1. You deserve to be hit or to receive emotionally traumatic treatment from someone you love. Dinner wasn't on the table in time. You went to the mall with a friend. You made the person hit or call you names because another woman called his cell phone. The list is endless. Still, there is NEVER a reason to be physically or emotionally abused. Not only is abuse wrong, and the fault of the abuser, it's against the law!
2. Your partner is abusing drugs or alcohol or experiencing stress and tells you this is the reason for the abuse. Neither of these cause abuse, however, they may go hand in hand with the aggressive behavior. Either way, it's still wrong.
3. Only poor people or women of color experience abuse. Sadly, violent behavior knows no color or sex, nor does it care how much money either the abuser or the person being abused makes. It can happen if the person lives in an apartment or a mansion. Domestic violence doesn't consider age. Abuse is not restricted to a person's religion.
4. If it's so bad why won't the person leave? There are many reasons someone won't leave, some we may never understand, but include no means of independence, fear, belief that the behavior will change, embarrassment, no support from family, or low self-esteem. Many who try to leave are often faced with dangerous consequences. Those who are victims of domestic violence don't need our judgement, they need validation and love.
5. The person is being called profane names, money is withheld, not allowed to see friends or family, humiliated in private or in public, but is not being hit. It's 2014, and so many people still believe that this type of treatment is okay and not considered abuse. Please know that this is still considered domestic violence, and something no one should have to deal with while in a relationship.
Domestic Violence is about power, control and manipulation designed to make you feel less than the person you are. It hurts and Love should NEVER hurt.
Please do not ignore your friend or family member's cry for help if they have the courage to share their pain. Offer your support, or help them to call a shelter for assistance.
We see your suffering. We see your fear. We see your determination. We see your amazing beauty. We see you.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline may be reached 24 hours a day with trained counselors who offer assistance and information on shelters, legal help, etc. at: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
If you live in the Triangle area of NC, InterAct is also staffed 24 hours a day and can be reached at 919-828-7740 (Domestic Violence) or 919-828-3005 (Sexual Assault)