Discussion: “I Promise You, I Won’t Do It Again”
October 9, 2020
(October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month)
I was sitting and considering that the month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. How sad! That we as human beings require an awareness month for another human being subjected to beating, slapping, piercing or losing their life. Anger blended with pleasure from an abuser. While a woman’s spirit and soul is being destroyed as she is being beaten and dragged around a room.
Then I thought for a long time why would family and friends need to beg someone to leave a life of abuse. What is creating the anger inside someone? Why would they then execute pain on another human, a pain that lives inside them often for some their entire life? What lives inside of the abused that holds them in a place no one should be? How do you respond when others seem to justify these acts often saying, “He didn’t mean it or he is under pressure?” After volunteering for Domestic Violence Safe houses in two different states, I realized men are victims of domestic violence too.
I have studied the eyes of women as I collected information that came to the shelter. It took a while for me to find the expression fitting for the comments I heard. “He never thought I would leave him, I showed him” or “I just needed a break.” Sadly, these were the ones who were going back. Thinking they had taught their abuser a lesson. Not knowing what they had shown was that they would come back, often causing the abuse to intensify to where some frequently lost their life… trying to teach a lesson.
Many women remain because he threatens to harm the children or restricting them to remove them from their unsafe environment. Other leaves because the children are now being abused in many deviant forms. I found out from the Men Anger Management classes at the YMCA that police hate going to domestic violence calls.
One evening as I arrived at the shelter they informed me that an elderly woman had called that afternoon and wanted to know where the shelter was located. The shelter worker offered to make arrangements to have her picked up, but she declined and stated she’d walk. I got there at 6 pm and sometime later in the night we heard a knock on the door. When we opened the door a lady fell into our arms. Barely able to speak, she informed us she was the one who had called this afternoon to locate the shelter. After helping her to get settle, we found out she had walked all day to get to the shelter. I looked at this woman in her late 70s with nothing but her handbag. A handbag was all she had to show for her70 plus years on this earth. She added “I had enough”. This declaration caused her to decide to just walk out her front door and not look back. We got her established in another state with a relative. Even though we never saw her again, I earnestly for some time after that prayed for her.
I’ve heard men claim, “I watched my father beat my mother and swore I would never beat my wife.” Still, they do! I recognize I will never understand this violence or women who live with this violence. It’s a fact that many women find the courage to leave their abusive state, but often find their selves in another domestic abuse relationship. A cycle of pain!
I know that this behavior comes from deep within. Something locked inside of yourself a belief that this is the only life you know. Thinking there’s nothing better for you. I know that many are in critical, life-threatening circumstances. I believe they should think about getting aid to find the safest way to leave a relationship of this nature. Abused women still will declare their love for the abuser. Tina Turner expressed it in the title alone, ‘What love got to do with it’? How do you explain the love when you go to the emergency room or awake on the floor from being knocked unconscious? Love doesn’t harm you (at least not deliberately). Love protects, causes you to feel safe, cared for and embraces you.
Again, this month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Women that seemingly can’t break away don’t need our judgement and criticism. As family and friends, I know it hurts to know a loved one in this position. You may not reach them now, but don’t turn your back on them. When they come for help, dismiss from your mind and the words “I told you so” and other condemning comments. Be silent. Listen. Learn. Unfortunately, we must also remember some don’t know how to reach out. And despite all of what is available today, a good deal may never reach out.
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
National Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims, survivors of domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-7233. Chat w/ an advocate on our website. National Domestic Violence Hotline www.thehotline.org/