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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.