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