“I couldn’t just leave or not strong enough to do so?
It may be our own feelings of fear, guilt, or shame that keeps us in a physically abusive relationship. Often, social and economic pressures compel us to stay. Sometimes we stay for lack of somewhere to go for shelter and advice, or because we feel that we love our partner and we live with the hope that he might change. If only we can “hang in there.” Tragically, in most cases, the abuse continues, for in fact his behavior may not have anything to do with our actions; it may simply be his choice to be abusive and expect us to always be submissive.
We may feel that a divorce is wrong and that we should keep our marriage together at all costs. Perhaps we feel that our children need a father. We are sometimes isolated with no outside job and few friends. The friends and relatives we do talk to may give us little support, perhaps because our situations frightens them and they don’t want to admit to themselves that such violence could occur.
If we confide in a counselor, we may also be encouraged to “save the marriage.” And, along with our emotional dependence, we may worry about being able to find a job to support ourselves and our children. We often say, “if I get him arrested, he will not be able to support me.” “If I don’t have him arrested, he may beat me even more severely for trying to leave him.”
Is there a way out? Most women suffer these attacks for years before they finally find the courage and determination to take steps to keep from being victims of further abuse. Ladies, you don’t need to have scars; you don’t need to have bruises; you don’t need to have to live in fear. Any time is the perfect time to put a stop to domestic violence. Don’t lie to yourself any longer. GET OUT!
It is important that we teach women and children that they should never tolerate this type of abuse, just as much as it is important to show men that domestic abuse can never be justified.
As women, we need to talk to people who can help us. Good friends can lend support and guidance. Organizations that are devoted to women’s concerns and not bound by society’s traditions. Emergency shelters for women, hotlines, women’s organizations, social service agencies, community mental health centers, and hospital emergency rooms are all possible sources of support.
In the words of many women who could have been alive, I share because I am a WOMAN!
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