Thursday, October 13, 2016

YOUR FRIEND IS BEING ABUSED. NOW WHAT?



                  **UPDATE**
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
your react?


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...


16 comments:

  1. I have a friend who was the victim of domestic abuse, mostly verbal, and it almost destroyed her! When she was finally able to leave her husband, her next relationship was, sadly, even more toxic. She is a very strong woman, though, and managed to leave once more, with the help of some friends who were able to take her and her daughter in. Now, years later, she is finally in a healthy and happy relationship, and it makes me so happy to know that she has that now.
    Thanks for sharing, Ro!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. It saddens me that more people don't realize the danger of verbal abuse and how it can affect a person. I'm so sad your friend had to suffer so much, but very thankful that she finally found the love of her life. I bet her story can help a lot of people. Glad she had a friend like you to support her. Hugs...

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  2. My mom was married to my dad for 11 years and my dad hit my mom and my brother during that time. When he went to marry my step mother I told her that he was an abuser and she married him anyway. When my brother saw my dad hit her, he called the police but she took him back after he got out. When my mom and dad divorced, she took up with a guy who hit her and tried to hit me but I went to live with my grandma for a year and then my mom made me come live with them. He tried to verbally abuse me and even though I was only 12 years old I never let him get me down, and every time he threatened to hit me, I told him my dad would kill him if he did. At the end of August 1982 he and I had a big argument and he and my mom left and went back to my grandpa's house where we all lived. I went with my grandpa and when we got home I got the keys from him since he had cancer and walked really slowly, so I could open the door. When I opened the door my moms boyfriend was sitting at the table with a gun and he pointed it at me. I thought I was going to die but he jut looked at me, smiled and said, "This is all your fault." Then he shot himself in the head and died. He had never been able to 'break' me until that moment. I might be a little crazy because of him and what he did but I won't stand by and let a man hit me or someone else if I see it. I actually testified in court against a neighbor last year when I saw him hit his pregnant girlfriend. It really irritated me though that she didn't testify against him or even show up in court and he only got 3 months in jail and she took him back when he got out.

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    1. OMG Mary! I'm so very sorry that you had to go through such pain and hurt as a child. He knew what he was doing, but miraculously through all that, you stayed so strong. I'm glad you take such a stand against violence, and that you testified. Statistically, it may take up to 7 times before she gathers the courage to leave. She may be wondering about money, paying for her baby and other things. I pray she does before it's too late. I raise my glass of champagne to you for your strength and diligence. You are an awesome and amazing woman! Hugs and much love...RO

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  3. What a disaster and I feel for everyone involved. I hope Mary gets away from that toxic individual. He sounds like absolute poison to everyone he's around.

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    1. I'm telling you, I sit here in fear wondering if this person is safe, and keep her in constant prayer. Hugs...

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  4. I hate seeing this jerk getting away with his business, but so glad she is not denying and I hope she beats the statistics to find a healthy, happy life. I like the journaling idea. I never heard of it before, but I want to share it with my clients. Thank you, Ro, for your tender, heartbreaking story and for caring and showing it to victims and survivors.

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    1. I know, right? He says he was raised with no filter, believing that gives him a pass to treat people badly. Thanks so much for the positive feedback. You're the best! Hugs...

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  5. It really is a shame things like this still happen, it just makes me sad reading this post. I luckily have never had anyone close to me get through some thing like this or if it happened I wasn't aware of it, but I do know things like this happen and it just makes me sad. And as a friend to a victim I do think it's important to listen and be there for your friend. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Because this and homelessness for women are my platforms, I meet people like this all the time. Some are victims and others are survivors. Sadly, there are people who waste a lot of my time trying to convince me that women deserve to be beaten or should just leave. I agree with you and believe listening is the key for those in trouble. Hugs...

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  6. Wow. Very powerful post, and great advice. You do feel so helpless when you see that happening. When people say, "Why don't you leave?" I urge them to look around at their life. How easy would it be to just walk away from the home and security you've built for yourself and your kids? Where would you go? How would you afford to support your kids on your own? And what if the person you're leaving threatened to track you down and kill all of you if you left? There are shelters that can help, but they can only go so far...and in the end, many women in that situation just aren't sure WHAT to do. There's also a bit of Stockholm Syndrome and gaslighting that factors in. It's really a very complicated thing.

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    1. Gosh, Steph. Don't get me started on the gaslighting!!!!(lol) Gets me super angry. I watched that movie to get a true understanding of what this was like and it was crazy! You are so right! No one understands how difficult it can be to leave, AND to be safe. Thanks a bunch for your feedback. You're the best! Hugs...

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  7. An important post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hey Angela! Thanks a bunch for your support! Hugs...RO

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  8. Sadly there's not much you can do until someone is ready for help. Frustrating and sad. :(

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