I have bee ruminating upon two specific blog posts that i knew i wanted to write. To me they seem to be quite opposite to one another and yet there is a connection for those who know what they are looking for. However the decision had to me made, by me because there was no one else to ask and i couldn’t very well ask all of you – well maybe i could have done…!? Your answer would all depend upon whether you like the good news first and the bad news second or the other way around. Or in other words when it comes to removing an Elastoplast (band aide) are you a ‘picker’ or a ‘ripper’. Medically speaking the ripping method is better as the brain receives the Pain message all in one go and then it is done. I have decided to share the bad news first.
However this post is not about plasters of any kind, it is about something that effects women and men of all ages and that is spousal abuse. I am not going into details, but it is enough for me to say, that i understand perfectly why people stay and why they leave. You see, i have always been a good girl, tried my best to obey the rules and do as i was told, but for some reason i can never understand, i have been at the negative side of abuse; but 1:4 women are abused in their own homes and 1:6 men in the USA are abused every year (www.clarkprosecutor.org) Do not get me wrong for one minute, when you are in an abusive relationship you fight to survive and if you are not careful you can find yourself becoming the abuser.
Abuse as we know can come in the number of ways –
- neglect (financial)
I will say no more about this list, everything you need to know is already out there, (www.projectpave.org) but here are a few things you can do to help and support someone who is being abused and/or how to create a leaving strategy. Some of these things i have gained through personal experience and some through helping others.
How to help
- do not give your opinion unless asked for
- don’t take sides, remember there are two sides to every story
- do not tell the person to leave their abusive relationship, but reassure them that you will be there if they do
- help them to get professional help and support, provide contacts and numbers of shelters or hostels
- help them formulate a plan to leave
If possible do the following –
- confide in a friend
- if you have a mobile phone, make sure you always have credit on it. If not make sure you have money for a public phone. Or phone the Police.
- have somewhere to go to, if you decide to run
- try and stash some ready cash somewhere
- only YOU can decide when and if it is time to leave a relationship
- be sure of your conviction and get outside support so that you never go back
- One last point, if you have to flee remember to grab your coat, make sure your coat contains all of the above; phone, money, keys to get back into your house, phone numbers, any medication you are prescribed.
If you have children leaving can be more difficult, but by leaving them behind you are leaving them open to the abuse that can no longer be levied at you. Abuse needs to stop being a ‘Dirty Secret’.
Now you have ripped the Elastoplast off, tomorrow i will kiss it better!