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Domestic Violence: The Deadly Virus

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Isn’t domestic violence like a deadly virus that’s spreading globally?  Why is abuse at home on the rise even in the developed countries/

Domestic abuse has become sort of a disease now, so much so that we need and awareness month to address it just as we do for breast cancer.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the USA.  Even though this is December it is still the perfect time to write on this topic as it really touches my heart and deserves attention by men and women alike.

Why is this sickening behavior getting out of proportion and what stops us from taking control over this man-made cancer?

There might be many reasons for why domestic violence is on the rise, but there’s one personal quality that can act as a deterrent and an antidote- self-control.

What you need is LUCK- love, understanding, compassion, and kindness.  Maybe that’s too easy to say because the situations that lead to violence aren’t that simple. And, self-control isn’t child’s play either.  Love too either ceases to exist or loses its magic with time.

How else can we deal with domestic abuse, which makes one out of three women suffer around the world?  That’s really too much, isn’t it?

You’d be surprised to know that it’s not only women who’re the victims, but even men report being abused by women! However, the number of men as victims is much lower and their cases are mostly not as severe as those of women who’re abused by men.

In either case, there are injuries and causalities, and many more lives including children are greatly affected.  If we call ourselves civilized, we need to put an end to domestic violence.

Let’s understand the what, who, and why of this deadly virus that has severely infected the word.  And, in this post, we’ll only take up the issue of violence against women.

“All marriages are sacred, but not all are safe.” Rob Jackson

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior, which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship.  It can include violence in marriage, courtship, or cohabitation.

An abusive relationship is marked with physical, emotional, mental, verbal, sexual, and even financial forms of abuse as explained in the above writing.

All these abuses also happen in domestic violence against women.  Do you have any idea what abused women go through?  It sends a shiver down my spine even as I write this- women and even young girls are subjected to forced rape, sexual assault and even murder! Women are also burned or killed in the name of a dowry and honor killing in some Asian countries.

They can be brutally attacked with acid.  The acid attack victim suffers with burns and scars on the face and body throughout the rest of her life, if she survives.

battered-woman2Besides these severe physical abuses women are also subject to biting, kicking, hitting, pushing, punching, slapping, and choking.  For that matter, even denying medical aid when needed, and depriving the partner of food and sleep causes physical harm.

Domestic abuse is not limited to physical abuse.  Some other forms of domestic violence are dominance, forced isolation, humiliation, harassment, intimidation, blaming, endangerment, stalking, and kidnapping.

Domestic violence also includes dating violence.  It’s sad to see how the dating valentines transform their loving relationships to domestic violence.

Remember that domestic violence can happen to anyone, but not everyone is an abuser.

Who is a Domestic Abuser?

A domestic abuser is no stranger.  The domestic act of violence are always committed by either the spouse, boyfriend, family member, or any know person having intimate relations.

Mostly the abusers are:

.  Youth in the age group of 18 to 30 years

.  Persons from low-income socioeconomic groups

.Unemployed and frustrated

. Uneducated or having lower levels of education

. Employees with low job satisfaction

. Abusers of alcohol and other substances

.Persons with a past history of violence

.  Those who grew up in an abused and violent family

.  People with antisocial personality disorders

.  People with attitudes and beliefs that accept gender inequality

However, exceptions are always there.

The abuser can also be an adult or senior, a person with high-income background- one who’s well placed in career, and even the one who’s not a substance abuser in any form.

One aspect that may surprise many is that most abusers are often charming and loveable in their other relationships. This, people might never suspect them of being aggressive and violent.  Yet, just like the Jekyll and Hyde personality, these charming abusers unleash hell when at home or in privacy.  Further, the domestic abusers are equally prevalent in all types of caste, creed, and race.  They all probably have the same types of reasons for domestic violence.

Why Does Domestic Violence Happen?

Arguments, differences, and disputes do occur occasionally in relationships.  An intimate relationship is no different in this respect.  But when things go to extremes, where one or both partners try to establish supremacy- the fair playground gets muddier.

Here are some basic reasons why partners abuse or are abused.

.  Domestic violence is a learned behavior.  Mostly you do what you see and experience.  You’re most likely to use violence in intimate relationships if you encounter it in your family and around yourself.

.  The kind of parenting you experience I a big factor in your becoming an abuser or victim.  You subconsciously start to imitate your parents and reinforce your observations.

.  Some even consider the effect of genetics, brain development, and biochemistry on the personality and nature of the abuser, and the acts of violence committed in close relationships.

.  Domestic violence occurs because one partner tries to gain power and control over another intimate partner.

. The abuse hurts the victim to induce fear by intimidation and inflicting pain so that the fear of leaving become greater than the fear of staying.

. A lot also depends on the socio-cultural status of the place where the abuser and the abused live.  Some countries or cultures fin the behaviors as normal, while other countries or cultures treat the same as domestic violence.

.  The public depiction of women as objects through videos, movies, songs, books, computer games, and especially pornographic material make women unworthy of respect.  This creates a negative impact in the young tender minds of children and teenagers, who later become abusers.

. Boys or male children are brought up in a way that they think they’re not responsible for their actions.  They think they can do what they want, and always have things their way, including mistreating their partners.

.  People who experience abuse in childhood are more likely to become abusers in their intimate relationships when they grow up.

.  Many religions have beliefs that teach and instruct women to accept male domination, and men to control women.

.  As a rule of nature, a submissive person is generally suppressed, pressurized, controlled and tortured even more by the dominant partner; this is what happens in domestic violence.

.  Acts of violence against women are planned and purposely done.  Men do it either because of a clash of egos, feeling of insecurity, intense dislike, or because they can’t tolerate her as an equal.

.  Domestic violence happens because the abuser is not happy with himself.  One who’s not happy with one’s own self can never be good and happy with others.

Can you think of more reasons?  Mention them in the comments.  Whatever be the reason, abuse of any kind is neither justified nor rational, whether it is against women or men.

Effects of Domestic Violence

The victim of domestic violence is battered and shattered.  The person begins to lose self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence.  But this is not all.

.  Talking about the United States, women who’re the victim of domestic violence are more likely to become homeless.

.  Many women lose their jobs being victims of intimate partner violence.

.Domestic abusers are likely to abuse even their children, besides abusing their wives.

.  Children, who witness or experience domestic abuse, are more likely to do the same when they grow up.  They might even become juvenile delinquents and engage in unsocial activities.

Many young children end up in jail for murdering their battered mother’s abuser.

.  Victims of domestic violence are likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic problems, eating disorders, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and even sexual dysfunction.

. The abused always fears the abuser, and this fear makes the victim dependent on the abuser.  They fear that leaving the abuser may bring more harm to them.

There may be many effects of domestic violence, so break the silence and come forward to share what you’ve experience, heard, or seen.  Remember, you might be able to help a domestic violence victim through your act.

To avoid the ugly effects of domestic violence, you should be able to recognize the early signs of domestic abuse.

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Are you suffering from domestic abuse?  If you’re not sure then you should know these signs of abuse and treat them as warnings before they take the ugly form of domestic violence.

I’ve presented them in question form so you can answer them in “yes” or “no”.

If you come up with having many “Yes’s” then you probably need to talk to someone close to you, who can be a family member, friend, or you can even consult a counselor.

.  Has your partner ever destroyed anything that is special to you like any objects, books, and clothes?

.  Have you ever been forced to have sex against your wish or in ways that you don’t approve of?

.  Do you fear your partner in any form or for any reason?  Do you fear going home?

.  Do you blame yourself for the violence?

.  Are you subject to frequent criticism and blame from you partner including being called names?

.  Have you ever been threatened verbally or by using a weapon?

.  Are you denied education and restricted access to sources of information like books and the internet?

.Does your partner or spouse often touch you in intimidating ways?

.  Are you often humiliated or insulted in public, besides in private?

.  Does your partner often criticize your family or friends?

.  Does your partner make you feel too lowly or unworthy or even makes you feel that you’re crazy?

.  Are you treated like a servant?

.  Are you often made to feel guilty of things directly or indirectly related to you, whether you’ve done them or not?

.  Are you never allowed to make big decisions about the family or even yourself?

.  Have you been denied to lead a life of your own and take a job?

.  Is your dignity being questioned?  Are you suspected of infidelity to the extent that all you moves and talks are monitored, even if you remain faithful?

.  Are you totally under control of your partner and can’t do anything without your partner’s permission?

.  Are your children being used against you, or are you threatened that they’ll be taken away from you?

.  Is your pet being abused just to create a scare in you so that you obey your partner?

.  Does your partner make you do illegal thins, blackmail you or even threaten to leave you or commit suicide?

.  Are you deprived of access to family income and not allowed to have your say in important financial matters?

.  Have you been troubled by your partner to arrange for money?

.  Does your partner take away all your money to make you dependent on him financially?

Many of you might feel that some of these questions don’t quite relate to domestic violence.  However, you need to remember that domestic abuse is not only physical, but also psychological, emotional, and mental.  Even violation of your basic human rights is an act of violence.

I’m sorry to say that if you have any of these signs, then it’s an indication that your partner doesn’t truly love you.

Why?  That’s because somebody who really loves you will give you all the freedom and never restrict you from being and developing yourself.

If you’re not given your place in the family and society, then you’re being deprived of your rights, and that’s a violation.  If you feel that many of these warning signs are part of your life, then you may be in an abusive relationship or in any of the states of domestic abuse.

Abuse is not about a single isolated incident or behavior, but frequently acting behaviors that form a pattern that becomes severe with time.  Never ignore these behaviors or patterns.  These may be the signs that you’ve a controlling partner.  You need to raise a strong voice against it.

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”  Mark Caine

 

 

What Should You Do in Domestic Abuse

 

It’s only you who can and who should do something about your condition and situation.  What you should do depends on the type and level of domestic abuse that you are suffering. I could write a full- fledged post about how to deal with domestic violence but I will give some general suggestions since this post is already very long.

 

First:  Take the initiative and courage to break the silence.  Talk to someone close to you.  If you can’t then try any online help resources for women suffering from domestic abuse, or call their toll free helpline numbers.

Second:  If you think communication with your partner makes sense, then convey your thoughts and feelings.  You will be surprised to see the things that can be resolved when you talk?  Only you know if you can do that.

Third: If mutual dialogue doesn’t help or isn’t possible and things turn pretty bad, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help and visit a certified counselor, or even call the police if need be.

Fourth:  if nothing works- walk out?  Don’t stay with a domestic abuser, nor try to make-do with a person when there is nothing left between both of you.  Your partner can even to the extent of crying and begging for forgiveness, but then you must realize that the apologies made are condition, and he indirectly holds you responsible for the abuse.

He might say that if you hadn’t said this or acted like that, then the abuse might never have happened.  Or, maybe his apology is genuine, you’ve to decide on that based on the past record of your partner.  Remember that the abuser is always in control, and his aim is to train the partner to be what and how he wants.

 

Call to Action

 

Abusers are people who like to abuse, and there’s no other cause to it.  Don’t fall for sweet talks if you’re in a serious abusive relationship.

You need to avoid this trap and cycle of abuse.

Never allow yourself to be abused or mistreated.  The choice always lies in your hands.

 

Before your abuser attempts to break down your sense of self-worth and make you feel helpless, you need to seek help and take important decisions of your life.  Always rememberthat if your partner loves you, he or she will never be abusive or violent. This should be an indication whether you want to move away or stay in a relationship.

Only an abuser will adopt the strategy and tactics of control and domination, and such behaviors are the root cause of abusive and violet behavior.  On the other hand, remember that since domestic violence is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned too.

You need to decide if you want to make amends and give your partner a second chance, but if nothing seems to be working, you should walk away as fast as you can.  Don’t think twice because your life is precious!

I know of my family and friends who are leading very happy lives after leaving their partners due to domestic violence. Some of them remarried to people who truly love them and are very happy now.

It’s your life and you have all the right to live it the way you want to. Go live your life, and break free if you have to because you live only once.

 

 

 

 

 

Sally’s Warnings Chapter 4

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Background
Sally has the exhusband of her once best friend show up on her door step. She doesn’t know how to deal with him so she does what ever she can to get rid of him. She is also having to deal with an alco

 

Is this night ever going to end? Sally’s tossing and turning through the night causes her to wake frequently. When her eyes pop open, she hears Bill’s voice saying, “I love you.” She finds herself wide-awake when her parents get up to get ready to go to work.

“Mornin’, Mom. I’m going to get me a cup of coffee. Do you want me to get you one?”

“Sure, it can cool a little while I’m getting dressed. Why are you up? I usually have to drag you out of bed before we leave the house.”

“I can’t get into it right now, but I’ll tell you later. I have a lot on my mind right now and it messes with my sleep.”

“Is it something I can help you with, baby?”

“No Mom, this is something I have to work out for myself.”

“Okay, when you’re ready to talk let me know.”

“Sure, Mom, I will. I left your coffee on the kitchen counter by the pot.”

Sally takes her coffee back to her room. Sitting on the bottom bunk, she sips her coffee and thinks about telling Linda about Bill. I’m not going to tell her anything until I decide what I’m going to do. Maybe the show this afternoon will take my mind off my problem.

***

Sally pulls in front of Linda’s house and honks. Her younger brothers come running out of the house, yelling back at Linda. “Sally’s here”. They are like bugs on the car, all over it and asking what seems like a thousand questions. Linda gets in the car, but has to get out, getting her brothers off the car so they can leave.

“I bet they are a handful for your mother,” Sally says laughing. She backs the car out of the driveway and heads for McAlester.

“You have no idea what it’s like living with them two. They are constantly into something or trying to be mean to me. They don’t bother Carol, because they know she will whip them.”

“I thought your sister left for East Central. Haven’t they started school?”

“No, they haven’t. She is leaving this weekend to get her dorm room set up. Since it’s her second year she’ll be staying at a different dorm than she did last year.”

“Changing the subject, Mom told me she’ll get daddy to fix the floor board of this car. I’m so tired of losing shoes out those blasted holes. I lost one last week when we went to the river. Mama told me to stop pulling them off and I wouldn’t lose them.”

“She’s right, cause you never leave your shoes on your feet,” Linda says.

“I don’t like wearing shoes. I want to go barefooted. It drives mama crazy. She is one who puts her shoes on first thing in the morning and they don’t come off till bedtime.”

The girls get to town without any problems. Sally parks in front of the Okla Theater and they buy their tickets for Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. They go into the theater and stand for a minute at the door to let their eyes adjust to the darkness. When they feel they can walk in safety, they walk the center aisle until they find two empty seats together.

“Excuse me, excuse me”, both girls say as they step in front of two young fellows to get to their seats. The movie was beginning as the girls settle into their seats with their popcorn and cokes to drink. Occasionally they glance at the two boys sitting beside Sally. “They’re good-looking,” Linda whispers to Sally.

In one scene, Bette Davis screams and jumps at someone with a hatchet. It startles Sally, who then screams and grabs the young man sitting next to her. When she realizes what she’s done, she’s embarrassed. “I am so sorry I grabbed you. The movie scared me and I didn’t realize what I was doing until it was too late.”

The young man laughs, “it’s all right, I grabbed my brother’s arm. We weren’t expecting it, that’s all.” The four of them finish watching the move, get up and walk to the lobby. The young man looks at Sally and smiles. “My name is Mike Hentry and this is my brother Dougin. Would the two of you like to go for a float at the A&W?”

“How about we follow you there? That way you won’t have to bring us back to my car,” Sally says.

“Sure, if that is what you want to do.”

“Mike, my car is right in front of the theater. Where are you parked?”

“We’re in the parking lot at the end of the street. Give us a couple of minutes to get to the car and then head to the drive-in. What are you driving?”

“I’m in a black ‘54 Ford. It will be easy to spot. I think I’ve got the oldest car in the area.” They all laugh, and the boys head for their car. As soon as the boys get out the door, the girls start talking.

“Can you believe this,” Linda said. “Both of them are as cute as bugs’ ears, but I like Dougan.”

“That’s quite all right because I like Mike. I like his blonde hair and blue eyes.” Sally digs the keys out of her purse and they walk to the car.

“Oh, it’s awful out here,” Linda whines. “We should have come to a night show.”

“Yeah, it kind of sucks the air out of your lungs. Once we start moving it’ll get a little better.” Sally pulls into the slot at the A&W the same time Mike and Dougin pull in.

Mike leans out his window and says, “Come on over here and get in.”

Sally and Linda get out of the Ford and walk to Mike’s car. It’s a red ’62 two-door Chevy. Dougin gets out of the front seat and holds the seat back for Linda to get into the car. Dougin then crawls in beside her. Sally gets into the front seat next to Mike. Sally starts the conversation between her and Mike. “Do you live here in town?

“We have an efficiency apartment at Willow Valley Motel. We’re doing a job for Cherokee Telephone Company.”

“Really, that’s our telephone company.”

“You know all of that underground cable that’s going in.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen it.”

“That’s what we’re doing, laying that cable. Let’s get our drinks ordered. What do you want, Sally?”

”I’d like a root beer float.” Sally replies.

“Dougin, what are you and Linda going to have?” Mike asks.

“We’re both having a Coke float.”Dougin tells his brother.

They all have their floats and continue talking about each other’s lives. The time arrives for Sally and Linda to leave. “Thank you, Mike, for the floats. We had a nice time. Maybe we’ll see you when you place the wire in our area,” Sally says.

“Yeah, maybe, but I have a better idea. Why don’t you and Linda have dinner with us next Saturday night and then we’ll go to the drive-in theater?”

Linda leans on the front seat, “I think that’s a great idea. I’m all for it. What about you, Sally?”

“Sounds like fun. Do you want us to meet you in town or are you going to pick us up?”

***

As Sally and Linda sit with their newfound friends, they do not notice the car following them. Bill can’t believe what his eyes are showing him. Sally gets out of her car, goes, and gets in the car with this blonde dude. Who is he? Sally is going to marry me and no one else. Go ahead, little girl and have your fun, but you’re not getting rid of me, ever.

 

My Poem For Today “Call Me A Violin”

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Listen to me whine
Listen to me cry
Listen to the heart strings
I am surely going to die.
Let my sound
Reverberate your soul
Remembering my broken heart
You gave to me so long ago.
When you hear the sad, sad sound
Remember you made my world go round
Listen to me whine
Listen to me cry
Knowing my world has ended
Because you said goodbye.