It can be helpful to keep a journal if you are a victim of domestic violence.
If you decide to keep a journal about any domestic violence or partner abuse you experience, the first priority must be your safety. If you have an inkling of journaling on a computer that may be hacked, don’t do it. Not on that computer.
Would you consider to keep a journal in a notebook? Well, ask yourself if there is a safe place you can store that journal so the abuser is unaware of its existence or most unlikely to find it, but especially where he/she cannot get to it. I learned the hard way how a journal left lying around can easily be found and read. And if the contents are not what you would want your abuser to see, well, maybe you can keep it at work, or there is a drawer nobody but you goes into. In hindsight, I suppose my journal would have been safest underneath the sink with the cleaning products, or in the laundry room. He never went near those places. Or the oven, since he never cooked, either. Hmmm. . . (Okay, maybe I got just a little sarcastic there. He did cook once – scrambled eggs with chopped dill pickles – and nobody was pregnant.)
If you do journal, gather your thoughts. What should be documented? The date, time and location of any incident is important. Were others around when he grabbed your arm, began to yell or act in an unacceptable manner? What did he say? If you want to go into how it made you feel, that’s a good thing. You’ve just made your journal a therapeutic instrument, as well. But remember, whatever you write may at some time be read by law enforcement, a counselor, an attorney. . . Just be sure what you write is something you are okay with being viewed by other eyes sometime in the future.
Journaling got me through a lot. It helped me keep it together when all around me was falling to pieces. I started journaling at the age of eight, and for the most part continue to this day. We just call it blogging now. But there are diaries around my house, some documenting things from as far back as the 1970s – and a bit of the domestic violence and abuse I endured during those years.
So, whether you call it journaling or documenting, as for me, I believe when domestic violence victims choose to keep a journal or write about their circumstances, they are in some manner speaking up and talking about it. Keeping the silence hides the violence. If you don’t want to talk about it, then think about keeping a journal, begin with words on paper. That’s always the first best step to take. I say, WRITE ON!