Forced to be silent

These are a few of the things many of us who were (or are presently) victimized by spousal/ intimate partner abuse or domestic violence, far too often have to hear:

“I know just how you feel.” (Do you really? How cavalier. I mean, what has caused you to feel the unbearable pain and hopelessness I carry deep within my soul every day?)

 

 

Prey praying

“Just pray.” (What in the world do you think I have been doing every day of my life?)

“Someday we will understand why all this had to happen.” (Had to happen? I was predestined to be abused? And how will we understand, pray tell? Do you have a corner on the market of “Victim Abuse Knowledge”?)

“Just hang in there. It will get better.” (How long am I supposed to ‘hang in there’? When will it get better?)

“You could just leave. Why don’t you just leave?” (Where do you propose I take my children and their dog? How will I afford to relocate? Why should I be the one to remove my family from their home when I am the victim? What about my job? How far will I get before he tracks me down?)

“He said he was sorry.” (Yes, you are right. He did – just like the 273 other times he said it – and then abused me again.)

“Why didn’t you call someone?” (Am I supposed to get my family involved in this? If he hit me, he is surely capable of taking a swing at my parent/brother/sister/pastor.)

“Well, when you married, your vows said, ‘For better or worse, ’til death do us part.’ God hates divorce.” (Did ’til death do us part mean he gets to be the cause of my death? And which does God hate more – divorce or this violence I am enduring?)

“You made your bed, now you have to lie in it.” (Thanks for the support and reassurance. Got any hemlock or arsenic I could consume?)

Do not ask us “why” or “how” or tell us “if” or “when.” (That’s like standing over a casket, looking down at your mother’s body and hearing somebody say, “They did a good job on her. She hasn’t looked that good in a long time.” It just doesn’t work.)

These are some of the words victims need to hear:

How can I help?

“How can I help?”

“I’ve never been through this personally, but I am here if you ever need to talk.”

“Let’s develop a code word. If you ever need help, use the code word and I will immediately call 911. It’s the least I can do.”[i]

“Here is the number for the Hotline,” or “Take this brochure I got from a local agency. They have all kinds of staff members who can help you.”

“Take a look at this site. It has lots of information to help.”[ii]

“Do you need a ride to get that injunction?”

“If you need a place to stay, let me know.”

“I love you, and I care.

 

And, especially, from another victim:

“I know, me  too.
Victim reaching out to victim

[i] U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

[ii]Visit Victim Support Page on Carolyn’s website: http://www.orangeblossomwishes.com/victim_support.htm

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    • LOVED this!!! OMG!!! You touched it EXACTLY!!! Thank you for doing what you do!!! This speaks directly to the heart of the hurting. If others could only grasp these simple concepts it would make life so much easier on those who either suffe…r within a current abusive relationship or those who have been victimized at some point in their lives.

      Sometimes people mean well… but… they have no idea the pain they inflict when trying to give comfort. Girl… you reeeeallly should write on this subject… oh wait… you do…lol

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