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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.