This magnificent site (link above) is dedicated to all (women) who have suffered
(any type of) abuse (particularly if you “don’t think it was really
abuse” because you weren’t hit, pushed, slapped, etc.). It is clearly
written, and concise. It was created by a female who was abused by a male,
but it can help anyone who is/was/will be abused. It does not matter
whether the abuse is male/female, female/male, male/male, female/female…
spouse/spouse… sibling/sibling… child/parent/grandparent or
grandparent/parent/child!… authority figure/subordinate… in a dating
relationship… in a marriage… after a divorce… at work… or in
your own home.
I attended an all-female high school in the 1970s. I wonder on a daily
basis just how many of those girls were being abused… it wasn’t spoken
about much, back then. In the present, as grown women of our graduating
class, in our mid-50s… who among us is being abused now? It is a
mathematical impossibility that all the gals with whom I attended school
have been untouched by abuse! Did it happen to their parents? Did they
see it? Did they think it was acceptable, and have it happen to them
thinking it was normal? Is it happening now, to their sons and
daughters… their grandchildren? Do they even know about it?
According to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention, almost
5,300,000 intimate partner victimizations of females age 18 and over take
place each year, and 3,200,000 million occur among males. These attacks
result in approximately 2,000,000 injuries and 1,300 deaths each year. In
2001, intimate-partner violence accounted for 20% of all nonfatal violent
crimes experienced by females. In addition, one study showed that almost
all (93%) of the females who were murdered by their intimate partner had
been treated for at least one injury at the hands of that same person.
(Unfortunately, I am unable to access more current stats, or stats relating
to males under the same circumstances. Please send them to me if you have
As yes, let’s not forget the males, our brothers. Males who are being
abused (whether straight or gay) are most likely to deny it, being ashamed
that as a member of the (supposed) “stronger sex” they are “unable” to
prevent it, thinking they are less a person for “allowing” it to happen. I
know a few. One is married and plans to remain that way – his spouse and
he are just alike – co-dependents, who actively, physically fight. One is
planning to leave a dangerous relationship, and I hope he makes it out
alive. One is dead.
I personally know at least 20 females who were abused/are being abused
under various circumstances, at numerous times. In my adult life, I found
myself to be one of them! Thank the Goddess, I knew the signs and
circumstances, and was able to call a prompt end to it whenever it happened
– yes, more than once – and this is why I made abuse prevention and
opposition one of my personal causes. If it could happen to me, it
could happen to anyone… and if I was able to get out,
anyone can get out! *smiles*
I loved me more that the alleged “relationship.” Self love
does NOT equal selfishness. *smiles again* Self-love does not mean you
are not humble. It means that you are healthy enough and strong enough to
help others in all things.
But truly… love is genderless, and ABUSE IS GENDERLESS.
Part of the abuser’s power is manipulating the victim to believe that the
abuser’s behavior is the victim’s fault, that nobody cares, and – perhaps –
that the victim is “crazy” and lucky to be with the abuser, because nobody
else would want them.
Reaching out to a someone who is in an abusive relationship can be
difficult. Here are some things you can say:
• I’m afraid for your safety
• I’m afraid for the safety of your children
• It will only get worse
• You deserve better than this
• Let’s figure out a safety plan for you
• Reflect and recall the pattern of events (to stop the cycle of violence)
DO NOT BE ASHAMED. SPEAK UP. TELL SOMEONE. TELL ME! I
DO WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. Silence can be DEADLY.
SO, READ THE LINK – every word. Please. Even if it does not impact/affect
you (right now), do not think “oh this is just a waste of my time.” Take a
half-hour and explore the site. It may make a difference… to you… or
someone you know, tomorrow.
If you suspect or know that someone close to you is being abused, you
can help. Talk to someone at the National Domestic Violence
Hotline. Dial toll-free: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TDD 1-800-787-3224 – 24
hours a day, 365 days a year – in English, Spanish and other languages. If
you think you are being stalked, call the Stalking Hotline at the National
Center for Victims of Crime at 1-800-FYI-CALL (394-2255).