In a recent conversation, I was told that woman have ways to make their partners violent towards them. This person actually said to me that men are pushed into hitting women, “I know exactly what they do.”
Abusers are sick and disturbed people who are very good at manipulation and imposing fear. They are so good at it, one could call it a gift. They don’t just physically abuse their partner and sometimes children, they psychologically damage them. And it can happen to anyone.
A little girl does not make use of her time daydreaming about spending her life with a monster that mirrors the man her mother married. She doesn’t want to be tortured by the one person who has sworn to love her more than anyone else. Children who grow up in violent homes, daydream about escaping and living a beautiful, self-sustaining life. Unfortunately, without “normal” life skills, those girls often end-up in what appears to be the same hopeless situation as their mother.
At first life is fun and exciting with him. He puts her on a pedestal praising her above all others. He’s cool and likable by all who meet him and he’s chosen her to spend his life with. With lifelong self-esteem issues, she takes his praise and runs away with him honestly believing he’s her knight in shinning armor.
Life is good for a while, one can almost call it fairy-tale like. But as we all know, a fairy-tale is not real. It’s make-believe and these horrors are anything but made up. When life situations interrupt their imaginary happiness, chaos turns paradise into a living hell.
The first time it happens he’s convinced her that it will never happen again. She tries over and over to figure out what happened. He hugs her tight to his chest whispering through tears about how sorry he is and swears on the moon and stars that it will never happen again. Playing on her insecurities, he reminds her that there is no one else who cares about her. Even uses, “Your parents don’t even want you, but I do. I love you.”
Convinced this is his one and only episode that will never happen again, she stays. After assessing the damage, she believes that the bruises and sore spots on her arms and back are no big deal. After all, it’s not like he punch her in the face. He just grabbed her arms and threw her around a bit than pushed her through a door.
As time goes on, the violence gets worse. She’s strong-armed, has things thrown at her, spit on, jerked around by her hair, body slammed, doused with water, and raped. She wears clothing that covers the bruising. Consistently she calls in sick for work and impedes all communication with friends and family because every-time she leaves the house she’s accused of having sexual affairs with other men.
He tells her to just stop making him so mad. Other people wouldn’t dare treat him the way she does and he wouldn’t act like that if she’d only stop forcing him to do so. One minute she’s told that he should take everything and abandon her, then the next he threatens that if she tries to leave he will hunt her down. Alone and scared, she tries her damnedest to behave but eventually he beats her so badly she ends up in the hospital, forced to file a police report.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and many other studies world-wide, boys who witness men beating their mother are twice as likely to abuse woman they are intimate with and up to sixty percent of those abusing their partner will also abuse the children. Girls raised in this environment statistically end up with the same living conditions as their mother.
As mention above, children raised with violence in the home, understand very little about healthy relationships. As adults, we know behavior such as domestic abuse is wrong. However, once you’re in a committed relationship, it seems nearly impossible to escape.
Below are some startling facts about domestic abuse:
- According to the CDC, one scientific study from 1991 through 1999 deemed homicide by domestic partner as the leading cause of injury deaths for pregnant and postpartum women.
- Abusers use violence as means of domination and control. They don’t play fair and will do anything to make you submit. Abusive partners will intimidate you, hurt you, and hurt those you care about including animals and children.
- 1.3 million women are reported to fall victim to domestic violence every year and are more likely to be murdered by their husband than a stranger.
- Less than one-fifth report being abused. Domestic violence is one of the most unreported crimes.
Domestic violence is a serious crime not only against the victim, but everyone involved. There are many case studies, statistics, and stories made available to the public. If you or someone you know is in danger, please get help. It could be a matter of life or death.
Need crisis services for yourself or others?
(Organización Línea Nacional de Información sobre Violencia Doméstica)
Phone Number 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 TTY for the
Assistance through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers and Advocates for this hotline have access to over 139 languages.
- Organizations offering services for clinicians and others involved in preventing violence against women of reproductive age:
- Physician’s for a Violence-Free Society
- Family Violence Prevention Council (use google search with your state of residency)
- American Nurses Association
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American College of Nurse Midwives
- Other resources beneficial to women: