Are You Being Battered in Your Relationship?


Everyone who is in a healthy relationship knows it will have its ups and downs.  But not all relationships are healthy.  How do you know whether or not your intimate partner is a potential batterer? Let’s look at some truths. Was your partner ever abused as a  child? These children can grow up to be abusers or victims because they watched it while they were growing up.

 

Was their father violent? Violence breeds batters. The batterer will grow up thinking that abuse is a norm in a relationship.

 

Have they ever show violence against other people?

 

Did they physically abuse you or an ex in a past relationship? Physical abuse during dating is a guarantee of abuse in the relationship. There is overwhelming evidence that after one beating there will be more to follow. As time passes, the beatings will become more severe and more frequent. The abuser may begin to also beat the children. In truth, you can’t change them, so don’t marry them or continue in the relationship.

 

Does the batterer play with guns or use them to protect themselves?

 

Does the abuser lose his temper frequently and more easily than seems normal? An inability to handle frustration is a warning buzzer indicating future physical violence. If relatively small frustrations set them off, such as someone pulling ahead of them in traffic, the abuser probably will not be able to handle many of the frustration of a normal marriage or relationship. The abuser will lose their temper and scream or blow their top. Abusers are people who cannot handle frustration and they will turn to violence as a solution to what they perceive as problems. If someone punches walls, breaks objects including ones with great sentimental value to you, or throw items in a rage, they will likely turn on their intimate partner one day.

 

Does the batterer commit acts of violence against objects and things rather than people?

 

Are they cruel to animals including the family pets? If pets often die or run away, this is a warning to you.  Anyone who savegely beats a pet or kills one is a potential abuser.

 

Does your intimate partner drink or use drugs to excess?

 

Does the partner demonstrate an unusual amount of jealousy when you are not with them? Is your partner jealous of family and friends who are in your life?

 

Are you required to spend all of your time with them or do they require to be notified of every place you go during the course of your day? It may feel flattering at first and you will be told it is because your partner just loves you so much and misses you intensely, but it is signal and a way to control.

 

If your partner gives you advice, do they become outraged if you make your own decision?

 

Does your partner seem to have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality?  Is you partner charming and gracious and the fun person at the party when you are out and a screaming yelling monster at home? Is your partner someone you just can’t please?  You never do the laundry right or cook what they like to eat, or you are a bad cook or housekeeper, you don’t make enough money or look good enough. An inability to be pleased, and tendency to always blame someone else for unhappiness indicates that they are a potential abuser.

 

Is there a sense of overkill in his beatings and in his kindness? Are their actions — good or bad — bigger than life?

 

Do you feel fear when your partner becomes angry with you or someone else? Do you adjust your behavior to calm them down or to prevent them from becoming upset?

 

Do they cling to rigid stereotypes of what men and women should look like or act like? Do they demean you if you fall short of the standards?

 

Do they have a poor self-image? Beatings often occur when they feel that their stereotypical role is being undermined.

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be in an abusive relationship. It will not improve and you and any children should get out. No matter where you live, here in America or in another country, find out what options you have. Make a go bag. Pack clothes, money, passport, medical information, medications for you and children, don’t hesitate to flee. Your life may depend on it. Find out what support you can receive from the legal system and use it. Show your children that no one ever has a right to hit, slap, kick, or punch you or them. Many places have domestic violence shelters that will house you, give you options, talk with the children, give you ideas about a job or an apartment. The volunteers and staff in these shelters are often victims themselves.. Even if they are not themselves survivors, these people are trained to know how to help ou save yourself and your children.  They will help you through the entire process.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

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DV used to be called the "silent scream" Speak up now for your life and your children's lives..

DV used to be called the “silent scream”
Speak up now for your life and your children’s lives..

 

 

 

Freedom from fear and violence

Freedom from fear and violence

The Source of Joy


Experience love

Experience love

” No one knows what makes the soul wake
up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has

blown the veil from the face of God.
A thousand new moons appear. Roses

open laughting. Hearts become perfect
rubies like those from Badakshan. The

body turns entirely spirit. Leaves
become branches in this wind. Why is

it now so easy to surrender, even for
those already surrendered? There’s no

answer to any of this. No one knows the source of joy. A poet breathes
into a reed flute, and the tip of every hair makes music. Shams sails

clown clods of dirt from the roof, and we take jobs as doorkeepers for him.

——-Rumi, translated by Robert Bly

We can never give all of our love away.

We can never give all of our love away.

Prayer beads

Do not raise your voice

Rumi's words

Rumi’s words

To know you...

                                                                                                             My One Desire                                                                                                                        

I Heard a Slight Rustle Within the Silence


It is the middle of the night and I awoke thinking about the horror and devastation of today. My heart is breaking over the continued violence. Then as I was sitting, I heard a small sound in the quiet of the night, the black black night. I knew it to be the sound of angel wings moving as the angels moved to provide love, comfort and strength to all those involved.

My heart felt uplifted and I knew that here is hope, love, compassion and kindness in this world. Each of us are a symbol of them.

We are thinking of you. Prayers continue to rise up to the heavens. Blessings to all.

We are thinking of you.
Prayers continue to rise up to the heavens. Blessings to all.

Violence Destroys Families


Battering destroys families.

Battering destroys families.

For the victim of battering or Domestic Violence, they exist in a house with someone who hurts them. They are literally “Sleeping With the Enemy.” Abuse is the only crime in America where we ask the victim to lie down in bed next to the person who has just finished knocking their teeth out, punched them in the stomach, burned them with a cigarette, or holding a gun to their head.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Children in violent homes are often beaten or molested by someone they live with. Even for those who haven’t been beaten, They see their parents as role models. Yes, they often try to protect their mothers but the majority of them repeat the beatings they saw over and over as a child . They  learned to be an abuser. Girls in violent families whether beaten or not, watch the victim be punched, dragged, choked, slapped  burned with a cigarette and many other vile acts. They learn from their family that they are victims.  As they grow older, it is not unusual for abusers and victims to find each other. They live together in their set roles.

This woman is being victimized

This woman is being victimized

Love should never hurt

Love should never hurt

The scene of Domestic Violence begins like any other relationship. Two people meet and fall in love. They live together or marry and may eventually have a baby. An abuser doesn’t always begin to abuse while they are dating. Sometimes it begins on the honeymoon. That first punch to teach the victim who is in charge. The abuser wants her to know exactly what is expected. Dinner at six, his shirts laundered just so. He expects her to be home all day and he will be calling to check up on her. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until a pregnancy becomes reality. The abuser may say they are pleased and excited, but will then begin to beat the victim up. Frequently, the abuse consists of punching her over and over in the stomach. Many women have lost their babies because of abuse. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until the children are older and the house doesn’t run as smoothly as it used to. The house is full of playing, laughing, screaming or giggling children. They learn soon enough not to bring anyone home to play because an episode of abuse may begin. These are families in name only.

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

To attempt to prevent episodes of abuse, the victim will try to have everything just the way the abuser wants it. The children are taught to be quiet and just eat dinner and go do homework. They stay in their rooms or go to a friend’s house so that they won’t be battered or have to hear the screams of pain and the abusive slurs that go hand in hand with the physical abuse.

Speak out

Speak out

If you are being abused or know someone who is, get out and go to a shelter. Almost all cities have shelters now. Get yourself and the kids out before the abuse escalates and someone is dead. In a shelter, you will find medical help, warm beds, food, counseling, legal advice and assistance. You and your children will be protected and supported as you begin the process of starting a new life without violence.

It is never, never right to abuse a woman or children. It is never right to abuse a man. This is not really love. It is power and control. The abuser thinks he owns you. Leaving the violent home will be the beginning of having the ability to live without the fear of abuse.

A handprint

Our Passion for Justice


Justice is part of the foundation of our civilization

Justice is part of the foundation of our civilization

Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling, not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies. Love creates righteousness, or justice here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.

For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called “love.” Love is a choice–not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity–a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.
——Excerpted by Carter Hayward from Our Passion for Justice

Photo by Barbara Mattio 2010

Sunset Black Mountain, North Carolina Photo by Barbara Mattio