The Evil That Men Do


 

 

This is October and it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For those who do not know, I have 26 years of experience working in Domestic Violence. I have worked in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now in North Carolina. Domestic Violence is everywhere here in America. It is also found across the globe. It stems from cultures being based on patriarchal patterns. In a patriarchy, the males must have the power and control. In Domestic Violence, power and control is what the abuser is really after.

I ask you to look around you at your life and at the lives of the men and women in your life. Any of them could be being abused. Abuse can start while dating in high school, in college, on the wedding night, when you announce you are pregnant. It can begin because the abuser’s boss denied him a promotion, he did not make his sales goals. He cannot control himself/herself and you carry the bruises and fractures from this lack of control.

 

In 2003, the cost of DV in terms of medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity at work total up to $48.3 billion. Add to this the lives destroyed, the children who grow up with battering as their role model and will continue the stereotypes and battering spirals out of control.

 

Some people think that DV only effects the poor or marginalized in society. They are very wrong. Because we keep confidential records on batterers, we know that batterers can be middle class, they can be your state senator, your minister, the kid who bagged up your groceries, or you sat next to in church or mosque. While shopping, you may share the mirror with a battered woman in the ladies room, you may sit next to one at the theatre.  Statistics show that 30-50% of homes have battering in them. That is a lot of people living in fear and violence.

 

After the first time you are abused, the abuser will tell you it is your own fault. You should have done what you were told to do. You made the attack happen. No, you didn’t. Don’t listen to the lies coming out of that mouth. No one has the right to hit another human being. You are not owned, you can’t be told what to do or what to say. You are not crazy as many victims have been told. You are being abused if you are being pushed, slapped, pinched, punched, having your hair pulled, being stepped on, deprived of sleep, called filthy names, kept locked in the house, not allowed access to finances, raped (even if you are married), having food thrown at you, or bones broken.

 

Going to church, temple or mosque will not stop abuse. Nor will it heal your abuser. God does not want you to stay in a Domestic Violent situation. Not in the Middle Ages, not today, not ever. God does not want you to live in fear and violence.

 

Where to go? Ask a police officer or taxi driver where your community’s DV shelter is located. They will know and probably take you there. Once you go to shelter you will be safe with a roof over your head and your children’s if you have them. You will have a bed and food. There will be counselors who will listen to your story, listen to you as you decide what you are going to do next. You may want to get your own apartment, go back to school, move out of town or get a restraining order from the court. The shelter will provide you with counselors to help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

 

The battered women’s shelter movement started in the 1970’s and I helped to start one of the country’s first shelters. It was a grassroots by-product of the Women’s Movement that I am very proud to have been part of. Mostly, I am proud to have been able to help women and children out of a living hell and into a life where they could grow and thrive.

 

Domestic Violence is not going away. The statistics are increasing each year in each American community and in cities and villages around the world. Batters often start by hitting where bruising will be covered by clothing. The victim will often be kept in isolation away from friends and family. The abuser has more control this way and outsiders have less influence.

 

In today’s world full of social media, teens are often battered physically and emotionally with texts and on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter. This can be extremely frightening to a teen so it is important to keep communication open with them so they will not be afraid to talk to you. In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control published statistics that showed that 2 million injuries have resulted from intimate partner violence every year.

 

You don’t have to be a statistic.  Get help, get out.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

 

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Family battering

Family battering

 

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WE MUST STOP THE VIOLENCE. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ABUSED OR TO HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR.

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Domestic Violence Can End in Death


WOMEN

He Kidnapped, Beat And Tortured His Wife. Free On Bond, He Killed Her.

We know the risk factors for domestic homicide. So why are we failing to protect those in the gravest danger?

FAMILY PHOTO
The risk factors for domestic homicide are well-established. 

For 11 days this summer, Tierne Ewing was tortured by her husband.

Kevin Ewing kidnapped her, beat her, locked her in a closet, hit her in the head with a pistol, strangled her, burned her with a hot stick and made her sleep with a rope around her neck, according to Pennsylvania law enforcement. More than once, he put her in the bathtub and pointed a gun at her, threatening to kill them both.

On July 8, she managed to escape when Kevin allowed her to enter a bank. She was hysterical, and begged the bank tellers to call the police. After law enforcement arrived, she was too frightened to leave the building, telling them, “I don’t want to die.”

Kevin was arrested the same day and charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a firearm and other crimes. Less than two months later, while released on a $100,000 bond, he kidnapped his estranged wife again.

This time, he followed through on his threats.

On Aug. 30, Tierne was found shot to death in a barn. Her husband also shot himself in the head. Her death is now raising questions about what authorities in Washington County could have done differently.

District Attorney Eugene Vittone, who called Tierne’s murder a possibly“preventable tragedy,” told The Huffington Post that he has begun an investigation into what went wrong.

“We are trying to get all the facts and see where the system may be improved,” he said. “We probably need to take a look at how we address bail in these types of cases.”

While it’s impossible to predict every domestic violence case that turns lethal, experts believe that there are critical warning signs that can indicate when a case is especially dangerous and needs special monitoring.

Decades of research by Jacquelyn Campbell, a leading expert in domestic homicide, has helped to identify important risk factors for lethality, which include abusers’ access to firearms, previous strangulation attempts and death threats.

Her work has been distilled into an 11-question screening tool that a growing number of police departments across the country are now using to identify domestic violence victims who are at the greatest risk of being killed.

Tierne had almost all the signs of a woman in extreme danger.

She had been previously strangled, which made her seven times more likely to be killed by her abuser. Her husband owned guns, making her five times more likely to end up dead. He had threatened to kill her and himself. And she believed that he was capable of murder.

“I totally agree that it was preventable, because it was so predictable,” said Ellen Kramer, deputy director of program services at Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “When you read down the list, this screams out for some kind of heightened safety measures for this victim.”

The case brought her to tears, she said.

Some police departments in Pennsylvania currently screen victims for risk of lethality, but the practice is not yet widespread.

PCADV has also created a fact sheet for judges on lethality factors, Kramer said, with the hope that courts will use it when assessing the danger that domestic violence offenders pose to their victims.

“If we are going to do something to prevent domestic violence homicides, communities have to come together in a much more meaningful way and understand lethality, and do a much better job at making sure that abusers like this guy don’t fall through the cracks,” she said. “My greatest hope is that Washington County can take a look at this, and learn something from it, make the changes that may be in order, and then share what they learned.”

Kevin posted bond after spending three days behind bars.

When the prosecutor handling the case, assistant district attorney Kristen Clingerman, found out he had been released from jail, she immediately asked the judge to increase his bail because of his history of domestic violence.

Tierne told Clingerman that if her husband was free, she was going to die.

“I had a really bad feeling,” Clingerman said. “In my heart, I knew that there was not going to be a good result. All the signs were there that this could be a fatality.”

While a judge denied her request for a bail increase, he agreed to some modifications that she asked for, including that the defendant have no contact with his wife, relinquish all weapons and wear an ankle bracelet that would alert authorities if he left the home. On the day he killed his wife, he cut it off.

Clingerman said that she did everything she could to keep Tierne safe.

“I wish that other people, whether they are lay people, family, law enforcement, would understand that domestic violence is so serious and so lethal,” she said. “If the defendant would have kidnapped a stranger off the street, and burned her and beat her and strangled her, I wonder what his bond would have been then.”

Between 2005 and 2015, at least 1,676 people in Pennsylvania were killed as a result of domestic violence, according to PCADV. (The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

Most of the victims were female domestic violence victims, but that number also includes children, law enforcement, friends, coworkers, passersby, and perpetrators who killed themselves or were killed by law enforcement.

Tierne’s death was not the first high profile domestic violence shooting in Pennsylvania this summer. Just last month, a man killed his wife and three kids on the day she had planned to move out.

 

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Battered women often don’t leave because it is the most dangerous time in the cycle of violence. A tremendous number of men say “If I can’t have you, no one will have you.” However, it is a rare case that ends as this one did, when he had been through the system after she left and she still was murdered by her abuser.

 

A DV shelter will help you begin a new life under a new name with your children if that is necessary. If you do stay, sooner or later you will die. At your funeral, he will give you flowers for the first time in years, and people will console him because now he is alone without you. He will be the object of such considerate consolation.

 

No matter what material goods you have to leave behind, get out and stay out. If he threatens to kill you and you  believe him, take the children again and go to the shelter and ask for help getting to another city or even state. Some day your children will thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

Domestic Violence effects the entire entire family

Domestic Violence effects the entire entire family

 

 

 

 

Stop Abuse because it is wwrong and a crime

Stop Abuse because it is wrong and a crime

 

 

Even a slap, push or a shove is Domestic Violence

Even a slap, push or a shove is Domestic Violence

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

Don’t live with Violence


If you are living with violence, you must protect yourself and your children and get out. We all go into a relationship feeling love and having dreams. Your wedding day was just what you had wanted it to be. You had a beautiful honeymoon and you were so happy and so in love. It was a perfect wedding night.

 

Now, you are dressing for dinner. The two of you had had such a lovely afternoon and a delicious dinner. People toasted you in the dining room and when the band began to place you danced in your husband’s arms. A nice man asked to dance with you, but your husband said no. He was pretty quiet for the rest of the evening.

 

He decided you were going to go up to your room. You didn’t really want to leave but tomorrow was sightseeing. He says nothing on the way to your room. You are thinking about the nightgown you are going to wear to bed. He walks into the room behind you; then shuts and locks the door. You turn around with a smile on your face and he opens up his hand and hits you so hard that when you look in the mirror, you see the red hand print.

 

You are stunned. What happened? He is yelling and calling you names and telling you are a slut because that man asked to dance with you. You face aches. He grabs your arm and twists it while telling you that you will never dance with anyone else. He is shaking you so hard that your teeth chatter. You are trying to get away and are terribly afraid. What is going on?

He walks out, slamming the hotel door. You stand there with tears running down your face. Why did he get so upset? What should I do? You clean up and carefully get ready for bed. Carefully, because your face is very sore and your arm hurts. You cry yourself to sleep.

 

In the morning, you wake and his side of the bed is empty. You are shocked and very confused. Then the door to the hotel room opens and he walks in. He looks awful. You can tell he has been crying. He has brought you a huge bouquet of red roses. He is sorry. He never meant to handle you in a violent way. He loves you and it will never happen again, he swears. He kisses you and cuddles you and you make up. Your world becomes whole again. He is so wonderful to you, considerant and thoughtful.

 

Life goes on. Everything is fine. And one day, a girlfriend calls and asks you if you want to go shopping. You said, “Sure.”

You quickly get ready to meet her at the Mall. You leave a note on the kitchen table in case you will be late coming home.

You and your friend shop, have lunch and a couple of glasses of wine. It had been such a fun day. You are now a little bit later than you expected, but you left a note. No problem. You walk into the house and call out, “I’m home.” Your husband walks into the living room where you are hanging up your coat and  begin to show him your purchases. His voice drips with sarcasm. “Where have you been?” You mentioned the note you had left. He says you hadn’t had his permission to go shopping. What? What is he talking about?”

 

He grabs you and punches you in the face. You hear a crack and then another punch. You go down to the floor and he begins to kick you. He kicks you where bruises will be covered with clothing. You are screaming at him to stop and he is screaming at you. He accuses you of meeting a man and cheating on him. He picks up your purchases and throws them everywhere. You can’t stop crying. He holds up the nightgown you bought to wear for him and he rips it apart. He screams you had worn it for your lover.

 

He took you to the hospital and refused to leave you side. You had taken such an awful tumble down the stairs. The staff allows him to stay. There isn’t much they can do for you. They bind your torso, give you pain meds, suggest you carpet the staircase which your husband agrees is very important. You go home with your discharge papers and he gently helps you out of the car when you reach home.

 

He is again sorry. Terribly sorry. It will not happen again. Please don’t leave him. He can’t live life without you. He will kill himself if you leave. You are in agony, the pain pills are making you fuzzy and soon you just fall asleep.

 

You used to discuss this type of incident with your Mom and your sister. You met a woman who is being battered but what she suffers is so different from what happens to you. As the months and years go by, your lady friend went to a Domestic Violence shelter. You never see her anymore. The shelter moved her to a new state so she could start again with a new identity. Your mom develops Cancer and he gets edgy when you go to see her. The day your Mom dies, you feel totally lost and there really isn’t anyone to talk to. You don’t realize that he has gradually isolated you from all of your friends and your sister. He calls them trouble makers. He is the one who really loves you. The only one who loves you.

 

Now, you just do what he says. Nothing matters anymore. Then one day you think about the battered woman you had been friends with. You wonder if the Domestic Violence Shelter is still in town somewhere. You get ready and call a taxi. You tell the driver what you need and he delivers you at the Shelter.

 

You talk with a counselor, have a bite of lunch. They explain what they can do for you, including legal representation. You decide to go home and pack a suitcase. You have to get away from him. So you go home. The shelter gave you a list of things to bring. You are moving as quickly as possible and try not to forget anything like your medicine. You hear a small noise behind you and you turn. Your husband is standing there screaming that you cannot and will not leave him. He pulls a revolver out of his jacket and shoots you dead. The neighbors hear the screaming and the gun shot and call 911. You are dead on arrival at the ER.

 

More women are killed trying to get out of a battering relationship than at any other time. Abusers have a motto. I call it a motto because it every one that I ever worked with would tell the woman, ” If I can’t have you, no one will.” I can tell you from my experience that they mean it.

 

Does this mean you should stay? No. Never. But the leaving must be planned in advance and in secret. No one can know where you are going. There is an underground railway to move women who are in the greatest danger. Some abusers are just much worse than others. Though none of them are good. Usually a well executed plan can take a month or more to put into place. Don’t go back. He will kill you in time or you will kill him trying to protect yourself. There are so many women and men working to help abused women. You are never alone. Domestic Violence is a crime. The court system will punish him for what he did to you.

 

If you are a man being abused I must give you the same advice. Abusers don’t stop abusing. Male or female. They will simply move on to another partner and begin the battering again. People care about you. So try to get out. Try to get to a safe place, a shelter or even a hotel. Talk to counselors and the police. No matter what, it is never all right to hit another person. You deserve better. You deserve to not live in fear and violence.

 

 

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio. Copyrighted 2014

Zentangle by Barbara Mattio. Copyrighted 2014

                                                                                       for Artists4peace

Are You Being Abused


There is a cycle of violence which was identified in the seventies.

There is a cycle of violence which was identified in the seventies.

Take a close look at this Cycle of Violence. Does this pattern look like your life? Are you scared when you are home? Are you very careful of what you do when he is around? Are you afraid to ask hime questions? Are you afraid to disagree with him? Do you make the children be silent when he comes home? If you have even one yes, you are being abused. These excuses may be what you are being told, but the violence really has to do with the abuser”s need for power and control.

Do you end up in the Emergency Room often?

Do you end up in the Emergency Room often?

If you are being scratched, punched, bit, strangled or kicked then you are in a physical abusive relationship. These are not accidents. You did not make the abuser hurt you. No one has the right to hurt another person. Throwing something at you such as a phone book, a book, a shoe or plate is abuse. Pulling your hair, pulling out some of your hair, pushing and pulling you, grabbing your clothes, threatening you with a knife, box cutter, bat, mace or any other weapon means you are being victimized.

Grabbing your face to make you look at them, smacking your bottom or preventing you from leaving the house is battering. Abuse does not happen just once. No matter what he promises, he will beat you again.  Women who are brought to the emergency room with fractures and bruising are asked if they need help. Hospital employees have been trained to help you and they are also following the law.  They will ask if you have a support system. If you don’t have friends you spend time with, family you are close to, someone you can  vent to, you are abused. They want to be the only influence in your life. They don’t want people to give you advice. Isolation means you only have him and his opinions and the fear of what he will do to you.

Girls who grow up in violent homes have a larger chance to grow up and be victimized. Even as teens. Date abuse is frequently happening. You need to tell your parents or go to the police. There is nothing you can say or do that makes it ok for someone to beat you. Beating is not love. Beating is power and control. Boys who witness violence in the home are likely to become men who batter and beat their partner.

Date abuse is a real threat to young teens                                                                                                                                            Your boyfriend does not have the right to hit you.

Domestic Violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement costs, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at work.  In NYC, 25% of  homeless heads of households became homeless due to domestic violence. This is huge for any city to deal with.

Don't live with Fear

Don’t live with Fear

You need to make a escape plan. You need to have a hidden bag filled with some clothes, some money, ID, and know where you are going to go. To a shelter, to a new city, are you going to change your name? Talk to an adult you trust, consider getting a restraining order or a Protection From Abuse Order, do not accept someone’s  abusive behavior. Physical abuse is never your fault. Emotional abuse is not your fault.

Types of abuse seen in the home.

Types of abuse seen in the home.

MOST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NEVER REPORTED. CURRENT STATISTICS SHOW A WOMAN IS BEATEN EVERY ELEVEN SECONDS. YOU CAN GET OUT. THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HELP YOU. IF YOU AREN’T A VICTIM, AND YOU KNOW SOMEONE THAT IS BEING ABUSED SUPPORT HER,  HELP HER GET TO A SHELTER. LET HER KNOW SHE IS NOT ALONE.

The Face of Domestic Violence in Ohio


The Wisdom of John Lennon

The Wisdom of John Lennon

One in every four women will experience Domestic Violence in her lifetime. 84% of victims of abuse per year are female. Children who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they are adults.

Over 10,000 domestic violence victims receive shelter in Ohio annually.  According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), money is the biggest issue for each domestic violence member programs. One large area where money is sorely lacking is for children recovering from domestic violence.

The violence by intimate partners is physical, mental and emotional.

The violence by intimate partners is physical, mental and emotional.

34,027 arrests were made under Ohio’s domestic violence statue in 2006, and 4485 domestic violence arrests were made under other sections of the penal code.

What do we want? We want the violence to stop

What do we want? We want the violence to stop

Funding is a large challenge faced by Ohio domestic violence service providers. Part of each domestic violence programs funding comes from a percentage of marriage license fees and are controlled by the counties. This is the formula followed in many states. Rural programs have no real financial programs for the support of local shelters.

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) is a statewide coalition of DV programs. You can contact them at http://www.odvn.org.
Services provided include technical assistance, resources, information and training to those who are affected by DV. The mission is to educate people and make them aware the danger of abuse.

No matter where you live don't be silent about battering.

No matter where you live don’t be silent about battering.

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