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Domestic Violence Awareness Recap

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When you don’t have a lover, & you’re tired of being a “secretary” ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ in October we wear purple
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Purple lips ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ Jewels Inc taught me. We wear purple in October
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Still October. Still ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ 10,000,000. The number of children exposed to domestic violence every year.
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1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence. ‪#‎DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth‬ ‪#‎domesticviolenceawareness‬ ‪#‎dvawarenessmonth‬ ‪#‎DVAM15‬
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On average a woman will return to her abuser 7 times before leaving for good. This summer I heard the story of a woman who was beaten BLIND by her children’s father. She showed her Social Worker old photos of herself & said ” You see all those sunglasses I was wearing? Those were to hide the black eyes.”
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Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%)
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I paint my lips purple for the women who suffer in silence. Who’s confidence take hits with every interaction with someone who claimed to love them. For children who learn only what they see & grow to continue these cycles because the village is too scared to tell them anything different.
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8,000,000 The number of days of paid work women lose every year because of the abuse perpetrated against them by current or former male partners. This loss is equivalent to over 32,000 full time jobs.-Huffington Post
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Domestic violence is most likely to take place between 6 pm & 6am. More than 60% of Domestic violence incidents happen at home.
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When you wanna be Freddie from ‪#‎ADifferentWorld‬ so bad. Then you remember… Studies show that 3-4 million children between the ages of 3-17 are at risk of exposure to domestic violence each year. U.S. government statistics say that 95% of domestic violence cases involve women victims of male partners. The children of these women often witness the domestic violence. …Freddie was an advocate & activist for human rights. Gotta start somewhere.
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Thehotline.org encourages us to remember ways to assist family and friends in unhealthy relationships BE NON-JUDGMENTAL. Respect your friend or family member’s decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. They may leave and return to the relationship many times. Do not criticize their decisions or try to guilt them. They will need your support even more during those times
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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
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Don’t discount the psychological effects Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).[vii]
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As the weather changes & increased awareness of depression and other “invisible illnesses” is shared, let’s be mindful of how intricate & interwoven the pieces of our mental and physical health are. Studies suggest that there is a relationship between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior. (ncadv.org)
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Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49. Look for the patterns, seek help before you become a habitual victim. (Thehotline.org)
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Don’t be your daughter’s first dose of abuse. In a study of 724 adolescent mothers between the ages of 12-18, one of every eight pregnant adolescents reported having been physically assaulted by the father of her baby during the preceding 12 months. Of these, 40 percent also reported experiencing violence at the hands of a family member or relative. (Americanbar.org)
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“You don’t always need water to drown.” -S.D.REID Those who grow up with domestic violence are 6 times more likely to commit suicide and 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. (cdv.org)
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As a proud college graduate, I find it important to highlight how #domesticviolence effects college students. 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner. 32% experienced dating violence by a pervious partner. 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
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Preserve your child’s childhood. Living with domestic violence significantly alters a child’s DNA, aging them prematurely 7-10 years
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My cousin was such a curious & creative child that my mom used to call him her Steven Spielberg. After witnessing & experiencing abuse in his home, he became violent and less creative, eventually landing in a juvenile detention facility. Children who witness violence may be more aggressive and fight more often. Growing up with violence affects a child’s basic drive to explore the world. Natural curiosity is thwarted. Children may be less willing to try new things. (Childwitnesstoviolence.org)
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An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across international boarders each year, and approximately 80% of trafficking victims are women and girls.
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Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries. (ncadv.org) Don’t make the #HotlineBling & avoid receiving treatment for your suffering. I’m 24, I KNOW & LOVE victims and survivors of intimate partner violence/domestic violence. There’s help available.
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A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.
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Myth: Young children will not remember the violence they have witnessed. Children do not forget what they have witnessed. Adults hope that if the violence is not talked about, the children’s memories of the event will disappear. However, young children demonstrate a remarkable capacity for recalling traumatic events. Children’s vivid accounts of violent events stand in contrast to parent’s reports that their children did not see the violence or were unaware of it.
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Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health effects have been linked with intimate partner violence including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy in general, miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine haemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.7 (ncadv.org)
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Financial abuse holds victims back from becoming survivors. Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse. Purplepurse.com helps victims find resources & develop plans to leave.
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81%of women who are stalked by a current or former male partner are also physically abused by that partner.
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8,000,000 The number of days of paid work women lose every year because of the abuse perpetrated against them by current or former male partners. This loss is equivalent to over 32,000 full time jobs.-Huffington Post
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More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.
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daaamndaddyA woman is 70 times more likely to be murdered in the few weeks after leaving her abuser than at any other point in the relationship. When you encourage a woman to leave, make sure you help her have a plan first. Or be prepared to take in her children.
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Knock out Domestic violence. Today may be the last day of #DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth but don’t let it be the last day you educate yourself on the effects intimate partner has on the victims, the children who witness it, & the friends and family members that step in to show support. Visit Thehotline.org for more tips for support and to speak to trained counselors. Visit Purplepurse.com for conversation starters to help those you know are suffering or financial planning if you are the victim. Remember being available & suspending judgment can save a life.
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#DomesticViolenceAwarenessMonth #dvawarenessmonth #DVAM15 #SeeDV #purplelips #PURPLEBOXINGGLOVES #purplewithapurpose ?
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Money, Power, Respect

Domestic Violence is defined as a pattern of behavior used to establish power or control over another individual. When we hear the term Domestic Violence we often think first of physical abuse in a romantic relationship. However there’s a key piece to these behavior patterns that frequently goes overlooked; financial abuse.

Financial abuse can be a side effect of physical abuse, such as a partner breaking your phone during a fit of rage, which not only prevents you from calling for help in the moment, but also adds the burden of purchasing a replacement phone to your list of financial obligations.

Financial abuse can also be paired with psychological abuse. Take the relationship between pimp & prostitute for instance, pimps establish a power over prostitutes by making them believe that without the protection of the pimp a prostitute is worse off. Pimps also demand the financial earnings of a prostitute, by establishing control over the income, they prevent the prostitute from developing enough savings to escape the boundaries of the pimps control.

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CRAY-DAR

My mother must have something magical at that midpoint that serves as the meeting place where the lines of her thighs meet, because all three of my “Daddy’s” have had some stalk-ish moments when it comes to her. Unfortunately, she seems to have a broken CRAY-Dar. Or maybe it’s the magic in her regal region that makes them this way.

Cray-Dar Definition

Now that we know what a CRAY-DAR is, let me give you some history. It’s been rumored that even in infancy I was able to “See Red” in people and advise my mother not to date them. I’m guessing my CRAY-DAR kicked in early.

Buddha used to write me letters (some before I could read) of how things would be different when he came “Out on vacation”. Sold dreams of this family he and I would be with my mother. Needless to say I was thoroughly confused as to why he thought we could be a “family” when things were just fine with me, my mother and Step Dad #1. Buddha was CRAZY.

Step Dad #1 & my mom have tried their hand at reuniting on multiple occasions. He’s probably the least possessively aggressive when it came to her, but he still has illusions of a “perfect relationship” between them, where it’s ok for him to see other people, yet it’s painful to see her with anyone else.

Umm No

My CRAY-DAR was definitely strongest with my sister’s father. He knew things only possible to have know if he had been listening to conversations she had in his assumed absence or following her to destinations throughout the day. To this day I have most of my phone conversations in the car for fear of my apartment being bugged due to things I’ve witnessed. Throughout their decade + long relationship, he’s shown up unannounced at work functions & assaulted coworkers, called the police & pressed charges on her in the middle of the night when she had a house full of children, used the SUPER BASS in his voice as a weapon against her family and guests, drove through the neighborhood monitoring who is entering and exiting the home, and constantly plead that he wants his “family” back while continuing to live in a façade where their relationship has yet to end.

Maury Meme

When she met him, he had siblings & nieces & nephews, friends, a god-son, co-workers, band-mates that he wrote songs with.

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CONTROL

Domestic Violence is defined as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.

Assault is defined as an intentional attempt or threat to inflict injury that places another person in fear of imminent bodily harm.

I’m a CONTROL freak. I chose to live alone because I wanted to be in control of when I do and do not wish to have company.

On Dealing With Daddy Issues this week I posted about “Super Bass” & my sister’s father being a loud presence in my life. When I was 14 we had our one and only physical altercation. And although no one seems to agree on the details it definitely changed things and how we interacted with and around one another.

I didn’t like his tone of voice most of the time, but I knew after that night if I was going against him, I was going alone. There were many great memories after after that night, but I definitely became more aware of myself and my power and occasional lack thereof.

Continue reading CONTROL

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Super Bass

Earlier this year, my mother told me I was the reason her relationship with my sister’s father didn’t work out. Those are probably the most hurtful words she ever sent in my direction. I’m an adult now and maybe I shouldn’t be so sensitive to the past, but I am.

They weren’t painful because I see myself as a perfect child or because I think he’s a monster. They were painful because they absolve him from any responsibility for his actions.

bonafide tongue

It took some time but I’ve grown to love my sister’s father, I’m still cautious of him, but I don’t despise him how I did in childhood.

A few months ago my sister asked me why I didn’t like her dad. I told her because he’s loud. That may seem foolish to some people, but she understood exactly what I meant. Before my mother dated my sister’s father I wasn’t accustomed to folks, men specifically, being loud with me. My grandfather doesn’t yell, my mother’s brother who pretty much raised me doesn’t believe in yelling at children, and Step Dad #1 wasn’t one much for yelling either.

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My sister’s father on the other hand couldn’t whisper if it cured cancer. He has a beautiful singing voice, and enough bass to stop a toddler’s terrible twos before they even have a second birthday! He shouted for EVERYTHING. And for a child who was, until his entry, treated as an autonomous thinking human I often found his approach demeaning.abandoned_child

I didn’t need to be shouted at from across the room to change the channel, or do the dishes, just ask me. What troubled me most was my mother’s silence during those times. I began to feel abandoned, like she was taking his side & she was ok with his audible battery.

Choices

As I grew older I became numb to his shouting at me, but I became protective of my sister. I didn’t like the tone he took with my mother and became concerned that she rarely stood up for herself. After all it was HER house. She later told me that she didn’t “check” him in public because she didn’t want to give him an audience. She never realized that audiences tune-in even if it is a one man show.

Some men’s insecurities are loud. Loud enough to make them show up at work functions & assault your coworkers. Loud enough to dim your children’s respect for you. Loud enough for you to overlook a grown man’s infantile behavior & blame the relationship’s failure on your child.

Some men’s power trips speak volumes deeper than a slap to the face, and my sister’s father, he had that SUPER BASS. Verbal Abuse

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Senseless Fashion Statements

Senseless Fashion Statements

My love for sunglasses probably started from playing in my mothers belongings as a child. She used to keep a basket full of sunglasses on her dresser. They were pretty cool, some even had multi-colored lenses, it was the 90s and my mom was kind of poppin.

As I got older, I developed a fetish with sunglasses as a protective accessory to keep things from blowing in my sensitive eyes.

This summer however, I learned of a woman who was a survivor of Domestic Violence. For years she used sunglasses as stylish Fashion Statements to hide the black eyes she received during physical altercations with the father of her children. These physical altercations were so brutal and frequent that they eventually resulted in the loss of her eyesight. Yup, that’s right, she was BEATEN BLIND, by her sons’ father and now what was once considered great sense of fashion, is a protective accessory for what little sensitivity the nerves in her eyes have left.

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Remember Who’s Watching

Every decision you make has an impact on the person you chose to create. Remember to be responsible with your actions. Hurt Parents, hurt children and the cycle continues in ways you may never have intended for it to. Don’t allow what you wouldn’t want your children to accept because most children copy what they see. Below are some stats from resources on Domestic Violence outreach organizations.

CHILDREN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.5 

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Hurt Parents, Hurt Children

It’s often said “Hurt people, hurt people” but we often forget that parents are people too.

I see ads all of the time about how Fathers should be Super Man and the first person a daughter should fall in love with is her father. I don’t remember the first time I was ever upset by the reality that Buddha wasn’t Super Man but I remember slowly learning the layers of him.

Shrek Layers 1. Shrek Layers 2

Today is the first Day of October, the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Buddha’s mother’s birthday.

I was a pre-teen when I first became aware that Buddha’s parents were no longer married to each other because his father was abusive. I was an adult long before anyone ever let me know Buddha ever laid hands on my mother.

I was exposed to a lot as a child, both positive and negative, but I was never made to believe that abuse was acceptable.

When I was about 9 years I spent the weekend with Buddha and his short-term “fiancé” and had a pretty good time; until I was ready to go home and he didn’t want to take me back. He decided it was a good idea to throw a knife at said “fiancé” because she had sense enough to tell him “If you take her back she’ll want to visit again. If you keep her like this she’ll never feel comfortable going with you again.” He didn’t listen.

I later came to realize that maybe all he knew about fathers is that they should have “access” to their kids. Maybe all he knew about women is that they should be quiet before they were MADE to be quiet. Maybe no one ever taught him not to repeat the violent acts he was exposed to.

Before I could come to understand Buddha as my father I need to understand Buddha as a child.

Baby Buddha

From what I’ve heard he was smart, ambitious, well-liked by his teachers, but overlooked at home. Having been a teacher for a short while I’ve seen versions of Buddha sitting in classrooms; naturally a teacher’s pet desperately pursuing a career as class clown fighting for their parents’ attention any way they could get it. I’ve been told his mother’s absence at award ceremonies poked holes in his pride, and sometimes having six siblings and a single mother drove him to weave tales of life as an only child, which is the story he told my mother when they met and she pointed out his resemblance to a classmate of hers (his younger brother).

I can’t rewind time and watch Buddha grow up and struggle to create an identity apart from being the 3rd of his mother’s 7 children. I do know what it felt like trying to remain relevant after my mother gave birth to her second child. I remember praying that my sister wait until after my class play to be born, because I had a big role and I wanted my mother to be there.

I used to tell people I wanted 12 children. Now, every time I think of why I haven’t started, I remember it takes a whole person to love a child; and sometimes hurt people can’t be whole.

I don’t want to start a new cycle of Hurt Parenting.

Hurt Cycle