October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I know that it is also an awareness month for other things that are also very important, but this is something that affects every level and sector of every society on Earth.
The type of domestic violence we hear about the most is physical abuse. Abusers make a practice of controlling their victims with threats of violence and actual violence. They will hit a victim with an open hand or closed fist. They will throw things at their victims and sometimes throw their victims. They cause bruises, broken bones, and strike terror into the heart of their victims. Their victims are can be wives, children, parents, dates or partners. Basically, anyone who is physically, mentally, or emotionally less strong than them. Not weaker, just not as strong. And, whatever weakness they find they will attack over and over until that weakness is amplified and their victim becomes overcome by it.
Much has been said about why abuse happens. Women are asked, “What did you do to make him hurt you?” Blame is repeatedly placed upon the victim as if she is at fault for her own mistreatment. When family, acquaintances finally become convinced that her situation is dangerous then they ask her other questions such as, “Why don’t you just leave?”
Domestic Violence is not a simple subject that can be asked and answered in short sentences. Nor can be it resolved with simple answers. Anything that involves human relationships is complex and must be dealt with as such.
The main problem to face is that an abuser doesn’t hurt those in his family because they have done something wrong. Abusers hurt those in their families because they believe they have a right to treat them however they please, whatever it takes to get them what they want. It is not about pleasing or appeasing them. It is all about manipulation and control.
There are other types of abuse that include emotional, mental, social, financial, and spiritual. I will teach about these in other posts. But, if there are so many types of abuse, why is physical abuse the one that is talked about so much. There are several reasons for this. For one, it is the most urgent, forcing victims into emergency rooms, hospitals, and unfortunately, sometimes into the grave. Aside from the danger involved, physical abuse is the only one that is prosecutable and prosecution of an abuser under the force of law is the only way to legally protect victims from abusers and the only way to legally punish abusers.
Why do I write about domestic violence? Because more than twenty years ago I was a victim of domestic violence. I was married for fourteen years to a man I met at church who I found out only after we were married was abusive. For years, I made excuses for him. He was sick, he was out of work or something that would cause his unusual and unexpected behavior. I went through all the stages of denial until the night I was dodging the steak knives he threw across our alley kitchen at me. After spending the night in shock, the next day I filed for divorce and began a new journey.
After four long years of struggling with post-traumatic stress, I was finally able to receive God’s healing and deliverance. Since that time I have learned all I could learn, and in turn taught what I have learned, to anyone who is interested, about the realities of domestic violence. My goal and intent are to teach women their true worth in God’s eyes and to teach any who want to learn how to recognize abuse and how to help those who are victimized by it. No one deserves to be mistreated by their spouse, parent or child. God’s intent is that families love and cherish one another and that Home Should Be Safe. Our homes should be the safest place on earth, not a place we fear to go.
For more information on domestic violence you can purchase my book, Home Should Be Safe: Hope and Help for Domestic Violence. You can purchase it from my website www.minaraulston.com for $12.99.
What do you know about domestic violence? What would you like to know?