:: Domestic Abuse

dress-salvation-army-01c-2015.jpg

The Salvation Army in South Africa used the dress everyone talked about for a week or so and turned it into a visual for domestic abuse.

Statistics tell us that 3-4 million women each year are physically abused. 40%-60%  of police calls on night shift are related to domestic violence. 25%-45% of all women who are battered, are also battered when pregnant.

That’s just the United States. And, that’s just physical abuse.

Violence doesn’t understand invisible boundaries that separate our nations.

Sometimes we don’t see the signs, because we don’t want to. Maybe sometimes, we just don’t know what to look for. But we also don’t know how to talk about domestic violence. Animal abuse seems easier for most people to address and deal with – maybe that’s what there’s more than triple the animal shelters as there are shelters for battered women.

Just like the dress – even if you only think you saw signs of black and blue – ask. Take someone out for some coffee and talk. Be supportive and nonjudgmental.

If you need help – and don’t know who to ask, contact one of these agencies:

In the United States: http://www.thehotline.org

In the United Kingdom: http://www.refuge.org.uk

In Canada: http://endvaw.ca

Cape Town, South Africa: http://www.irfsa.com

In Australia: https://www.1800respect.org.au

2 thoughts on “:: Domestic Abuse

  1. Oh, EmergingDom, thank you so very much for this post. As a woman who grew up in a domestic abuse environment, I can attest to the truth of the statement: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    We were surrounded by people who knew! It was the brave act of my high school counselor who contacted my mother and stated that he recognized the signs of a child living in an abusive environment and would contact the police himself if she didn’t take a stand.

    She sent “dear step dad” packing once the secret was out of her control.

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  2. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. This is more true than you realize. The domestic abuse I saw growing up wasn’t the norm. While other kids saw Daddy slap mommy around, I saw mommy batter daddy like a nerf toy. She slapped him, she shoved him, she kicked him, she punched him, she threatened to remove his genitals with a kitchen knife. And that was only the physical stuff. She also told him he was “fatness personified”, that he could sleep outdoors if he disobeyed her, she isolated him from his relatives (his brothers, sisters, nephews) and threatened to leave him if he attended his cousin’s funeral (“it’s your family or me”, she said). And through it all, my father did nothing. He never hit her back (I know, a man shouldn’t hit a woman, but if she hits him first, and/or with an extension cord, he kind of has a right to defend himself), he mostly just sat in his BarcaLounger & let her do whatever. I can’t say everybody knew, because I don’t really know how many people, OUTSIDE OUR HOUSEHOLD, were aware that she physically struck him, but everybody on our block knew there was something wrong with her. They all heard her scream, threaten him, and they opted to mind their fucking business.

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