In violence we forget who we are. – Mary McCarthy
When I say “domestic violence”, what pops into your mind? Husbands or wives being abusive to their partner, right? Well, you may be surprised to know – that’s not always the dynamic. Domestic violence is one family member abusing another family member, regardless of what that relationship is. These wonderful SURVIVORS of domestic violence shared with me what most encouraged them in their journey. It’s my prayer that anyone reading this will find hope for the future if they’re experiencing domestic violence.
Barb says a portion of Scripture boosted her self-esteem:
One sister in Christ quoted this Scripture to me one day and ever since then I clung unto it and wow, my self-esteem boosted. – Barb
I remember crying to my mom one day, ‘Why won’t God get me away from him?’ And my mom gave me the best answer ever, ‘He’ll help you but you have to do it.’ – Lucinda
Love is not physical abuse. Love is not expressed with fists. There are constructive ways to channel anger. Go to the gym. Take a drive. If you feel the need to hit something – leave. Walk out the door and hit something. No person deserves to be beat by another person.
Love is not emotional or mental abuse. Putting a significant other down verbally does not make you better than them. People expect to see outward signs.
It’s literally been decades since my abuser was around, but I didn’t wear scars on the outside. My scars are all emotional and live inside. Even after all these years I still second guess so many things. There’s a voice inside my head – and it’s not my voice – it’s his voice… telling me I’m stupid, ignorant, fat, or some other derogatory name. Nothing’s ever right about me and he tells me I screwed something up again. Love that again thrown in there… don’t you? When I hear it these days, I call it what it is… the voice that lied to me. I call it by its name and I tell the Lord to make it go away in Jesus’ Name. God is good because He makes the voice leave. It doesn’t stay gone, but when I ask God to make it leave – it has to go! – Linda
Although this poem was written for a wacky holiday in March, my mind was on a day long ago when I finally got away from a person who abused me. It’s amazing, but the situation seems “normal” until you get away from it. It’s like waking up from a nightmare. While you’re in it, you cope the best you can. Once you wake up, you realize that your situation can be so much better – if only you have the courage to stay awake and trust God for the next step. Today, I love the color purple and I embrace these rules in my house and will not settle for less because God loves me and lets me know I’m worth loving.
As we walk this land of broken promises and dreams we have visions of better things in our lives that have yet to come. Keeping your eyes and heart on God and His plan for your life will keep you focused. – Linda
Samantha reminds us of this truth that helped her:
People cry, not because they are weak. It’s because they’ve been strong for too long. – Johnny Depp
The tears we cry for them are real. Sometimes all we can do is cry and pray – the prayers are not always words either. God hears those prayers too. Aren’t we thankful?
Every time I prayed and asked God to show me the way, He would put my abuser in jail. And every time I cried for weeks afterward. Took 3 times of him being locked up before I finally understood what was being said to me. It’s time to let go. – Samantha
The abusers never blame themselves, they always blame the victims and try to make them feel deserving of the bad treatment. One thing I learned is never to blame myself for the abuse. And to forgive myself for any choices of a poor relationship that leads to such. I blamed myself for years for having the wrong dad for my kids and even though, we got free from him in 2000, and my kids thankfully by God’s intervening did NOT have visitation with him, still there are hereditary traits, especially in my son! The behavior and addiction problems and anguish is there.
You can raise kids up in church and feed them God’s Word; however, they do come to an age of accountability where they choose to follow or deny God.
For awhile I questioned where I went wrong. God showed me in His Word, the sins of the child are no longer held against the parent, nor the sins of the parent held against the children. That was comforting to me, as it gave me a sense of freedom.
One thing people experience though, is many places of shelter can be cruel or stressful – and some charge. I’ve had some literally make me wonder what the difference was in the abuse. This is one reason many victims go back – because of no sense of real freedom. Many are financially bounded. Many get misjudged for keeping the people or person in their lives but each situation is different.
For instance… although my son does not know my location, he is still my son. He will remain on my friend list. I let him know that I love and forgive him no matter what. But, I cannot trust him. It actually helps to be honest if there’s a safe way to do so.
As far as the guy I tried dating – that had many problems and red flags. He was a greedy, angry soul who didn’t know how to treat women. At first, he put on an act of this Godly person.
He wanted to rush things… I’d warn anyone to be careful about someone rushing. He wanted me isolated. It was as if he was working together with my son to keep me from my doctor appointments – and I wasn’t allowed to use his truck – yet he wanted me to marry him. Um… NOPE. I made up my mind years ago to never be treated like property and never be controlled again by anyone.
The day I was moving out is the day he pushed a heavy TV on me and also took back my stove he got me for a gift. An $800 stove for a $300 balance on the car, which by the way, needs four tires, an alignment, has no heat, no air, etc… yet he drives a brand-new truck.
He couldn’t take no for an answer when I told him I would not marry him nor date anymore. He even has his profile as “engaged”! His best friend tried to sabotage the car the morning I was moving out. And my sister witnessed the ugly words he had to say as well. I may be sleeping on a blanket in a floor with no air, no heat, barely any food, but I’m free and grateful for everything.
My therapy dog is right beside me.
God is my stronghold. I have smoke allergies and the lady that’s letting me use her floor is a chain smoker. It’s not easy, but I keep a towel under the door and my window wide open. We need electrical work. There’s no hot water here, but a cold bath is still a bath.
My son is living on the streets. I pray daily for him to turn to God and be safe and get another job. He was fired thrice this year.
I also have to listen to a worldly TV playing at night. It’s hard to sleep. I don’t want to be fed filth, but I have no choice. Actually, the shelter was worse…
At least I do have my therapy dog and I have my Christian music I can play on my phone. – Christina
I will throw this bit of advice in. Never let anyone, even your most trusted friends, know where you are if you get away. I’ve actually got a P.O. Box in a different county, plus I have people mail to another address and then that person sends it to me – to the out-of -town box! Never leave paper trails if possible! And go where least expected. – Christina
All the bad, all the hurt, all the pain, all the struggle, all the hopelessness my children and I had after being abused (including my ex molesting my children) has been turned around and we now help others who have been or are being abused. If you are being abused, please seek help and leave because life is better and you can survive on your own. – Ann
Here’s the Scripture verse that helps Ann:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28
We can make a choice to never give up. We can decide to keep our focus and faith in God, trusting and depending on Him for all of our needs. We don’t have to accept defeat, failure or hopelessness; we can choose faith, hope, and to keep running the race of life with patience and perseverance. God is always with us. Sometimes He is standing by our side, sometimes He is holding our hand, sometimes He is whispering words of wisdom, and sometimes He is carrying us through the storm. You can choose to never give up hope! Hope can keep you alive! I know this from personal experience! – Brooke
And this from Mara:
Safe Horizon’s PSA for 2016:
To show your support, give to Safe Horizon & paint your left ring fingernail PURPLE.
Visit Safe Horizon on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/safehorizon
One last portion of Scripture I want to share:
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians3:13&14
Once you are on the other side of domestic violence, you can finally experience the true freedom that God intends for you. It’s worth what it takes to break free and find a better life.
If you see signs of abuse of any kind among your friends or family, don’t stay silent. Say something to someone. Staying silent has never worked. 🙂