over time the pattern begins. First there may be the explosive rage over seemingly unimportant events. These may be followed by grandiose apologies and promises never to repeat the incident. Sometimes extravagant gifts follow. The ensuing weeks may be honeymoon like. The incident may be forgotten and all is well. Gradually the tension increases. It may feel like partners are walking on egg shells around one another. Eventually another incident occurs. This one too involves explosive rage and may include breaking objects. Again the incident is followed by apologies, gifts or flowers and the honeymoon begins again. The pattern is set. Each time the abuser moves the line of acceptable behavior slightly farther than the last. Over time the abused partner accepts a level of domestic violence and abuse they would never have dreamed possible.

It is difficult to imagine how horrendous we feel, whether man or woman, while being involved with an abuser. The constant barrage of denigrating verbiage destroys our self esteem.

If you are reading this and are a victim of DV please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or on the web at Have hope that your life can improve. You are not alone.

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