Society calls men who stab, choke, hit, push, drag, or knock their wives out cold...abusers. The laws and the language are different when a man harms his wife than when he harms anyone else. An abused woman calls her violent husband, partner, or ex-husband her “abuser.” We don't say a woman was assaulted, raped, attacked, or that her husband committed attempted murder. Instead we simply say, often with no emotions being stirred, "there is domestic violence in the home.”
We are “victims or survivors of domestic abuse” depending on how current our situation of domestic abuse is or was. We have to stop sugarcoating domestic violence and call it what it is no matter how ugly the words are. These men are not just abusers...they are not just criminals...they are violent criminals.
Why don’t we say, “My husband choked me last night until I was losing consciousness and I thought, this is how it ends--what is going to happen to my kids?” Or, why don’t we say, “My husband stayed out half the night last night. Because I was upset when he finally came home and had the nerve to ask him where he had been, he slapped me so hard my ear has been ringing ever since. My head hurts so badly I can’t think straight and I’m not going to be able to come into work today.”
Well, we don’t describe the incidents this way because instead of speaking the truth and reaching out to get the help we need, we are EMBARRASSED. We are really very embarrassed that we have just experienced this treatment from the man we love. We are in shock that he did what he did. We don’t know who he is anymore and we realize we are not living with the man we thought we married. We are living with a stranger—a dangerous stranger.
We cannot imagine saying the words that describe what really happened aloud to anyone. What would our coworkers, our boss, our friends think of us? Surely less! Actually, in most cases, their reaction would be shock at what you experienced and in most cases I believe they would direct you to get out—immediately.
If you don’t remember anything else I tell you, remember, “The truth will set you free.” By this, I mean when you speak your truth in public, that truth will change everything. Things will happen, a different course will be set on your compass, help will come to you, the wheels will begin to turn for you to achieve freedom simply by speaking your truth into the atmosphere; simply by pursuing the professional assistance you need from law enforcement, etc.; and simply by opening the blinds so to speak and shining the light of day and the public eye into the darkness of the situation you are living in.
Please reach out for help the first time your husband is violent. Do not believe he will change or it will never happen again. An abuser is an abuser. A liar is a liar. A cheater is a cheater. Please know that is the truth. “When someone shows you who they are BELIEVE THEM; the first time.” Maya Angelou
By the simple action of seeking the help you need to safely leave, you can save yourself and your children MANY years of heartache and abuse.