#GuestPost: Family Violence

This is an anonymous guest post that was sent to me after I first started discussing the Ray Rice situation.  I have re-broadcast it in its entirety.  Above image from here.

As a person who had the support of my family and my abuser’s family, I can’t imagine how hard it is to be alone.

I know that if HIS mother had not told me that it was ok to leave him, that I SHOULD leave him… If his siblings didn’t support my leaving… I might not have left. I may have never found the joy of life that I know now.

There are many many many reasons that we stay in those situations. One of them is that, by the time actual physical abuse happens, the mental abuse has already crippled you into thinking that this is as good as it gets. That there can’t possibly be a better you out there without him.

People keep blaming her, saying, “Yeah, well she married him… So he must not be that bad.”, “She must have asked for it.”, “But, he is so composed in front of others. He waited until the doors closed to let her have it.” I say that kind of thinking is a problem. She may have stayed with him out of fear of how much worse he could make her life if she left him. No woman in the history of he earth has ASKED for the man that she loves and trusts to throw a beat down on her. No woman ever. If he is that composed and then he can switch it off that quick… Trust me, that is a sign of a problem. I have seen that with my own two eyes. That is something you don’t ever want to find yourself not the other end of. That is someone that can turn off their humanity and beat the shit out of you because you disagree with them.

There are plenty of reasons that tell us we should leave them. For me, I couldn’t bear the thought of our 3 year old son to opening his door that night. The door that I was slammed against and being choked on. In those moments, I knew that I would never forgive myself if he saw what was happening. I that I had not asked for it, I had ALLOWED it. And in that moment, I made up my mind. I had to wait until he passed out to leave. I couldn’t call anyone. He’d already smashed my phone to bits. Once he entered his stupor, we got the heck out of there. I went to the police station and filed a report. That is when I learned that, because I had not said anything before, there was no established pattern of abuse. They took the marks on my neck as enough evidence to make a report.

If you are in an abusive relationship, try with all your might to get out. File police reports. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. Above all, don’t let them get into your head. You are not worthless. You are not ugly. You are not invisible. You are important. You are valuable. You are beautiful. You are strong. Someone loves you. And it kills them to see you get hurt.

If you know someone in an abusive relationship, don’t give up on them. Sure, they might leave and then go back to him. They will have a hard time adjusting to life without that person running it. One day they might leave on their own. That is the day that they will find their footing, know their worth, and never look back. Until then, they need to know that you support them. They need to know that they have a safe haven to go to when they have the courage to carry themselves away. They need your unconditional love. And sometimes, they need to borrow some of your strength to find hope for tomorrow.

Domestic Violence and Some Clergy

Any church that redefines abuse instead of stopping it, is not a safe place. Any church that devalues women instead of respecting them as equals to men, is not a safe place. Any church that silences the oppressed instead of protecting them, is not a safe place.

A safe church does not tolerate the abuse of women or anyone else for that matter. A safe church empowers and equips all victims to walk away from those who hurt them. A safe church is where the abused can leave the abuser being assured that is what God wants them to do.

Boz Tchividjian, Religion News Service, Rhymes With Religion,#WhyIStayed: How some churches support spousal abuse 

I remember seeing this when I was a Protective Order Intern.  Several protective orders against individuals who brought their pastors with them.  Some protective orders against pastors themselves.  It was revolting and sickening.

Great Stuff from James Brown Re: Domestic Violence

We’re going to need to talk about Domestic/Family Violence for a while here.  This Ray Rice stuff is horrible and we need to continue the conversation.  If you’re not down then there are videos of cats somewhere online or something.

I need to safe port you, I have a fair amount of experience in this area because I was a person who sought Protective Orders for a while in the past.  When you do that then you learn about Domestic/Family/Dating Violence.

This might seem a little out of sorts with my day job.  I don’t really handle cases like that right now, but even more so, if I were to get retained for one then I would have to do what I had to do.  It doesn’t effect what I know.

So get ready because this is going to get messy.  Lots of personal feelings are going to come up in this.