Domestic violence is never okay! It’s a fact!
No matter what happens and no matter how much you think you love someone, if they physically or mentally abuse you, don’t stand for it. Don’t take it. Get out and leave!
“1 in 3 women worldwide suffer some sort of domestic violence, be that mental, physical or sexual and approximately 38% of all murdered women are killed by an intimate partner (compared with 6% of all murdered men).”
As a public example, I’m sure many of you remember the very public ordeal that happened involving Rihanna and Chris Brown. The police report highlighting the attack details that he repeatedly punched her, bit her, strangled her and threatened to kill her. He received just 5 years’ probation for this violent attack and it’s not an isolated occurrence.
“At least 2 women in the UK die each week at the hands of their partner.”
The ultimate truth is that violence in all forms is in-excusable. You do not hurt someone that you love and as heart-breaking as it may be, if you are suffering abuse or violence from anyone that you love, it’s time to realise that they do not love you and for the sake of your health and well-being you need to remove yourself from the situation.
How to Move Past an Abusive Relationship
I understand only too well the emotional agony, shame and self-blame, having been in a very abusive marriage myself. I want to help you move past the pain and despair that being in a violent relationship can cause.
Abusers are usually very manipulative. At the same time as proving that they are an unworthy, violent person, they also manage to convince you that it’s you who is weak and worthless. That’s just not true!
Remember that despite all of your ex-partner’s attempts to subjugate you, you and you alone had the power to remove yourself and your loved ones from that dangerous situation.
Tina Turner survived an extremely violent relationship with Ike Turner. She suffered his violent attacks on an almost daily basis and in 1976, 14 years after they were married, she finally escaped, after he’d beat her bloody, by waiting until he slept, sneaking out and never looking back.
Tina realised that having the courage to leave this life ruining relationship made her a much stronger woman and she continues to inspire other abused women to take a leap of faith and free themselves from their violent partners.
The horrendous case of the death of Reeva Steenkamp at the hands of her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius is an example probably still fresh in your mind as it took the world by storm and yet, even though he was found guilty of the murder, Pistorius was only sentenced to 5 years in prison and is currently on bail under house arrest.
In another example of a public, abusive relationship, the singer, Kesha was told last week that her own instance of abuse, her own thoughts and feelings on the abuse that she received at the hands of her music producer, wasn’t enough to rule against him. Instead, the court ruled against her, denying her the permission to leave her contract and that her only options are to either not work at all or to work with a man who she says abused her for over a decade.
If that is not enough, domestic violence is also rife in the church as well as within other faith groups and sadly is very much under reported on account of faith and stigma.
A typical scenario, I am personally familiar with as a part of the global, black Christian community, which can be found in many of the black churches today, is where a stoic faithful woman who has grown up in the church, believes in God and gets married in the church. She understands the importance of supporting her community, building her home “A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down....” Proverbs 14:1. She is a faithful wife and mother and honours her commitments to the Word of God, her religious values and her husband. She accepts that he is the spiritual leader of their home and she has humbled herself to his direction and supports his vision. She is his “help meet” Genesis 2:18.
Her husband is highly regarded and well respected in their local church community. However, sadly her husband beats and derides her constantly sometimes causing her very visible injuries. She finds herself lying when asked what happened to her left eye or how did she get the bruise on her arm. This faithful woman who does not want to use her hands to pull down her home finds herself lonely, overwhelmed and confused. She asks herself, sometimes crying uncontrollably, silently into her pillow “how could God love me and let me go through so much pain? Can’t God see my split eye, the bruises on my arms, the blood, the torn skin or the scabs from previous abuse? Lord," she prays “my spirit is broken can’t you see. The next morning she wears copious amount of make up to hide the tell tale signs. She raises holy hands in church, she prays, she knows she is anchored in the Word, that she is saved. She was too scared to report this, she didn’t wish bad things against her husband, maybe it was the devil that made him do this to her. She prays some more and stays the course, continuing to support this man who said he loved her, yet was emotionally, physically, and psychologically abusive. God where are you – screams inwardly as she feigns a smile for the umpteenth time. She is too embarrassed to tell her friends at work, and the church sisters she does confide in tell her to keep strong, not to leave and pray some more for the devil to depart her husband and her home. Sometimes this woman ends up with mental health issues or even worst - dead.
All of these examples are proof that even in this modern age of equal rights that we live in, men are still more powerful than women. The word of a woman is still not taken seriously and seen as enough proof to convict an abuser of their crimes. This needs to change and we are to ones who have to do it. Whether in out of church or in the church, Domestic Violence is never ok! That is a fact!
Awareness is being raised by celebrities and the media, as well as by prominent people in faith communities, many are survivors of domestic violence, there is also much more wide spread reporting and support groups – and that is a good thing, but so much more needs to be done.
Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas said,
“The church is the place where people can find redemption even when they have made bad choices or been victims by those who did,” Jakes wrote, but said that the church must do more than offer a place of refuge.
“We must be prepared to get the victim out of harm’s way even while we are working for a solution,” he wrote. “However, what the Church cannot do is to say to the victim, ‘Go home and believe that God will make things better.’ Or lead them in prayer and leave them in danger.”
If you’ve recently escaped from an abusive partner, these steps will help you to let loose your shackles and free your spirit:
- End All Contact
Your abuser may attempt to contact you after your relationship has ended. The first step is to make this harder for him by not leaving any path to follow. Move home, change telephone number and email, close down your social media channels and warn all friends and families to not reveal any information. Do everything possible to prevent contact and if he does try to get in touch – DO NOT RESPOND! Ignore emails, calls and texts. No matter how sincere or apologetic your ex may seem, they are still trying to manipulate you and control you. To begin to move on you must be utterly free from them.
- Talk to Your Family and Friends
Don’t isolate yourself from the people who care about you. Being alone solves nothing and it’s exactly what your ex wanted, to cut you off from any support. Reach out to close family and friends. Explain to them what’s been happening and show them any evidence (like photographs) that you might have. Surround yourself with people who are supporting and caring as these are the people who will help you through this difficult time in your life.
- Stay Active
Were you forced to give up your hobbies or your job in your previous relationship? Now is the time to rediscover your old interests and to create new ones. Discover things that engage you and excite you, make them a part of your life and take pleasure in giving your life new direction and purpose.
You can find more advice on choosing a new career in my Choosing Your New Career Path after Your Divorce article.
- Don’t Be Ashamed
It’s crucial to the moving on process that you learn not to feel ashamed of your past relationship. Remind yourself every day that it was not your fault, you were not in control and that you did not deserve what happened to you. Repeat after me, “I am a good person. I did not deserve what happened to me but it’s behind me now and I’m free to move on with my new, re-discovered life.”
- Seek Counselling
Even after taking these initial steps, it’s common to find yourself feeling low and depressed after ending or escaping from a violent relationship. A counsellor can help you re-discover who you are as an individual by offering empathy and support to help you overcome feelings of low self-worth and shame. They can help you plan for a happier, independent future by making goals and creating steps to achieve your small and long-term objectives.
Domestic Violence is something that we need to work hard to eradicate. It’s not simply a case of encouraging women or men to leave violent relationships and situations, although that is the first step. We also need to make a stand and raise awareness by sharing our stories with others. Violence should be reported where possible, whether at the time of the event or afterwards, when you feel safe to do so and we should never stop fighting to end situations where women and men are being controlled and manipulated.
Whatever you do, take the process in your stride, it is all part of your Believe and Live Again recovery, bounce back and transition journey from being a “we” to becoming a “me”.
If you would like to have an informal chat about it, don't hesitate to get in touch on: +44 208 938 3672 and myself or a member of my team will gladly schedule a Complimentary Believe and Live Again Coaching Discovery session or a no-obligation 30 minute "Forgive and Let Go" consultation and together, we could be embarking upon the Believe and Live Again 5 R's journey to heal your heart, outgrow your challenges and let go of the past so that your glorious future can finally emerge.
Once again, I invite you to contact me or schedule a time to talk, call: +44 (0) 208 938 3672 (24 hours) or click on the pink "Contact" at the bottom right hand side of this page and this will take you into my "Let's Talk" contact form. Kindly complete the form and you will get a call back.
In the meantime, until next time, Keep Smiling, Keep Strong and Keep Believing.
Best Wishes and God's Blessings