The Phoenix Never Dies

It’s a rough road. For those who are going through or have gone through any form of abuse. The task of surviving day to day. As the one enduring the abuse. The unknown of whether or not we will make it out alive. The unknown if we can ever escape. The unknown of what will happen to us if and when we do escape. What will he or she do if they find out? What will happen to me? For those who have children; it ups the ante 100 folds. Why don’t people leave right away? It’s easier said than done, there are so many factors and reasons. Some may call it excuses, but as a survivor I tell you, it isn’t that we are making up excuses. It is due to the immense amount of fear we have towards this individual.

Then one day. It happens. Literally. Maybe it doesn’t just happen overnight, but because we are so brainwashed and have no self-control we don’t quite recognize it until it is practically boiling over. This fire burns inside of us. An unstoppable strength, After being beat and torn down for so long we don’t quite understand how we got this strength or where it came from. It is as if something inside of you just wakes up all your senses.

For me, it happened after my ex choked me and I passed out. Now, for the critics out there, you must understand that before physical abuse occurs usually mental, verbal and/or emotional abuse have already been set in motion for quite some time. No I didn’t leave after the first time he physically or sexually abused me. Why? Because he had already gained control of my mind. I was a prisoner in my own body. The daily verbal beat downs. Being told that no one loves me, or that I am not pretty enough. Being told that I get what I deserve.. The threats of what he would do if I try to leave, threats he made to me about hurting my family. No one wants me. No one loves me. I am nothing and will be nothing without him. Being reminded of how my biological father abandoned me by saying things like “Your own father doesn’t even want you”. The list goes on and on.

So on this one particular evening, we had not been on speaking terms for a couple days at this point which was pretty much the norm for him. I had the day off so I had spent the day doing laundry, running errands etc. I was sitting on our bed, watching t.v. when he had come home from work and entered the room. I didn’t like when we were not on speaking terms, I knew I had to be the bigger person and start some sort of conversation with him. I simply asked, “How was work baby?” He slams the wardrobe door shut, I look up at him and see his teeth clenched. I knew exactly what was about to happen next so I got up from the bed, thinking I would just walk out the room to avoid any more confrontations. It didn’t work out that way. He grabbed me by my arm and pulled to where I fell on to the bed. Like any other time, he pinned me down and punched the bed on either side of the bed. Like so many times before he said. “If you move and I hit you it’s your fault not mine.”

I thought I had memorized the whole scene. Every move he made I knew by heart. Then the scene changed. He got behind me and put me into a choke hold that I could not get out of. I passed out. For how long? I do not know and will never know. When I came too, I woke up with my head in his lap. You want to know what he was doing? Playing video games. As if nothing had just happened. It was as if I had fallen asleep there. When he had realized that I had woken up he began laughing and petting my head as if I were some sort of lap dog. It was in that moment that I finally realized I had to go. It was in that moment that I had realized that things were never going to change but that they were only going to get a whole lot worse. If I didn’t escape hell that night or the very next day, I would become a statistic. I had to fight and subconsciously I knew that I had to fight for others who were/are in a similar situation.

When it was time for bed, he told me to sleep with my head at the foot of the bed (as if I were the one that did something wrong). My rage boiled over. The phoenix within me was starting to wake up. I looked at him and said “I ain’t your dog, and I will NOT sleep at the foot of your bed, either you can sleep at the foot of the bed or you can sleep out on the couch, but me? I ain’t moving. Good night!” I had found my voice again. He was the one who slept with his head at the foot of the bed.  In something so small and simple as having the good spot in the bed, I felt victorious. My power had returned to me. That there was the first time I realized the strength I had within me. I stayed awake for a while until I knew that he for sure was sleeping.

The next morning I woke up pretty much just as the sun was rising. I had probably slept for only a few hours. I quietly and softly got up out of the bed, grabbed my towel and my cell phone and headed to the bathroom. When I got into the bathroom I looked at myself in the mirror and could still see my ex’s fingerprints on my neck. I ran the bath water and sobbed as I dialed my sisters phone number. It must have been around six o’clock so I knew she would be up. If she wasn’t heading into work, she was at least getting ready. When she answered the phone she had just entered her work place. I told her I needed to talk to her that it was very important and then began to explain what had taken place the previous night. She told me she would be right on her way and to begin packing everything that I possibly could. After we got off the phone I stayed in the bathtub a little longer. I had so many emotions raging through me. I was scared. I was hurt. I was nervous. I was angry.  I began crying again. I was doing my best to not cry loud enough that someone in the house would here me and come to the door.

I got out the bath, got dressed and walked back towards the bedroom. While walking down the hallway I was praying that he was still sleeping. While opening the door to the bedroom I literally held my breath. As I entered U looked over to find him still asleep. Thank God! I went to the kitchen for some trash bags and began emptying out the closet, stuffing my clothes in the bag. When one bag was full, I tied it and put it in front of the apartment door.

My sister kept me up-to-date with her location. I think that was her way of making sure I wasn’t in any type of danger. Whenever I heard him move or breathe different I would freeze. All I could think was what will he do if he wakes up?

I had almost finished getting all of my things when he woke up. I must’ve looked like a deer in headlights. He turned his head and looked at me saying “Shauna, are you leaving me?” It felt like my throat was closing up. I mustered up the courage to tell him yes. I told him my sister was already on her way and should be here any minute. He got up, and I prepared myself for what I thought would happen. I was expecting him to either hit me, punch me or even drag me around the room. I was expecting him to do all the things he had threatened to do to me. All the times he said I wouldn’t make it out the front door unless my legs were broken. Telling me I was lucky if that was all that happened to me. Every time I would look at him, I would have flashbacks from the night before. Flashbacks of when he clenched his teeth together and then lunged at me. Flashbacks of him putting me into a choke hold and then of myself waking up with my head in his lap. He had grabbed his towel and gone to the bathroom. While he was in there I started grabbing everything of mine that I could and continued placing the bags by the front door. I called my sister to see how far away she was and told her that he is awake and in the shower. She said she was just a few minutes away.

When he came back to the room he finished getting dressed, grabbed his keys and with his back turned towards me he said “Goodbye Shauna”,  and walked out of the apartment. I stood there for a minute kind of dumbfounded. Maybe even in a bit of shock, I didn’t expect it to happen that way. I didn’t expect him to react in that way. All the thoughts I had of how everything might play out when this day comes, all the fears of this day that kept me from leaving sooner. It crazy to me. In the back of my mind I still wondered what he may really be up to. Would he be outside the door waiting for me to leave? Would he be sitting in his car to follow us and see where I was going to be staying?

My sister called me to tell me that she was outside of the apartment building. I let her into the building so we could grab everything in as little trips as necessary. We gathered all my belongings, put them in the back of her truck and we were gone. My sister called my mother to tell her that I am safe and with her and even told my mother how I had marks on my neck still. I looked out the window as we drove off. I was free I thought to myself. Little did I know that the real battles were just around the corner.

Physically I was free. Mentally and emotionally I was still a prisoner. It has taken me years just to be able to talk about this, let alone start to heal from it. It is a long road. It isn’t a lonely road because I have learned from first starting my blog page that I am not alone and that there are many people who are there for me when I need them. I do not have to feel ashamed when I experience something for the first time. I know there is someone who has experienced it or something similar to it and they will help me thru it.

When I feel weak, when I feel defeated. Those are the times that the phoenix inside me burns brightest. The Phoenix never dies. It is apart of us, it is one with us. The phoenix is our inner most deepest strength and courage. It may seem like it escapes us but it never leaves us. It waits for its moment to shine in our lives. It waits to be called upon in our most desperate of times.

Like a Phoenix, she will rise from the ashes of despair and soar.”

Angel

 

Domestic Violence Summit 2014

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I was looking for a video to post while I finish writing a blog I am working on and came upon these videos. The domestic Violence Summit 2014 hosted on the Dr. Phil Show.

It is a seven-part series and I just had to share them with you. Let’s raise awareness. Let’s connect. Let’s Inspire and Let’s Come Together!

Up and coming project

 

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Hey all, so I am in the works of creating a newsletter.  I am planning on starting it in September, I thought that would be a great time since it is the 1 year anniversary of my blog page. On my page I have the subscription sign-up on there, I want to focus on gaining subscribers now while I work on newsletters and continue educating myself with creating them, I have a couple in the works already.

This newsletter is a monthly newsletter focusing on encouraging, inspiring, and empowering women. It will be filled with helpful tools, motivational quotes and much more!

I thank you in advance for all your support in my endeavors. Below is the direct link to sign-up for the newsletter. When signing up, you may receive the intro welcoming letter and a confirmation email. It is automatically sent upon sign-up.

Sign-up here: http://eepurl.com/b19Lqz

Dare To Enter The Mind of A Victim?

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On the brink of insanity,

Is this really my reality?

This couldn’t have happened to me!

How did I let this happen to me?

How could I have been so weak?

How could I let him do this to me?

Why didn’t I leave sooner?

What is my mom going to think?

What will my family think?

Will they still love me?

Will anyone love me?

Will I ever love again?

 

Now what do I do?

I have nothing!

I am nothing!

I’m worthless!

I’m useless!

How could anyone love someone like me?

I’m damaged goods!

I’m crazy!

I’m a failure!

I’m ugly!

He was right…

 

Why did I leave him?

I was better off just staying there!

Maybe I should just go back!

Maybe things will be better this time!

 

Why am I here?

Why did I come back?

God, I am so stupid!

I can’t believe I fell for this shit again!

I can’t believe I fell for his lies.

 

But I love him.

He must love me.

He says he loves me.

So he must right?

Things will get better.

 

Why do I always believe him?

I should have never come back.

I should have never answered the phone.

I should have blocked his number.

I should have changed my number.

 

I’m back in the same place.

I’m back in this hell.

It is all my fault.

He’ll never change.

He won’t ever change!

But I’m stuck here..

I’m stuck here!

 

Everyone said they would never help me again if I came back.

So I’m stuck here.

I’m probably going to die here.

I’m stuck here.

There is no escape.

There is no help.

He’ll never stop.

He’ll never let me leave..

.. not without putting up a fight.

 

I have to fight!

I have to leave!

There has got to be a way out.

He is bound to kill me!

If he can choke me until I pass out and laugh about it!

He most certainly will be able to kill me without a thought!

It will happen!

He will kill me if I do not get out of here!

 

Do not sleep!

Think!

How can I get out of here!

The sun is starting to rise.

Grab phone and go to the bathroom.

Call sister.

(But what if she says no)

She is always there no matter what.

(But what if she says no?)

CALL HER!

Tell her!

 

She said she’s coming now!

Now what?

How do I get my stuff without waking him?

What if she doesn’t get here on time?

What if it is too late?

Grab trash bags and start throwing stuff in them.

Sister is on her way.

She won’t let anything happen to me.

She has always been there to protect me.

Check phone.

Sister is around the corner.

 

Oh my God he is awake!

What is he going to do?

What is going to happen next?

My sister is just around the corner!

Tell him!

(My sister is just around the corner, I’m leaving)

He’s getting up, what is he going to do?

Where is he going?

He’s getting in the shower?

More trash bags, keep packing!

He’s coming back to the room!

Keep strong!

Keep packing!

 

He’s grabbing his keys, what is he doing?

He’s leaving?

He’s leaving?

Where is he going?

Check phone.

(“I’m downstairs”)

 

She’s here!

She really came for me!

Get all my bags and get out of here!

What if he’s outside?

Get in the car.

I’m safe.

Where I am going he cannot find me.

He cannot hurt me anymore.

I’m safe.

Breathe.

Photo Credit: http://www.voella.com/2015/05/inside-the-mind-of-a-domestic-violence-victim/

 

Join In On The Convo

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Teen dating violence is a serious issue, did you know that close to 1.5 million high school students are victims of physical violence for a dating partner each year? Join me and others as we discuss the issue.

direct link: https:tlk.io/alifeworthlivingfor

or you can find it on my webpage on the left sidebar.

 

Let’s Talk About Teen Dating Violence

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This coming Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 @ 7pm EST. Let’s talk about teen dating violence! We all know how serious this issue is, so let’s talk about it! If we want to end domestic violence we need to reach out to the younger generations!

The direct link to the chat is: https://tlk.io/alifeworthlivingfor

Or you can find the chat on the left sidebar on my page.

Please comment below, or DM me on twitter to let me know if you will be joining in on the conversation.

Are You Aware of the Red Flags?

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What are red flags? Red flags are warning signs that something or someone isn’t right. When it comes to domestic violence it is important for everyone to be aware of the red flags, and know how to get out before it is too late. The thing is, is that many men and women become blindsided and never see the warning signs, they never see the red flag waving in front of the abusers face.

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How does someone become blindsided? They woo you, they charm you, and say all the things you want to hear, they buy you “just because” gifts. etc.

Are you aware of the red flags? Do you know what the red flags are? While reading, ask yourself if you see any of these warnings. Do you see these red flags in a family member or a friends relationship?
The information below is found on http://www.caring-unlimited.org/.

 

Red Flags to Consider When Beginning a New Relationship

The following is a list of red flags for you to notice and pay attention to when dating someone or beginning a new relationship. Some of them are indicators that the relationship may become abusive. Others are positive indicators that you are becoming involved with an abuser. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you are dating an abuser.

Quick Involvement

  • 6 months or less before living together/engaged
  • Claims of love at first sight
  • Says you are the only one who can make him/her feel this way
  • Pressures you for commitment

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Compliments you in a way that makes you seem superhuman
  • Very dependent on you for all needs
  • Expects you to be perfect
  • Says things like, I am all you need. You are all I need

Controlling Behavior

  • Advises you how to dress without your asking for advice
  • Pretends to be concerned for your safety or your productive use of time
  • Acts like you do not have the ability to make good decisions
  • Becomes extremely worried or angry when you are late
  • Constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/wore/said & where you went
  • Insists that you check in constantly
  • Monitors your phone/email
  • Makes you ask permission to do certain things

Jealousy

  • Wants to be with you constantly
  • Accuses you of cheating all the time
  • Follows you around or frequently calls during the day
  • Odd behaviors like checking your car mileage or asking friends to check in on you

Isolation

  • Tries to cut off all your resources
  • Puts down everyone you know: says friends are stupid, promiscuous, or accuses you of cheating with them; says family is too controlling, they don’t really love you, or you are too dependent on them
  • Refuses to let you use car or talk on the phone
  • Makes it difficult for you to go to school or work

Blames Others for Problems

  • If there are problems at school or work, it is always someone else’s fault
  • You’re at fault for everything that goes wrong in the relationship

Blames Others for Feelings

  • Makes you responsible for how they feel:
  • You made me mad.
  • You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask.
  • I can’t help being angry.
  • You make me happy.
  • You control how I feel.

Hypersensitivity

  • Easily insulted
  • Sees everything as a personal attack
  • Has a tantrum about the injustice of things that happen to him
  • Totally goes off about small irritations
  • Looks for fights
  • Blows things out of proportion

Disrespectful or Cruel to Others

  • Punishes animals/children cruelly
  • Insensitive to pain and suffering
  • High expectations of children beyond their abilities
  • Teases children or younger sibling(s) until they cry
  • Doesn’t treat other people with respect

Expects Control During Sex

  • Little concern over whether you want sex or not, & uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance
  • Makes sexual or degrading jokes about you

Rigid Sex Roles

  • Believes women are inferior to men
  • Unable to be a whole person without a relationship

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

  • Sudden mood changes–like the person has two different personalities
  • One minute nice/next minute exploding
  • One minute happy/next minute sad

Past Battering

  • You may hear the person was abusive to someone else they were in a relationship with, they may deny it saying it is a lie or their ex is crazy/it wasn’t that bad

Breaking or Striking Objects

  • Used as punishment
  • Breaks cherished possessions
  • May beat on tables with fist
  • Throws objects at/around/or near you

Any Force during an Argument

  • Physically restrains you from leaving the room
  • Pushes or shoves you

 

For information on how to get help or how to help someone else, click here.

Teen Dating Violence

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February is T.D.V.A.M. (Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month), at the age of seventeen, I myself was in a violent relationship which I have previously posted (See Blog Here). While researching some stats, the numbers actually shocked me.

Loveisrespect.org lists the following stats:

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • 1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
  • 1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The website also gives very good reason and stats as to why we need to focus on young people:

  • Girls and young women between ages sixteen and twenty-four experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence (that is almost triple the national average)
  • Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of twelve and eighteen.
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

As for college students:

  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
  • College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it.
  • 1 in 3 (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.
  • 1 in 6 (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.

The long-lasting effects:

  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get an STI.
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rate attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.

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Just by looking at the above stats from loveisrespect.org teen dating violence is far more common than people think or even realize. Why is that? It is due to lack of awareness, the subject of domestic violence as a whole shows that there needs to be more awareness on the issue. Therefore, there needs to be more awareness brought to teen dating violence as well.

Don’t ever think that your teens are too young to talk about domestic violence. If they are old enough to understand right from wrong, then they are surely old enough to discuss domestic violence. The problem with this though is the lack of awareness from parents.

  • Only 33% of teens who were in violent relationships ever told anyone about the abuse.
  • 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
  • Even though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

So what can be done to change this? Yes, posting blogs can help bring awareness to the issues, but more has to be done. Maybe there can be classes held at schools for parents? Maybe pamphlets and information about teen dating violence can me mailed to students houses; information and stats on the issue, as well as some pointers on how the parents can talk to their teens about dating violence. One thing is for sure, more knowledge on this issue is absolutely needed. 

Below I posted a few videos I found on Youtube.  Knowledge is POWER!

 

Why That Title?

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“A life worth living for? I like the name, but what made you choose it?” This seems to be the number one question I am asked when people find out that I have started blogging and they see the title of my page.

When my friend (who is also my editor) and I first discussed and started planning out writing blogs we were also trying to think of a name. It literally just came to me. When I thought of all I had been through in life A Life Worth Living For just seemed perfect. My life’s worth living for and so is yours! We all have a purpose in this world. We all have something to offer and to give. No one is put on this earth for no reason. No matter what some people may think or say. Everyone is born with a purpose. No matter what we experience in life it is all to make us stronger and better. For instance, I believe my purpose is to touch other people’s lives through the tribulations of my own life. To open the curtain of my world and share with others what I have gone through and how I have grown through them. And what better way to start doing that than by blogging right? The feedback I have received is amazing! Something I have wanted to do for so long but was actually scared. Scared of what others would think. I got the opposite feedback. People have been touched, it has open up the doors to bring awareness to situations that are not just my own but to those who have yet found their voice. It brings awareness to topics that so many people know so little about, Or they only know the stereotypical information about the topics.

Why do I blog? Blogging (writing) is also therapeutic when you think about it, it cleanses the soul. You are able to write whatever you want, all your feelings and emotions can be written down. It is a great way to express yourself. With the added benefit that when you share with others you may have helped someone else too.

So our lives really are worth living for. And I hope that in sharing different parts of my life that you too in turn may find your way and purpose as I continue finding mine.

A Life Worth Living For; a life filled with purpose. A life filled with hope and a life filled with dreams.

Twitter: @Shauna_Driscoll

Facebook: A Life Worth Living For

Dear Survivors

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Dear Survivors;

You made it! You got your strength and found your courage. You found your voice and you got your dignity back. It was a traumatic road; but you managed to re-route your GPS and get back on the right track.

You broke through those prison walls, and escaped that living hell. You can now lift your head up and take a deep breath. You are safe!

As a survivor myself I applaud you! I congratulate you for taking these first steps to freedom. I know there are still some obstacles you have to go through as you continue healing, but believe me you will get stronger each and every day. I congratulate you for re-gaining control of your life! You are on your way to bigger and better things. You no longer have to had in the shadows of fear. Those dark clouds have passed and the sun is shining brighter than ever before. It is a new day, embrace it to it’s fullest!

-Shauna Driscoll

Photo Credit: “I Am a Survivor.” LoveThisPic. Web. 11 Oct. 2015. <http://www.lovethispic.com/image/43136/i-am-a-survivor&gt;.

What is domestic violence?

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, with that being said I will be posting information on this issue. Education is power, so the more widespread this becomes, the more people we can empower to get the help they need.I hope to bring some clarity to this topic as this is something that really hits very close to home for me as you may have read in my last post.

I know that there are several sites out there to offer assistance, and there is no need to fear of “being caught” I know several of these sites have a button on their page that you can click on and it directs you to a completely different site such as a clothing site or a news site. These sites are designed to inform and protect you.

So what is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.

Abuse is to treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.

Types of abuse:

·Physical

·Emotional/Verbal

·Sexual

·Financial

·Digital

·Stalking

Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Physical abuse does not always leave a mark, and may not even cause pain.

Examples of physical abuse:

·Scratching

·Punching

·Biting

·Choking

·Kicking

·Picking something up and throwing it at you, for example; a shoe, a book, or a phone.

·Pushing or pulling you.

·Forcing you to have sex or to perform a sexual act.

·Grabbing your face forcefully to make you look at them.

·Forcibly grabbing you to either prevent you from leaving or to force you to go somewhere.

A lot of people ask the question “How do I escape?” I remember when that seemed like it was totally impossible. From personal experience, the first step is knowing that you are not alone. There is always a friend or family member that you can go to and talk about your situation. No matter how obscure your relationship may be with someone, no one wants to see anyone in an unsafe relationship. I know at times I felt alone and like I had no one to go to, but when I came forward with my story, it was amazing the number of people that came out of the woodwork to offer me strength and encouragement.

Abusive relationships escalate. So it’s important that people are aware of the warning signs to prevent any more harm.

Emotional/Verbal abuse does not include physical contact. It is verbal threats, insults, “checking-in”, excessive phone calls and/or text messages, intimidation or stalking.

Examples of Verbal/Emotional abuse:

·Calling you names

·Putting you down

·Embarrassing you in front of others.

·Keeping you away from your friends and family (Isolation)

·Making you feel guilty when you do not give your consent for sexual activity.

·Blaming your actions for their abusive behavior.

·Telling you what to do

·Telling you what to wear

·Making threats to commit suicide to stop you from leaving them.

·Making threats to harm you, your pet, or people you care about.

Sexual abuse is any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do. It also refers to behavior that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, which includes oral sex, rape, or restricting access to birth control and condoms.

Just because you are in a relationship does not entitle your partner to have sex when he or she wants it. Just because someone does not say no does not mean that they are consenting to it either. Sometimes the victim does not resist or say no out of fear of further physical or sexual abuse.

Examples of sexual abuse:

·Unwanted kissing or touching

·Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity

·Rape or attempted rape

·Refusing to use condoms or restricting someone’s access to birth control.

·Keeping someone from protecting themselves from STD’s or STI’s.

·Sexual contact with someone who is intoxicated, drugged, unconscious or in any way unable to give a clear yes or no answer.

·Threatening someone into unwanted sexual activity.

·Constantly pressuring someone to have sex or perform sexual acts

·Regularly using sexual insults toward someone.

Financial abuse is when someone tells you what you can or cannot buy, and shares control of your bank accounts credit cards, and cash. This form of abuse is particularly dangerous when coupled with any other form of abuse. Financial abuse is often how an abuser forces someone to stay in the relationship.

Examples of financial abuse:

·Giving you an allowance and paying close attention to what you buy.

·Depositing your paycheck into their account and denying you access.

·Not allowing you to view the bank records.

·Not allowing you to go to work, or if you do work sets a limit of how many hours you can work a shift.

·Stopping you from going to work by taking your car or keys.

·Getting you fired by harassing you,your employer or coworkers at your job.

·Using your social security number to obtain credit without your consent.

·Refusing to give you money, food, rent, medicine or clothing.

·Spending money on themselves yet not allowing you to do the same.

·Buying you gifts, or taking you out to dinner and paying for it and expecting you to in some way return the favor.

·Using their money to hold power over you because they know you are not in the same financial situation that they are.

No one has the authority to tell you what to do with your own money. No one has the authority to tell you if you can or cannot work, and if you can how many hours you are allowed to work. You are your own person, your own individual. What’s yours is yours, and what’s theirs is theirs. If you want to buy something for yourself than you are allowed to do so. If by chance you have opened up a shared bank account, I suggest you go and open up a personal one right away, if you are getting paper checks, get that new account and see if your employer has the option of direct deposit. If your social security number was used, report it! And see about changing your SSN.

Digital abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social media to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. This same behavior is also a form of verbal or emotional abuse done online. It is never okay for someone to lower your self-esteem, make you think less of yourself or to manipulate you.

Examples of digital abuse:

·Tells you who you can or cannot be friends with on social media sites.

·Sends you negative or threatening emails, messages on social media, or any form of messaging on the internet.

·Uses social media sites to keep tabs on you.

·Tears you down on their posts.

·Sends you explicit pictures and demands you to do the same.

·Pressures you into sending explicit videos of yourself.

·Steals/hacks or insists on you given them your passwords.

·Continuously texts you and has you feel like you cannot be away from your phone in fear of further consequence.

·Looks through your phone and checks your photos, text messages, and call history.

Whether on or offline no one deserves to be mistreated. Verbal and emotional abuse hurts just as bad whether it is in person or over the internet.

Stalking is when a person regularly watches, follows or harasses you, making you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and afraid, A stalker can be anyone, it can be an ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend, a family member, or a complete stranger. The legal definition for stalking varies from state to state, below are several examples of what stalkers may do.

Examples of stalking:

·Showing up at your home or place of employment unannounced or uninvited.

·Sending you unwanted text,letters,emails and voicemails.

·Leaves you unwanted items like gifts or flowers.

·Repeatedly calls you and hangs up, or does not respond when you answer.

·Uses social media to keep tabs on you.

·Calls your employer

·Waits at places where you are known to hang out.

·Uses other people to gain information about you.

·Damages your property such as: your car, or home.

Make sure to save your call logs, text messages, emails, DM’s etc. Even if you need to take a screenshot of something to save as evidence. If you are out and you see the individual make sure to make a note of the place,time and dates. Also jot down names and contact information of any witnesses.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race,ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors.

Women and men can be victims of domestic violence.

·1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.

·Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults in the U.S.A.

·Domestic Violence is likely to take place between 6pm and 6am.

·More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.

·At least ⅓ of families using New York City’s family shelter system are homeless due to domestic violence.

·Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

·Women ages 18 to 34 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.

·More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners.

·1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year.

·Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.

MOST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INCIDENTS ARE NEVER REPORTED.

·Every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted or beaten.

·On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

·1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of (some form of) physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

·1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

·1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.

·On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

·The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.

·Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

·Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.

·19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.

·Domestic violence is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.

·Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

These stats are only of those incidents that have been reported. Can you imagine what the numbers must really be like? Take me for example, I never called the police when an incident happened, even after I left. Out of pure fear of what he may possibly do to me. Imagine how men must feel. To report that they are being abused (even if it’s not the physical aspect of it).

What people who have never been in a domestic violence relationship fail to realize is that just walking away is so much easier said than done. It’s not so easy to just break up and walk away!

Fear: He or She may be afraid of what may happen if they leave. They may have been threatened or been told something would happen to their child or a loved one.

Believing Abuse is Normal: They may not know what a healthy relationship looks like. They could have grown-up in an abusive environment.

Fear of Being Outed: If they are in a same-sex relationship and have not come out, their partner may use it against them, using it as blackmail so they don’t leave.

Embarrassment: It can be hard for someone to admit that they are being abused. They may feel that it is their fault, and worry that friends and family will judge them.

Low Self-esteem: He or She may constantly get put down by their partner, and may even be blamed for the abusive behavior. It is very easy for them to believe these statements and think that it is their fault.

Love: Some may stay in the relationship hoping that their partner will change. Hoping that things will go back to the way they once were. Some just want the abuse to stop, not the relationship on a whole.

Nowhere to Go: Some may think that even if there were a way to leave, that they do not have a place to go or anyone to turn to. What some fail to realize is that the abuser isolates the victim. They keep them away from their friends and family. Leaving the victim feeling helpless.

So I am sure you’re all wondering; “What can I do to help?”

The most important thing someone can do is be supportive and listen. Do not judge!! Please know and have some understanding that an abusive relationship is not easy to just walk away from. Assure them that there are options available. For instance the websites that are listed in this blog. You could even research avenues for them in their area and pass the info on to them.

If you have any questions please feel free to go on to my contact page and send me an email. I will do whatever I can to help.

Is This Abuse? – http://www.loveisrespect.org. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/

Loveisrespect.org gives detailed information on what domestic violence is, and the different forms of domestic violence abuse. They strive to educate the youth to help prevent and end abusive relationships. The website has an ample amount of information on the different types of abuse as well as ways to get help and to help others.

Safe Horizon :: Moving victims of violence from crisis to confidence. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://www.safehorizon.org

Safe Horizon is a website which has a lot of statistical and factual information, and resources on how to get help. Their mission is to “provide support, prevent violence, child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking to move from crisis to confidence.”

Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2015, from http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics

ncadv.org is dedicated in giving victims and survivors of domestic violence a voice. They strive in bringing awareness to the public by offering programs and education to increase understanding of the impact that domestic violence has.

Photo credit: “Psychology Today.” : Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. .

#PutTheNailInIt

PutTheNailInIt

Safe Horizon has launched a campaign Put The Nail In It to encourage people to donate to the cause of ending domestic violence. The campaign encourages people to paint their left ring finger purple to show your support in raising awareness to domestic violence. #PutTheNailInIt
Donations help with sheltering victims, legal fees, providing counselling, and more. Please visit the link to see how you can help!

Photo credit: “Today I Might….” Today I Might. Web. 7 Oct. 2015. <http://www.todayimight.com/category/nails/&gt;.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Be on the look out in the next few days for a couple of blogs I will be posting. Let’s get together to raise awareness. The more we educate ourselves and each other, the more lives we can save!

Feel free to comment on this post for any questions regarding D.V. that you would like to see discussed. Also, I encourage all survivors to share their stories. You have a voice and I want your voices to be heard. You made it! You deserve it!