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Thursday, October 20, 2011

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VOICES(A POEM ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE)


You say you love me but when you get mad, you hate me.
You say there is no one you would rather spend the rest of your life with
BUT..when you get mad you say you wish you never met me.
You say I'm the best thing that ever happened to you
BUT..then you turn around and curse me, hurt me,
threaten to take my life and possibly even attempt to take my life.
What is this that we are going through? What has gotten a hold of you?
Or what has gotten a hold of me?
That i have decided to stay in-spite of all this dismay, in-spite of all this hurt and pain.
You are begging me to stay as I proceed to leave and I stop for a minute as i see the tears roll down Your eyes saying you love me and you never meant for me to cry,
You say you know I didn't deserve what I was getting.
You put my pain at ease for a minute.
I think you love me at least I hope.. because I know I love you,
So I decide to stay and say ok lets make it work.
BUT then later you start to turn on me again, it starts to feel like a repeat of a sin that I continue to commit again and again.
And I say to the Lord deliver me from this, heal me and release me.
I realize I don't know my worth, I start to feel like this is some sort of curse.
What did i do to deserve this?
Tormented and degraded by someone who loves me or loves themselves rather...
Domestic Violence Voices...
These are the voices that I hear when I try to be strong and move on
BUT thankfully I'm getting to hear the spiritual voice,
That is moving me along, healing my hurts, helping me realize my worth,
Showing me what true love is and I now believe that I can begin again
And live a life of freedom where I don't have to fear for myself or my family and friends.

BREAK THE STEREOTYPES-BREAK THE SILENCE-END THE VIOLENCE

This blog may not come off as "agreeable" to everyone and that's okay. I am an advocate that wholeheartedly believe that we not cannot fully combat/tackle Domestic Violence as a WHOLE unless we recognize, accept, and acknowledge that Domestic Violence happens to both men and women. I read so many news articles, statistics, etc that are in favor of women and leave the men hanging. I suppose that as a woman such as myself, it would be easier for me to advocate for women and relate to them because in fact I am a woman but do we always need to take the easy route? When I think about Domestic Violence Advocates, I think that God has hand picked and designed us to be just that, so its not about us, its about Him. I started to think what if a male victim of domestic violence was reading things that I wrote or listening to things I said and what IF I was only talking about women and the statistic of women, how might that discourage them for coming to speak to me or share their story with me and vice versa. Men should advocate for women as well.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely know that domestic violence is not easy to talk about period but the truth of the matter is that women are more likely to speak out than men are. Why is that? Why aren't men speaking up and speaking out? There is a reason and I am not saying that I know the reason but as advocates we have to think about things like that, maybe the same reasons that LBGT are not speaking out about domestic violence but that is a whole different story, that's another blog. We have to stop being so bias when it comes to the issues of our COMMUNITIES.

I am not trying to get you to understand me at all because my motto is "As advocates we must seek to understand more than we seek to be understood" which actually spins off a verse in the Bible, but it came to me one day and I held on to that. So right now I'm seeking to understand and trying to encourage others to seek to understand as well. One thing that I am trying to get to be understood is that in order to tackle domestic violence as a whole we have to reach out to men and women. If we work together, we can make a difference. Just think even in marriage.. GOD said it is not good for man to be alone so i will create for Him a helper(the woman) so that means that men and women need each other NOT saying that we should be NEEDY or dependent. What I am saying is what if you are a woman who strictly advocates for women and vice versa for men? What if women, God wanted to use you to reach a man? Men,  what if God wanted you to reach a woman? Ask yourself how would you do it? Sometimes we block blessings and miss opportunities for a variety of reasons. I for one, use to always say that I had a passion for women and children, I could relate to women because I am a women. I use to say I wanted a daughter first, then guess what? GOD gave me a son as my first child and my only child as of right now. I started to take a step back and look at how God did and was in fact using me to reach men and talk to them about Him and that opened my eyes so now that I am becoming an advocate for domestic violence, I have a passion for women, men, and children. I have a passion for the FAMILY, I have a passion for the PEOPLE.

One other thing, I am not trying to take away from statistics, statistics are good in certain circumstances but you have to look at how these statistics were developed and WHO developed them, it is important that we look at those and do our own research. The truth about statistic is that numbers CHANGE daily. I say that to say this..DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN AND DOES HAPPEN TO ANYMORE, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT GENDER IT HAPPENS TO MOST, WHAT MATTERS IS THAT IT IS HAPPENING PERIOD AND THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM.

Sometimes we get in Gods way, I want to courage everyone to truly seek God and put our past and mindsets away and let God use us, im not saying that He wants to use you in the way I have explain but maybe he wants to use you in a different way that you dont know about yet.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A RAPIDLY GROWING EPIDEMIC THAT HAS CAUSED MANY TO SUFFER. MANY ARE SUFFERING IN SILENCE, MANY HAVE CHOSEN TO TAKE THEIR OWN LIVES, MANY ARE WITHOUT A PLACE TO STAY, MANY HAVE DIED AT THE HANDS OF ANOTHER, MANY ARE DEPRESSED, MANY ARE TRYING TO FIND THEMSELVES. IF WE COME OUT OF THE STEREOTYPES WE CAN BE SURE TO MAKE A BIGGER DIFFERENCE, SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE. MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL VICTIMS, SUFFERS, FAMILIES AND ADVOCATES. MY GOD CONTINUE TO RESTORE YOU, GIVE YOU HOPE, STRENGTH, WISDOM, MAY HE CONTINUE TO CARRY YOUR BURDENS AND HELP YOU RELEASE THEM. MAY HE CREATE IN YOU A HEART, MIND AND SOUL. MAY HE CONTINUE TO KEEP YOU, USE YOU AND BLESS YOU.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A PRAYER FOR VICTIMS, SURVIVORS, AND ANYONE THAT HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Father God, Lord Jesus
I come to you praying on behalf of all domestic violence victims, survivors and anybody that has ever been affected by Domestic Violence.
Lord I asked that you cover them with your sons(Jesus) blood.
I ask Lord that you cover them with your wings and be their refuge.
Lord I pray that you give them strength to fight back spiritually and that you deliver them and heal them.
Lord I pray that you give them peace, strength, hope, wisdom and love.
Lord we don't always know why situations happen or what we should do regarding them
But Lord I pray that you helped them realize that they are fearfully and wonderfully made
and that you love them and would never do anything to harm them.

I ask Father God that you dispatch your angels concerning them and lift them up to you,
Because you Lord are where their help comes from.
Please send them people who are understanding and willing to help.
I pray a hedge of protection over all of their lives in Jesus Name Amen.

If you are a victim, survivor, or anyone that has been affected by Domestic Violence
I want to leave you all with PSALM 91(The psalm of Protection). I would like to encourage
you to pray and recite this psalm everyday or as much as you feel the need to.
Please know that you are not alone,God is a very present help in the time of trouble.

Feel free to email me at nicole@faithfuldeedsfoundation.org.or visit the website at http://www.faithfuldeedsfoundation.org  There are many hotlines on the site to help anyway in many situations.
God Bless you all.

Psalm 91

New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 91

 1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
   my God, in whom I trust.”  3 Surely he will save you
   from the fowler’s snare
   and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
   and under his wings you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
   nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
   nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
   ten thousand at your right hand,
   but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
   and see the punishment of the wicked.
 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
   and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
   no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
   you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
 14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
   I will be with him in trouble,
   I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
   and show him my salvation.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Domestic Violence:The Mark of Silence

This particular blog post will kind of be all over the place, but it will slowly start to come together and eventually the reader will see why the title is "Domestic Violence: The Mark of Silence". As I sat here thinking, I started to wonder if teens being home alone a lot helped them hide domestic violence more than usual. During these times parents are at work a lot, times are hard and in order to pay bills and eat, we have to go to work. I thought about how much time a teen or someone living with their parents would have time to cover up a bruise by the time their parents, guardian, or whoever they were living with got home.

Pay attention to this closely, remember when you first got a hickey or someone you knew got one? Maybe you were a teenager, maybe you were an young adult or even an adult. A lot of times when someone first gets a hickey, its kind of embarrsing to them. They find ways to hide it by covering it up with make up, wearing turtle necks, putting toothpaste on the bruise because in fact that's what a hickey is, a bruise right? And sometimes it is unwanted because who wants to walk around with something like that on them when they know people will ask questions? Well if you were younger when you first got one and your parents managed to find out you probably got in trouble in some shape or form.

 The example of a hickey is almost similar to someone who has been physically abused. Imagine even though you may not want to, but its important that you imagine in order to feel what an domestic violence victim has experienced or is experiencing. Imagine being physically abused and you know you have to go home to parents, friends, etc and you are so hurt and afraid. You do not want them to know what happened and you do not want them to see you like that. You are hurt and afraid but you do not want them to worry.  So you rush home before anyone gets there OR you rush home and go straight to your room or the bathroom and you take ANY AND EVERY precaution to try to cover up what has happened. Imagine going through that,can you imagine? Can you feel the hurt and the pain? This is what a victim of domestic violence feels and goes through.

So now why do I call it the mark of silence? Mainly because it makes us silent and the abuser will definitely try to force them not to say anything by threatening them or whatever else they can do. We feel afraid and ashamed. We are silent not only because we are forced to be, but because we feel like if we did decide to reach out and tell someone, they may not understand. They may think that we are stupid, they would not understand why we would stay with someone that hurt us. I want to take this time out to encourage those looking from the outside to really try to understand that it is NOT easy to leave an abusive relationship. Victims are usually tormented and threatened not only that sometimes the abuser threatens the victims friends and families but the friends and families may be unaware. As victims they do not want anyone to worry and they want to protect their friends and families and yes even sometimes they want to protect the abuser but no matter what we do not want to see someone else get hurt.


Domestic Violence is a serious matter and it is a silent matter that needs to be addressed with LOUD VOICES. Please consider taking a stand against domestic violence, you never know who you know that is experiencing it. Take time to talk to friends and family about domestic violence.



please feel free to visit my website www.facingittoday.org
GOD Bless,
Nicole Lofton

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

UNPRETTY

Lastnight/Early this morning, a song popped in my head that I had not heard in  a long time. This song reminded me of something that I went through and something that I know a lot of people experience. After going back and reading the lyrics to the song, I started to research the group who made the song only to find out that one of the members had been in a domestic violence relationship. The reason why I researched the group was because I know that this group was ALWAYS real with their music and if they made a song about something it was usually something that they had experienced in their life. The group happened to be TLC and the song is titled "Unpretty" which is the title of this blog. The member who had the experience with domestic violence was T-BOZ. I would first like to post the lyrics to the song so that you can read them. So you can see how it tells the story of domestic violence in the form of emotional abuse. At times, it is good to actually read the lyrics of the music we listen to because sometimes we miss things when we are listening.

Unpretty Lyrics:

I wish i could tie you up in my shoes
Make you feel unpretty too
I was told I was beautiful
But what does that mean to you
Look into the mirror who's inside there
The one with the long hair
Same old me again today (yeah)


My outsides are cool
My insides are blue
Every time I think i'm through
It's because of you
I've tried different ways
But its all the same
At the end of the day
I have my self to blame
I'm just trippin

Chorus:
You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up
that M.AC. can make
But if you can't look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel
So damn unpretty
I'll make you feel unpretty to

Never insecure until I met you
Now I'm bein stupid
I used to be so cute to me
Just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things
To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you
And then i'll get back to me (hey)

My outsides looks cool
My insides are blue
Everytime I think I'm through
It's because of you
I've tried different ways
But it's all the same
At the end of the day
I have myself to blame
Keep on trippin


You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up
that M.A.C can make
But if you can look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel
So damn unpretty


You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up
that M.A.C can make
But if you can look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel
So damn unpretty
I'll make you feel unpretty to(i'll make u feel unpretty too)


oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh oh oh oh (oh)
oh oh oh oh oh
oh oh oh oh oh (oh)


You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up
that M.A.C can make
But if you can look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel
So damn unpretty


You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up
That M.A.C can make
But if you can look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in a position to make me feel
So damn unpretty
I'll make you feel unpretty too

Although, I already wrote about emotional abuse previously this song inspired me to write about, you can never write to much about Domestic Violence because it is something that people NEED to know about. Have you ever felt unpretty? I have. I remember numerous times when someone not even my peers but a family member would say things that made me feel unpretty and at times once you keep hearing those things you internalize them and start to believe them. Thats where low self-esteem comes in. This is the last day of August and August and even some people say October is self-esteem awarenes month. When one thinks about domestic violence, self-esteem is a big concern. Now only was did I feel unpretty from a family member but I also was in a relationship with someone who made me feel unpretty.

The thing that I want people to realize especially people who may be going through a domestic violence situation. Is that when an abuser says things to hurt you it is NOT because they mean it but it is infact because THEY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE IT. Pay attention to what I said, they don't MEAN it BUT they want YOU to believe it. Why is that though? Why would they say something they don't mean and want me to believe it? Well the truth is they are insecure or have low self-esteem themselves and this is the though process of an abuser-" I will do or say ANYTHING to make you feel bad about yourself until I can get you to the point where you will not believe in yourself or that you could ever be with someone else.

You see this is the trick that they use they dont say things because the they think or know that you will get fed up and LEAVE, they say it to KEEP you. They try to get into your mind and make you feel and believe that you are nothing, that you will never amount to anything, that you are stupid, ugly, a waste of life, that they are the ONLY one for you and no one would ever want you because after all they barely want you or want to deal with you right? In fact they hate you and you are a disgrace to them right? That is what they say but they dont mean it. They dont know how to low so they have to bring YOU to YOUR lowest point in life in order to make themselves feel good. Emotional Abuse can infact turn to Mental Abuse because you can get to the point where you start believing what they say and you start to feel unpretty and that no one will want you.

As ALWAYS, I am here to encourage you because I know how it feels to be somebodys doll or puppet. To them they act you are a doll or a puppett, they want to dress you, tell you how to act, tell you how to talk, tell you what to do and what not to do, where to go and where NOT to go. Let me tell that the ONLY person that can give you true guidance is GOD. Men/Women YOU do not have to answer to ANYBODY but GOD, despite what majority feel, at the end of the day GOD is who you have to answer to. YOU don't have to answer to no man or woman because you are in a relationship with them and NOT only that GOD is NOT going to send us a man/woman who would INTENTIONALLY hurt us, notice I said INTENTIONALLY because someone could actually hurt us and not mean to do it.

GOD will let us get involved with someone because we want to but we have to ask GOD for wisdom and discernment so that we can know what doors HE has opened for us and what doors HE has NOT because the enemy can open doors to and make them seem GREAT(at first).
GOD never judges us by outside appearence HIS thoughts are NOT like ours neither are HIS ways. HE judges by whats in our hearts BUT at the sametime GOD LOVES US SO MUCH AND THINKS THAT ALL OF US ARE BEAUTIFUL/HANDSOME , WHEN HE CREATED THE EARTH HE CREATED IT TO BE BEAUTITFUL. WE ARE THE APPLE OF GODS EYE AND WE DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH LOVE AND RESPECT AND WE MUST LEARN TO LOVE AND RESPECT OURSELVES.

I would like to encourage everyone who reads or comes across this blog to develop a relationship with GOD and learn and realize how much He adores US, thats where I had I had to do and what I am doing and once you realize that you will start to know your worth. Once you realize that you are being mistreated because that person doesnt know their worth then you will realize that maybe that is not the person(at this tme) for you to be with. Continue to pray for that person that they may realize their worth and develop a relationship with GOD. FORGIVE THEM AND MOVE ON, if we dont forgive we cant be forgiven not only that we can't move forward because we are still holding on. It takes time to release hurts but once GOD delievers us, HE WILL HEAL US.

I hope that this blog encourages you and also opens your heart and mind and also allows you to see through what he abuser is trying to put you through or has put you through.I pray that everyone who reads is blessed and takes something from this. LOVE YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

I HAVE DECIDED TO ADD THE "UNPRETTY" VIDEO TO THIS BLOG SO THAT YOU CAN LISTEN.


Friday, August 12, 2011

YOUR BEAUTY IS YOUR PRAISE, YOUR PRAISE IS YOUR BEAUTY

 For about a year now I have been wanting to have an event entitled " My praise is my beauty". While I was talking to God last night, He spoke to me and said why don't you write about it. Writing is a form of therapy for me and it brings healing to me. I love to write, but I do not always utilize it as I should. So I said to myself well how will I write it about it, I had not put much thought into it. I have two blogs one for domestic violence and one for spiritual encouragement but I thought this would fit better under the domestic violence blog, but maybe I'll do both. Although I firmly believe that domestic violence happens to both men and women and I am an advocate for both this blog post will be geared towards the women. I have a scripture that I would like to focus on. The scripture is
Do you see that scripture? Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord SHE SHALL BE PRAISED. This is where the concept of my beauty is my praise comes from. Ladies, do you know how beautiful you look when you are praising the Lord? How beautiful and wonderful do you feel? Think about it. It is definitely good to look nice and it makes us feel better but all the clothes, jewelry, accessories, etc. those are all materialistic and can be taken away from you at any given time but guess what CANNOT be taken away from you? YOUR PRAISE, that's right, it is YOUR PRAISE. Your God Given praise, God have you something to shout about it.

Let's think about when we face situations especially a situation such as domestic violence we start to lose our self worth, we forget who we are and WHOSE we are (Gods child). That man is telling you, that you are ugly, that you will never be anything, that you are no good, you are filthy, you will never be anything without him, he is hitting on you and you feel like you are in a totally different world. How did you get here, you are wondering. When God gives us the strength to finally get out of that situation and he rescues us and takes us under his wings, we are in His shelter He is covering us and speaking to us and we FINALLY have that breakthrough and outcomes a PRAISE that we NEVER knew that we had. We are shouting THANK YOU JESUS AND HALLELUJAH. God is the one that makes us feel beautiful inside, He is the one that helps us remember who we are and WHOSE we are. We must not ever let someone tell us that we are nothing without them because the only MAN that we are nothing without is GOD.

God tells us that charm is deceitful so ladies lets not deceive people especially men with our charm and lets not BE DECEIEVED by theirs. God tells us that beauty is passing, what does that mean? Beauty is passing, as we get older, our skin changes, our body changes, BUT of course we will always remain BEAUTIFUL because beauty is more on the INSIDE than it is on the OUTSIDE. Doesn't your praise come from the inside? That's where that beauty comes from, God heals us on the inside and it displays on the outside. We have to be comfortable in the skin that we are in (so cliche I know). God made no mistakes when He made us, we have to know that. Know that a man who loves you will love you when that outside beauty has passed because he realizes your INNER BEAUTY. He knows your worth and what are you worth? Far MORE THAN RUBIES. Most importantly we have to fear the LORD, let go of the fear of man, man did not bring you in this world (contrary to popular belief), GOD brought you in this word. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom yes it is. When we are extra close to God, nobody can tear us down. God said because you fear Him, you will be praised. That man will love you, your children will be looking up to you, your family and friends will be looking up to you. Everyone will be able to notice that you ate  TRUE WOMAN OF GOD.

I wrote this blog post today, to tell you that YOUR BEAUTY IS YOUR PRAISE AND YOUR PRAISE IS YOUR BEAUTY. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sexual Assault /Rape is Domestic Violence! A Poem about Rape

I feel like I don't have anything left, not even the shirt on my back.
I have no one to turn to as I lay here uneasy without feeling,without knowing who I am anymore. Somebody took that away from me, when they decided they wanted to lay with me.
No remorse,they had their way with me. They didn't even stop to think if they were hurting me,
It didn't matter to him, he only wanted me. I couldn't even scream, is this how its suppose to be?
The first time a man decides to lay with me?
Tears roll down my eyes, but even they got tired of being..no more tears..all dried up..its just my blood and me..man how could somebody who called themselves a MAN..do that to me.
One thing I learned though is to pray for my enemies.
This life isn't promise to him or me but to do what he did,I knew God had a plan for me.
To rise up and become stronger than I knew I needed to be.
No it didn't happened that fast,it took about 3 yrs for me.
Treatment facilities, shelters, they became friends to me.
I needed to find a way to get that man off of me..not physically but mentally he was still there.
UN-forgiveness cannot be a friend to me,rise up rise up my child is what God would always say to me. GOD did have a plan for me.He cleansed me on a daily, He read to me and talked to me daily, He even carried me until I was able to walk on my own again.
That was when I started to breathe again, I started to live again, I thank God, I can breathe again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Can one be a victim and a survivor at the same time?

As I was sitting back thinking about domestic violence as a whole and the healing process that one has to go through. I started thinking to myself, can one be a victim and a survivor at the same time? I did think about this carefully and what occurred to me is this: YES one can be both at the same time because he or she can be a victim(in their mind) BUT a survivor(at heart). What does this mean though? How can one be a victim in their mind but a survivor in their heart? How does that happen exactly? Well for some the healing process takes longer than others but a victim starts becoming a survivor once they have accepted the fact that they did not deserve to go through what they went through, that they deserve better and they will get better but it is still a process.

Often times domestic violence has a serve effect on the victim and although they know in their heart and it is apparent that God gave them the strength to leave and they are now free and have moved on in and with their life, sometimes in their mind they still replay things that happens and it hurts and they may not fully be healed, they still may not feel like they can talk to someone, they still may be dealing with what if he or she tries something else. I would like to encourage us to be mindful of this fact that it is a process, yes they are victims but also encourage them to realize that they are in fact a SURVIVOR and yes they are a survivor but let them know that is normal for them to still have lingering thoughts and feelings but they will get through it. Research suggest that it takes a at 2 years for a person to fully get to the point where they know for sure they have no attentions of returning back to the previous situation. So as I said it is a process because it is a lot of stress. Lets take away the stereotypes of what a victim is or why they are and what they should be doing and how they should be doing. If you have never been through it, it will be impossible for you to know exactly HOW TO GO THROUGH IT. I encourage us to stay prayerful for all the victims and survivors.

Emotional Abuse Is Domestic Violence and it is NOT ok.

Many times when domestic violence is thought of it is not though of as being emotional abuse and this is where this blog stems from. It is important to understand and realize that verbal/emotional abuse is not okay. Most people who have experienced some from of verbal or emotional abuse do not even realize that it is in fact abuse because it is downplayed. A lot of definitions in the past use to only include physical abuse. It is almost important to realize the impact of emotional abuse because usually emotional abuse starts first and then physical abuse follows, it would be helpful for the victim to be able to realize signs quicker if the victim knew how serious verbal abuse is. Again, I wanted to personal speak out and say that it is NOT okay to be emotionally, verbally, mentally let alone physically abused.

IF you are in a relationship with someone, it is NOT OK for them to call you out your name or disrespect you in ANY kind of way. You are nobody's b**ch, hoe, slut, etc, you are not stupid, you are not ugly, you are not the worst person ever, your life is not a mistake. It is not okay for them to say they love you but act like and say that they hate you, it is not okay for them to humiliate you in public, it is not okay for them to make you change your appearance because it is not what they like, its not okay for them to talk about your weight, it is NOT OK for them to threaten your life or the lives of your friends and family. 1 John 4:20 "If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen"(NIV).

If you are in a friendship and this type of behavior is displayed towards you, again please realize that this is NOT OK, a person who is your friend will not make fun of you, disrespect you  or intentionally talk about you and even as "friends" when we display this type of behavior and we do not think that it is affecting someone because it did not "seem" like it, please do realize that people do suffer in silence and they will hide it. If your family members , boss, etc treats you like this, I just want you to know that IT IS NOT OKAY. We have to come to know our worth and know that God would NEVER say hurtful or disrespectful things about us, we have to know that He adores us and we are the apple of His eye. He made us fearfully and wonderfully and He also warns us not to say something and then turn around and say "just joking" because despite the fact that we said it was a joke, there was some truth to it. Proverbs 26:18-19 "Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death  is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!"(NIV).

I want us to be mindful of the things we say, how we say it and WHY we say it and also realize the impact that it has on others. Our words should be encouraging and uplifting to each other and if our words are used for correction we still should do it in a gentle way. Ephesians 4:29"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen"(NIV). This definitely does not mean that people will not take things the wrong way because they will but as long as you know in your heart that you did not mean it in a bad way and you try to explain that to them that is what matters.

Emotional Abuse and Physical Abuse(Domestic Violence) can lead to suicide, cutting, low-self esteem, drug use, and a whole list of other things, do not let what you did or say to somebody put them in a situation where they no longer know who they are, they no longer want to live or that they hate themselves and if this is happening to you do not allow this to affect you to the point to where you lose yourself in someone else, that you no longer want to live or that you hate yourself. Always remember that God loves you.

My prayer is that God touches the hearts of not only everyone that comes around this blog but also that He touches the hearts of those that are victims of domestic violence of any kind as well as the abusers because at some point on their life they may have been victims too. I pray that with God we learn to realize our worth and know how much God loves us and that he gives us strength to get help. I pray that we are all renewed in our mind, body, and soul daily even three times a day. Lastly, I pray that our words and actions bring glory to God and encouragement to his people. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT:FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

Many times when someone or something makes us mad, we tend to argue and some even fight about it. These days there is a bunch of violence not only domestic but just in general. The consensus is people get mad and they fight(not all people of course) but how about we get mad and fight AGAINST fighting. Do you understand what I'm saying? So many people have lost and are losing their lives to violence in general whether it be domestic violence, gun violence, riots, physical violence, some violence even leads to suicide. Some people get tired of being emotionally abused or just going through the trials of life that they commit suicide. So what is all the fighting about? What good is that doing in the world period? Its not doing any good. Do you believe that women and men should abuse each other? Do you believe in child abuse, elder abuse or family abuse? Do you believe in emotional abuse? Do you believe in senseless killings? If not? why not take a stand against it? Why are not we coming together as a community and standing up for what we believe in? If it was someone in our family or our friend we would jump to help them but since its not sometimes we do not do anything or maybe we feel like it is not our place to do anything, maybe even we are afraid that we will get caught in a senseless act of violence. Let me be the first to tell you that no weapon formed against you shall prosper but you have to believe! Whatever we do for someone here on earth, we have done for our father God in Heaven, He uses us. Lets come together and work towards ending domestic violence.

DON'T SAY THAT IT CAN'T HAPPEN TO YOU

A lot of times when we ear, see, or read stories about things in general that have happened, when tend to think " that will never happen to me" or we start to say how we would have handled the situation differently. When it comes to domestic violence most of reactions received are negative. Some say things like the victim is stupid, why would the victim stay after being abused or I would never let anyone put there hands on me or talk to me crazy". These are typical responses when hearing a story involving domestic violence. I always like to point out the fact that we will NEVER know  what we will do in a situation until it is actually presented to us and I pray that those who have never experienced domestic violence or any other violence will have too. I tend to believe that if we can learn from someone's testimony/story then we should.

If you ever thought for a moment that you couldn't be in a domestic violence situation then lets think about some scenarios because many victims/survivors did not want to be in those situations either. It is important to have empathy when it comes to situations such as these, empathy is basically being able to feel what someone else felt or being able to put yourself in that situation, simply being able to geniuely relate. Imagine that you meet a man or woman and you all go on a couple of dates, you decide that you really like each other so you all decided to become a couple. Of course things are going really good and then three months into the relationship things start to change. You start to notice that maybe your significant other is jealous or always questioning you, maybe he doesnt like the fact that you go out anymore, starts telling you who to trust and who not to trust but maybe you think oh its jusst a phase but then it gets worst. Thats just one sceniaro.

One important thing to remember is that majorty of relationships that end in domestic violence BEGIN GOOD! There are a lot of things that can lead to a change in a relation such as children, job loss, substance as well as many other things. It is very impossible for us to say that it wont happen to us or that we know what we do because we dont. Usually it catches the victim off guard and when you are being threatened, even beating, your mind goes to someplace most victims want to cry out for but feel like no one will listen or understand. This is my plea for all of us to come together and try to stop domesic violence.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS A WHOLE

This blog was inspired from a previous conversation that I had. For a couple of months now I have been slowly but surely become an advocate for domestic violence as well as other causes. There are many misconceptions of domestic violence. I believe in order to truly combat/stop domestic violence we have to be able to understand domestic violence as a whole. Now these are just my thoughts and opinions on the issue of domestic violence. For many, people have begun to wonder if domestic violence is something that can in fact be stopped, I have come to believe that there is a solution to every problem. I truly believe that ALL things are possible through Jesus Christ because He tells us that in His word. The problem that we face with the issue of domestic violence is NOT in people but with the way domestic violence is handled. As I mentioned previously, there are some misconceptions of domestic violence. One of the biggest misconceptions of domestic violence is that it is only physical therefore most victims feel that they are not a victim because it has not happened to them physically. Domestic violence is emotional, mental and physical abuse. What also needs to be understood is that domesitc violence is a cycle, at times it starts off small and increases. A man or a woman may verbally abuse someone and then it will increase to threats and then actually physical beating etc.

Domestic Violence is NOT something that should be taken lightly, if you are with someone who calls you out your name, tells you will never be anything, tells you that you will never be anything without them, they are the only ones who truly love you, tries to isolate you from your family and friends, always wants to know where you are going and with whom you are going, always wants to know who you are talking to, threatens to put his/her hands on you, threatens to kill you or make your life miserable, hits you(they will always say it will never happen again, please take proper precautions), swings at you, yells and hits walls, yells and at you and tries to embarass you in public, please try to talk to someone to get some help. I tried to name as many possible signs and warnings as because there are many of them.

Another big misconception is that domestic violence only happens to women, this is not true. Although majority of domestic violence incidents do happen to women there is an increase in the domestic violence incidents occurring in men. There are both women and men who suffer from this and they hide it. Some people you may never know because they are told not to tell anyway, they are threatening, they are scared, etc but we have to pay attention to the signs. This could be your mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew, auntie, uncle, yes even your grandparents! Do not be afraid to talk to your family AND friends about domestic violence. I also know that most of the time domestic violence is seen between men and women but I also include family violence in a sub category of domestic violence. There is parent and adult child, you have uncle and brother, there are no limits when it comes to domestic violence. Please pay attention to actions of others maybe you know someone who was always happy or always outspoken but now they are quiet, they don't come out much. It may or may not be a case of domestic violence but we never know if we never try to find out.

The biggest thing that I wanted to address was combating/ending domestic violence as a whole. The ultimate goal is to put an end to domestic violence. We have all kind of individuals, organizations and shelters working together to raise awareness, help victims and survivors and to try to stop domestic violence period. There is one problem though, sometimes NOT all the time when we think of a domestic violence dispute we tend to come down on the abuser, we down talk them and talk about how bad they are and how they will never amount to anything. This is a BIG problem now I am definitely NOT saying that we should praise them, no, not at all but what we should do is to encourage them to get some help. Why should we encourage them to get some help? Because that would help better put an end to domestic violence as a WHOLE. We are already helping the victims and survivors and they are some organizations, therapists, etc out there that work with victims but most of the time its probably mandated, court ordered etc.

Please allow me to encourage you to think about somethings. Lets say a victim flees his/her abuser they get help now they are a survivor. What if they didn't file charges or get a restraining order? Then that abuser is still on the lose he may not come for that same person instead he may go after another. Then lets say the victim/survivor did get a restraining order depending on how extreme the abuser is he may not care about the restraining order and still go after the victim and whoever else he is going after. Let me say this before I continue on it is true that abusers are not brutal to everyone in their lives, so guess what? That lets me know there there is something that needs to be address, there is a hope but there is an underlying issue in the abusers life, it did not happen overnight. Now I have used a few examples regarding a restraining order and I definitely think restraining orders are necessary please do not think that I do not believe that but what I am saying is although we want to do the right thing, things don't always happen that way and we must be prepared. Because although someone gets put in jail for domestic violence if they don't get a life sentence changes are eventually they will be back in the community, some may even try to flee.

Here is what I am suggesting if there is to be a restraining order at least there should be some kind of requirement that the abuser seek some kind of help because just giving them a restraining order is not going to help them(the abuser) it may help the victim but what about the abuser? The abuser has not change, again they may not go after the abuser but they may go after someone else. If the abuser gets time in jail they should be getting some kind of help, maybe there should be a facility for just abuser. I do believe it is some kind of sickness and they need help. We must remember that we do not fight flesh with flesh but by the spirit. The abusers spirit has been attacked and we must still pray for them and that Gods will be done in their life we must believe that there is still hope for those that are still alive.

I do not think that we combat/end domestic violence as a whole if we do not help everyone involved in the situation(victim, survivor, abuser and their families).We all have issues in our life that we need help with we must just continue to pray for others. I hope that this blesses or inspire someone it was just something that was on my heart today.