In the two years I have been working for SwanWaters, I have become painfully aware how ill-informed people are about domestic violence.
It Is Only Violence If He Hits You!
There are plenty of victims of abuse who never have a hand laid on them. Even those victims who suffer from physical abuse often report that the emotional and psychological aspects of the abuse were far harder to deal with. Non-physical abuse triggers the same chemical response in the brain as a beating. So even though there are no physical scars and injuries, the emotional injuries are complex and hard to heal.
Why Did You Not Just Leave?
Because abuse is about power. That power is wielded over you every day, every minute every second. The abuser makes clever use of fear and hope to keep their victim in place.
They Seem Such Nice People?
Yeah, abusers are very good at playing the sympathy card, they may even have you believe they were the ones being victimized. If someone chooses to end a marriage or walk out on their parents, just assume they made that heart wrenching decision for a good reason.
Well, You Left Her So All Is Well Now!
Just because a survivor managed to leave the situation of abuse, does not mean they are fixed. The forces at play are huge, and healing is a long and painful process. Many survivors develop PTSD, and the emotional damage may cause other physical injuries and illness for years to come.
This is why Domestic Violence Awareness Month is so vital.
Over the next month I will be sharing some of my thoughts, experiences and opinions on the topic. Please share these and help us spread the word and provide help and support to targets and survivors.