Abuse is part of the War on Women. The War is extensive and harsh. Today I want to talk about abuse. Women are abused here and around the world. Children are abused here and everywhere. 5% of American men are abused.
I helped to start a Women’s shelter in the 1970’s. It was started by Jewish, Catholic and Protestant women for women and children. It was a secular grass roots project and was run with lots of hard, sweaty, frustrating work. The first shelter was a rundown house because that is all we could get. We buried a penny in the tree lawn then rolled up sleeves and got to work.
We did not have assistance from police. More police are injured during domestic calls than any other type of call.We had a huge job ahead of us. The FBI statistics told us a woman was abused every nine seconds.
So what is abuse? There is emotional, mental and physical abuse. It does not matter if you know the abuser or not. It can happen on a date or when you get pregnant. You can be killed. Many women and children have lost their lives to Domestic Violence.
Slapping, kicking, pushing, spitting, blackened eyes, broken ribs, hair pulling, throwing things around, punching anywhere, are all forms of physical abuse. It often goes hand in hand with being called foul names, told you are ugly, stupid, you could never find another man. It includes being told you are nothing without him. Domestic Violence affects women from all portions of society — the poor and the wealthy, the college graduate and the high school dropout, wives and girlfriends of criminals, professors, policemen, factory workers, any woman can be abused. Statistics show that, whoever you are, someone you know, right now, is being abused
An abused woman and her children need to leave and go into a shelter. Addresses are confidental. Women are there to counsel, take pictures, take you to a hospital. Shelters are a safe place where you won’t be judged. You will be helped and supported. It is the most important work I have ever done.
Often women stay in an abusive situation because they have no where to go. The abuser will isolate them from family and friends. Many will not allow the woman out alone. Sometimes a woman can go out, but the abuser calls frequently and wants details of what she did and whom she spoke to.
I am aware that younger women today do not understand abuse. I want anyone who is reading this to understand that the problem, the crime is with the abuser and not you. Abusers can kill. But most victims get away and can begin again.
If you are in an abusive relationship, reach out to a hotline. They will know where you can go. Taxi cab drivers often know where shelters are and if they see that you are abused, they will take you to one.
If anyone tells you that you need them,and can’t live without them, if they yell at you loudly and accompany the yelling with slaps, pushing, pinching arms and legs, then you need to get away from this person. You are not alone. There are many people who will help you and your children. Loving arms are here for you to support you and to give you back your life.
Domestic Violence is a crime. You can’t beat a woman.