Thursday, October 27, 2011

Keep your hands to yourself!!! No form of domestic violence is ever acceptable.

Just a note to remind all men (and women, even though we tend to be made of less solid stuff) to keep your hands to yourselves.  Anytime a woman is cowed into a corner, pushed, shoved, hit, or even fears for her safety or that of her children by the actions of a man, the situation must change.  A line has been crossed that never should have been approached.  It isn't okay...not once, not twice...not ever!  If that line has been crossed, it is most likely that the behavior will escalate putting the woman and/or her children in further peril. 

According to the article by the staff of the Mayo Clinic, Domestic violence against women:  recognize patterns, seek help., not only is unbidden physical contact identified as domestic violence, but threatening words, control, bullying, and blaming a victim for being deserving of such behavior is considered inappropriate and harmful.  The information in the article also relays the pattern of an abuser's actions.  It is common that a violent partner will apologize for his/her abuse and promise to change his/her ways or insists that a victim's actions or behavior led to the abuse. 

But what if the attacker claims, or indeed does not, remember the incident as a result of alcohol or drug abuse or because of emotional instability?  The online conference transcripts led by Dr. Ronald Potter-Effron MSW, Ph.D., Rage: Overcoming Explosive Anger , explains rage blackouts in its many forms.  If a person doesn't remember performing violent actions on another, does that make the behavior more acceptable than if they intentionally abused someone with all of their faculties intact?  I would think the opposite would be true.  The idea that an individual was so enraged at the time in which they attacked another is even more frightening than if they had been aware of what they were doing.  That would make the person's behavior and potential actions even more unpredictable.  The abuser, to my mind, less likely or willing to change or seek help to change that behavior.

If a person is being abused, and especially if a pattern of abuse is escalating, they must change the situation.  If the person violating a victim's security and well-being is not willing to make the appropriate changes in their life that are necessary for the behavior to end, by seeking professional help, then the victim must remove themselves from the situation permanently, especially if children are involved or witness such behavior.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a tool victims can use to get help and information.  The website even features a "Quick Escape" icon to leave the page if a victim who is seeking information at this online location feels their computer is being monitored.  It also provides information for friends of those seeking help for individuals who are living with domestic violence.  

You should never be in danger or even feel as if you may be in danger.  It is never alright to be in a situation that causes you to fear for your safety.  Get up and DO something to change that situation.  It may be frightening to face such an enormous life change but the daily fear that exists with living with a violent person is far worse, even if abusive episodes are few and far between. Once is too often.

Author Linda Rue Quinn in her short story, A Pack of Gum, shows from a victim's point of view, what impact a life of domestic violence can have on a person. 

Wishing love, hope, and safety to all who find themselves dealing with someone who thinks it's alright to abuse or even just bully another.

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