Friday, October 12, 2012

Believe What I Believe - or Else
#domesticviolence Starts With CONTROL

The cover of the edition on domestic violence.
The cover of the edition on domestic violence.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Guest post by RYCJ of OE Books

Domestic Violence? Not so long ago I saw a woman out in public, sporting one large nasty black eye. Looked like her lip was sunken in too, as if caused by the same contact that connected with her eye. First thing I thought was, 'Domestic Violence.’

But this didn't necessarily have to be the case. A number of things could've caused her injuries. On a couple of occasions I have taken some pretty nasty falls, and got up looking a lot worse. Doctors, nurses, and people assumed the same thing.

I only point this out because education is the key to ending, or decreasing domestic violence. Nothing can be worse than seeing terror in a woman's eyes who desperately wants to escape an abuser she lives with. Nothing. And I singularly identify women because I have never seen the same terror in a man's eyes. Never.

Compounding the pain of seeing a woman in fear like this, is seeing her abuser strutting around freely, chest pumped out, and smirking, daring anyone to intervene. I remember saying to myself, "my God, how did this all begin?" "Were there signs, or a definite point when she could have turned down his advance, or walked away from the relationship before he turned into this beast determined to control the rest of her life?" For the longest I recall hearing police citing that the most dangerous situation to walk into, was a domestic altercation. Domestic violence is serious.

But for as ugly as domestic violence is, there are some basic understandings about this societal ill.
From my vantage point, CONTROL is our number one arch adversary. And this isn't control as in those who want to control every crevice of his, or her, own life. This is control by way of jealousies and emotional instabilities where a person seeks to control the life of others. Believe what I believe. See what I see. That type of thing, lending to another hoppler—

—CHANGE… Those who seek to change others, which believe it or not, most start out with good intentions. Parents trying to steer children straight. Bosses bossing subordinates to do what they say (for the betterment of the company). And spouses demanding that the other stop spending money, don't be a slouch, make more money, don't cheat on me, and a host of other societal rules that outsiders looking in typically deem moral, if not virtuous and honorable.

Problems only arise when the child, or subordinate, or spouse does not abide to the controller's wishes, or outright demands… the point where the relationship can become volatile.

When I first heard of abusive relationships, I thought of it as a normal person suddenly, and without warning turning deranged. This would be the only way to explain how an innocent, nice person ended up in its wrath, since the average person wouldn't walk into the arms of a deranged person knowingly.
I know it's easier said than practiced, to the same extent I know some just don't give a damn. But for all those who truly care about domestic violence, and seeing horrible abuses on women, children, elders, and men stop, I would suggest monitoring our own controlling habits. No one deserves to be hurt because he or she, or it, does not agree, or conform, to another person's wishes or demands.

We must learn to respect each other enough to either find better ways to mediate our differences, or keep away from those who do not conform to our beliefs, values, or lifestyle. Practicing this will either keep us out of the wrath of abusive relationships, or from becoming abusive ourselves. This is a preventative measure that works from both sides of an argument, allowing the most egregious situations to more easily be identified and, (hopefully) remedied.


RYCJ  is a writer, poet, illustrator, and independent publisher of OEBooks; a division of OSAAT Entertainment. She has been married 20 years and has raised two (now adult) children.



Domestic Violence Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)  TTY- 1-800-787-3224 
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (includes downloadable guides for helping women in abusive relationships)
RAINN - Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network 1.800.656.HOPE
National Alliance on Mental Illness, aka NAMI

National Clearinghouse on Family Violence - you will need to opt for English or French

Women's Aid - 0808 2000 247

Australia & New Zealand:
Domestic Violence Information Manual - phone numbers vary by territory

For Male Victims:
Why Men Stay in Abusive Relationships

Please join me in thanking RYCJ for sharing her thoughts & experiences.
If you'd like to share your own story, there's still time.
Guest post ideas & info here.

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