Everyone’s story of abuse is as individual as the people involved. However, when I read a story this week titled “Domestic Abuse Can End in Death”, I found a number of similarities to my own past and I wanted to share that story by Alexis Bechman with you.
For some reason, those who are not familiar with abuse have the belief that if you just leave an abusive relationship, you will be fine. As this story and so many others prove, leaving is just as much of a gamble as staying is. Others will say that you should have seen the signs that this person is an abuser. Here again, as with this woman, her husband exhibited no such tendencies until they were 15 years into their marriage and she asked for a divorce. For those who think that abuse only happens in homes where the woman grew up in a situation where she witnessed abuse, the statistics indicate that it is actually less than half for those who are abused. Others who believe that you can be protected by a restraining order don’t understand that a piece of paper will never stop a beating, a stabbing or a bullet.
For some reason, those who are not familiar with abuse have the belief that if you just leave an abusive relationship, you will be fine. As this story and so many others prove, leaving is just as much of a gamble as staying is.
No one but no one can ever know what goes on inside an abusive relationship unless it is their own. Every situation is truly unique. People who choose to judge abuse situations are doing everyone a complete injustice including themselves. So much time and energy is being spent on who is to blame for what rather than focusing on the real problems. We continue to try to do everything that we can to help those who are being abused while the abusers are out there running around, controlling those that they are abusing, threatening them, stalking them, etc. but little is being done to stop them. Most abusers who finally move on just select for themselves a new victim to abuse and the cycle starts all over again.
Something has to be done to deal with the abusers and just short stints in jail (unless murder is involved) will never begin to put a dent in this problem. If their abuse is reported, the abused person knows that when they are released, they are in for greater repercussions as a result. No one wants to deal with the abusers including the police who find themselves in the greatest danger when responding to calls for help in abuse situations. And it is no wonder that abusers don’t give it much thought because in most situations, they are and will continue to be in the controlling position. But behind every abuser, there is a reason why they are abusing and those are the issues with which we need to deal.
In addition, we need to deal with the abusers because of the children. More and more children are being abused and/or observing abuse and the effects from it is something that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. There is no child who, when they are touched by abuse, can process what is happening with any sort of adult understanding. Abuse creates fear in the child and that fear can be even greater than that in an adult. Abuse takes away their opportunity to be a child and live as a child. I really think the time has come to deal with abusers in a whole new way so that they become dissuaded to continue their bad behavior and are afraid to abuse again because of very real repercussions that they will have to face. Enough lives have been lost and just because an abuser doesn’t care about his life doesn’t mean that he should have the latitude to be able to go down while taking others out with him.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, you can seek help through the National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-SAFE (7233) – 1.800.787.3224 (TTY).
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Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.