Thursday, 9 November 2017

Why did she stay for so long?

domestic violence
I haven't taken my soapbox out for a very long time! It's nice to be in a place where I am happy and safe and don't have to worry about going home to an explosive situation! That's possible for all, but only if we do it for ourselves!

I heard a TED talk the other day by Leslie Morgan Steiner about why domestic violence victims don't leave. It resonated so much with me,because a very long time ago in a very different life I was also 'stuck" in such a scenario. For nine years! (What was I thinking?)

The reason why you just don't leave is because it becomes the most dangerous time in your life when you decide to leave. As soon as I decided that I had enough - Finally! Finally! - I announced it to him and to the world. But I started to feel afraid to go home.

When someone shows you a gun with a silencer, when there is no reason to have a silencer... Then you are afraid!

When everything is your fault, although you have done nothing wrong, and you have to say sorry as far as you go. And smile when the person enters the room... I am only learning now about gas-lighting, but at that stage in my life I did not have the words for it! I only realised that he was blaming me for everything that he was to blame for! It worked for a while, as I was so flabbergasted being told that I am wasting our money... In the meantime he was not working, and not contributing!

While I had made a final decision to leave, I had to get my ducks in a row. I decided to tell him that I wanted to try again, but I told my family and friends that it wasn't true, and that I would still be leaving. That's was done to keep myself and my daughter safe! It's strange how many did not believe me, or thought that we had worked it out! It was the most difficult time, but I kept us save by doing the "right" things that would not trigger a violent outburst or make us unsafe.

As soon as we left, it got very dangerous. I had to get an interdict, and had to "hide". It was a difficult time! When you hear about an armed person trying to get into your property, or totally unknown people and friends phoning you and telling you that he has threatened your life! I was very afraid!

But we made it!
18 years later and I don't recognize that person I was, anymore!

Please don't stay!

What Leslie Morgan Steiner also said is that domestic violence flourishes because it is suffered in silence. Do not keep quiet about it! Tell everybody about it!

And ask people for help! People are more than willing to help, but can't help you when you don't want to be helped!

That's my contribution for domestic violence this month!
Don't suffer in silence! It's not your fault!

 Related posts:

- Reasons why you should not stay

- POWA - There's an app for helping you get out of a dangerous situation

- Protect you children by not staying

1 comment:

  1. This must have been such a difficult time for you. Good for you for figuring out the best way to leave that would make you and your daughter safe. You are an inspiration, Karen.


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