I took the Brave Woman Pledge, will you? #BraveWoman #CBias

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Did you know that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime?

One in four.

That is a statistic that breaks my heart.

Unfortunately, I know two women who have been the victims of domestic violence. Fortunately, they were brave women and they escaped the men who were abusing them, taking themselves and their children to safety and moving on towards a safe, happy life.

One of these women is a family member whose husband became abusive after she asked for a divorce. He threatened rape, he threatened physical harm – the situation escalated to the point that she had to call the police when he broke a window in her home and forced himself into the house. He spent three months in jail, and by the time he got out, my family member and her children were safe.

The most horrifying case of domestic violence I have witnessed was when one of my close friends – a sweet and kind girl that I have known since high school – was assaulted by her fiance. Not once. Twice.

My heart still breaks for her – the first time he attacked her, she was pregnant and she called the police and filed charges against him…and eventually took him back. She was afraid of what she would do without the father of her child in her life. He attacked her again shortly after the baby was born – he so brutally beat her that she went to the hospital. He went to jail, because again, she called the police.

How can a person ever think that it is okay to hit another human being to the point that they literally knock their teeth out? 

She filed assault and battery charges against him and he did go to jail for a period of time. She found a new place to live and she began to start her life over. She got a restraining order against him, which is still valid today.

There are some woman who don’t walk away from an abusive situation. Some are murdered by their abusers. I am so grateful that these woman I know were able to gather the courage to leave.

My family member and my friend are brave women. They inspire me, and I hope that if you are the victim of domestic violence, that they inspire you as well. They were each the mothers of multiple children, stay at home moms with no job, no savings, nowhere to go…yet, somehow they made it.

You CAN walk away from an abusive situation, and there are people out there that are willing to help you.

I took the Brave Woman pledge this morning at www.BraveWoman.org:

I pledge to honor and respect brave women and children who tackle the difficult journey of change from domestic violence to a new life. I acknowledge my own moment-by-moment bravery, will remain aware of what is happening to others around me, and speak up against violence in any form. I will stand up for human dignity and safety for women and children.

Brave Woman is a website created to help women escape domestic violence. You can tell your story, get support, listen to other stories, donate money to assist, or become an advocate.

If you are in immediate danger or need help,  call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.  TTY number 1-800-787-3224.

The Brave Woman website says that leaving a life of domestic violence is a series of moment-by-moment decisions requiring brave choices and bold actions. I don’t think that I could have said it any better myself. It is a series of decisions the decision to believe in yourself, the decision to leave, the decision to ask for help – and believing in yourself and valuing yourself enough to walk away from a dangerous, destructive environment is a brave choice. And while it can be hard to believe in yourself when you have been beaten down by circumstance, know that you deserve better than that. Your children deserve better than that.

There are brave women, just like you, all over the country. They are gathering around you with messages of overcoming life fears, picking ourselves up and trying again.  You are not alone, even when you feel small, unsure and maybe even terrified. Visit Brave Woman  to get help, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (TTY number 1-800-787-3224) before it is too late.

Follow @Brave_Woman on Twitter for inspiring and uplifting messages, or to learn more about the program, like the Brave Woman Facebook page.

 

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own. 

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Comments

  1. Andi C. says

    We were taught to forgive, accept, and be submissive to make the marriage work no matter what the sacrifice. My bruises were carefully placed where they weren’t visible. My kids were in danger and that was what made me run from the man I had trusted to protect them. Without my Mom’s help (a victim of domestic violence as well), I don’t know how we would have made it through the nightmares to a changed life. All women need to be taught at a young age to be confident and strong, and to never be put into a situation where she is financially dependant on a man with no other options available. Thank you for being part of the solution by sharing This Brave Woman Pledge!

  2. Tracy says

    What a great post and a better message. Your one line says it all “You CAN walk away from an abusive situation, and there are people out there that are willing to help you.”

    I think so many women fear the unknown, just having people to back you is half the battle. Thanks for sharing this great organization. I am going to visit the site right now.

  3. says

    So glad to read that your friends are well and had courage to leave. There IS help available and people with arms wide open waiting to make things better.
    Thanks for posting about this!

  4. says

    Thanks for this chilling reminder! My mom & I were victims (by my bio-dad) and she found courage over 48 years ago to leave & move to another city. that was practically unheard of back then. unfortunately she still gravitated to abusive men and even her last companion (mental abuse) of over 20 years who was with her until she passed away. I can not understand why some people have that attraction to abusers over those that treat them in kind. I take the pledge too!

  5. says

    This is a message everyone needs to get. I’ve seen too many women suffer for ages through this. Here’s to hoping we can help women to find the courage to leave.

  6. says

    Wow. Great post. I will take the pledge. I was out one night with a then boyfriend who after a few drinks and an argument rared back and slapped me right off my feet. I was so stunned, and he was too. He apologized profusely, but I told him if he ever got near me again I would kill him. Apparently he took me seriously as I have never seen him again. One of the scariest moments of my life. I was 16.

  7. says

    When I first got together with Adam, I warned him if he ever hit me, I couldn’t be responsible for my actions. When I was in high school, I was in a relationship and I wouldn’t have sex with this guy. Since I said no, he found someone who would… I found out and confronted him and he pushed my face into a wall. Romantic, yes? I vowed I would never let anyone ever treat me like that again. I stand behind victims and want them to know that if they need to talk or anything, I’m here. Great post, Jenn.

  8. says

    It’s astonishing to know that people hurt people in this way. It’s heartening to know that there are people sharing resources and stories to let them know they aren’t alone and can get the help they need to leave and keep themselves safe! Yay for your family member & friend for being more brave then the cowards that abused them!

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