Before we get started, I advised my friend *Jane that the negative antics of this man warranted a front row seat on my blog, and as I write this, my anger is barely held in check. Yes, she told him who I was and to check out this post, and guess what? He laughed! About 2 weeks ago, *Jane was visited by her nephew by marriage who stayed with she and her husband about a week. She talked to him on the phone occasionally, and always thought he had a phenomenal sense of humor; so she and her husband were looking forward to a great time. Yay!
It didn't take long before *Jane realized that *Dick was rude and abrasive, not only to her (behind her back), but even worse, to his own wife. He lives in another state and rarely ever sees her, yet in Dick's eyes, *Jane needed to lose weight. This became a major issue for him as he shared it with other family members throughout his stay, until Jane said something to him directly regarding his offensive comments. His wife *Mary, was called a b****h more times than Jane could count almost throughout the entire visit. He even tried to buy other women drinks when his wife went to the bathroom at a club. This behavior caused Jane's husband to intervene because *Dick had the audacity to get angry with his wife when he was caught and she complained!
Fast forward to the other night back in their hometown of Boston. Apparently *Dick punched his wife causing her to fall, hitting her head on a table. Now this beautiful newlywed has a black eye and other bruises and scrapes. At her wit's end, *Jane called me, livid with her nephew and in fear for Mary's life. This is a weak and insecure man who has to control situations by any means necessary. YES, I'M TALKING TO YOU, *DICK! You have a wife who treats you like a king and this is how
If this scenario seems familiar or unbelievable, it's happening all over the world. Your neighbor is going through it. We hear about wives of sports stars, and we see it on the news. What makes this a little different, is that the victim is not remaining silent. That deserves a HUGE kudos! In addition, Mary is exceptionally wealthy and well traveled. She has a family who loves her. Those on the outside looking in can't fathom that she would stay in this type of toxic relationship. She's in love and believes her husband will change. She has no idea things will only get worse.
For the record, things have gotten worse. He's still verbally abusive, uses social media to hookup with women, takes trips to other states to meet up with other women, stands her up and more. This was just a nightmare waiting to happen, but it's important to support even through our frustration.
Statistically, in an abusive environment, the victim will leave an average of 7 times before finally staying away for good. Homelessness, fear for her life, no funds, and promises of change often lure her back, only to get caught up in the same vicious cycle over and over again. The loss of her self-esteem makes it even more difficult to leave.
It's almost 2017, yet it still amazes me that society blames the victim for physical abuse, and very few people take verbal abuse seriously, thinking it's no big deal. "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me", is a vicious myth we learned as kids. When I talk about abuse with friends, family and even strangers, it often feels as if I'm the elephant in the room, trying to convince others that domestic violence is a criminal act. But I have to take a stand and not stay silent. Being humiliated, embarrassed in public, called degrading names, or being physically assaulted is not funny, and it's not cute.
If you know someone in this situation, it takes a tremendous amount of patience and kindness. You may see physical proof of what is going on, or you may see a person you no longer know. You're going to feel helpless because you hate to see your friend in pain. Perhaps, you'll even be cut off from even seeing or speaking with your friend. You may hear that she will leave again and again. She may say nothing at all. LISTEN. Dig in your heels and suggest that she keep a journal of everything that is happening, including dates. The more she reads what she writes, it may give courage and clarity on what she needs to do. It also provides documentation for legal reasons. Encourage her to speak to you, or someone she trusts as frequently as possible. LISTEN. Don't give up on her and shut the door, even when you get frustrated. LISTEN. Encourage your friend to be safe, and ensure that you are always there for support. Remind her that there are also shelters who are experts in providing a safe haven as needed.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is Open 24 hours a day at: 1-800−799−7233, but there are also shelters locally in your state.
Abuse can sadly be found in many areas, including abuse towards parents, siblings, children and men. This blog focuses on the abuse towards women, and also women who are or have been homeless.
Stay strong and stay safe...