October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in which one exerts power and control over another. DV is agnostic to sex and experienced by both males and females. It is a violation of human rights and one that has a long term impact on the victim’s life.
I know this because I was once a victim of domestic violence, which led to divorce, in 2008
There is an inaccurate perception that domestic violence is a thing of the past and that it happens to a certain type of woman – the less confident, unsure, weak, e.t.c
Domestic violence happens more than we know and exacerbated by the fact that It doesn’t have a face – It happens to confident, strong, high-income earners…it doesn’t discriminate
It also happens behind closed doors, and can leave victims feeling ashamed, scared, worried that no one will understand, they will get judged vs supported, stuck – there is no way out.
My advice to anyone in this situation is:
*Your safety is of paramount importance – call the cops if you have to! I had to call the cops on 2 different occasions and eventually got a restraining order
*You do not deserve to be treated this way and it is not your fault. Friends and fam love you, reach out to them
*Violence is NOT love *Seek counseling, for yourself – this will remind you who you truly are, increase your self-esteem, self-worth and help you make a decision
*Find the strength to do the right thing – Staying for the kids, lifestyle e.t.c. is a huge price to pay with your life – believe me when I say, YOU can make it on your own – Peace above all else
If you know someone going through this, they need all the love & emotional support they can get. Check up on them frequently, show them love and remind them that they matter and deserve love and respect.
If in the US, check out PEVO – a national app for domestic violence that offers discreet, untraceable platforms for women to review their available resources, including local shelter contact information, safe and secure escape options and much more
I had the pleasure of meeting Alicia Carr, creator of PEVO, at The Journey Awards In July – Alicia learned how to code at 51 years old & developed PEVO to support women from her background as a victim and seeing other women in similar situations
If you know of resources that can help women in violent situations, feel free to share in the comments.
Let us be our sisters’ keepers?