Everyone will have their own opinion. This is a discussion with many different issues including racism, religious practices, cultural perspectives, intolerance and homophobia. Safety is the main concern. At some point in our lives we will be in or know of someone, friend or family, who is in a violent relationship. As friends and parents we want to help end the violence and protect the victim. Questions we all have questions.
There are many reasons why we select the person who then is abusive and speaking from own experience it was low self esteem. I thought that ‘wow someone likes me, worthless me, I better stay.’ WRONG!!! If you think you deserve to be beaten please think again. You deserve a loving relationship. Everyone deserves a loving partner. Seek out the positive supports, the professional help you need to rebuild your confidence and the power of your voice. Bullies profile their targets. Like any violence and abuse it starts out small and becomes normalized, escalating, the honeymoon stage where he is ‘so sweet’ then more violence and yes death. As a police officer domestic violence calls were the most volatile and dangerous. From the Canadian Women’s Foundation on Gender Based Violence here are a few facts:
“Why is it urgent to address gender-based violence?
Because it costs women their lives: approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
Violence against women costs taxpayers and the government billions of dollars every year: Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone.
It has a profound effect on children: Children who witness violence in the home have twice the rate of psychiatric disorders as children from non-violent homes.”
- If a woman is being abused, why doesn’t she just leave?
Women often stay because the abuser has threatened to kill them if they leave, or to kill himself, or to kill the children.42
Women believe these threats for good reason—the most dangerous time for an abused women is when she attempts to leave her abuser:43
- About 26% of all women who are murdered by their spouse had left the relationship.44
- In one study, half of the murdered women were killed within two months of leaving the relationship.45
- Women are 6 times more likely to be killed by an ex-partner than by a current partner.46
- Many women say that they were abused by a partner after the relationship ended, and that the violence escalated following a break-up.47
- Almost 60% of all dating violence happens after the relationship has ended.48
Some women stay because the abuser has threatened to harm or kill a household pet. In one study, 57% of survivors of domestic violence had their pet killed by an abusive partner.49
Women sometimes stay because they are financially dependent on their partner; leaving an abusive relationship may involve a choice between violence and poverty:
- More than 1.5 million women in Canada live on a low income.50
- Women who leave a partner to raise children on their own are five times more likely to be poor than if they had stayed.51
- About 1 in 5 single mothers in Canada live on a low income.52
Some women stay because they have strong beliefs about keeping the family together. Sometimes, relatives or in-laws blame the woman for the violence and insist she stay.
The mental health consequences of abuse can make it difficult for women to leave a relationship. Sixty-four per cent of battered women exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).53
Domestic abuse is often a gradual process, with the frequency of assaults and seriousness of the violence slowly escalating over time. Since abusers often express deep remorse and promise to change, it can take years for women to admit that the violence will never stop and the relationship is unsalvageable. The long-term experience of being abused can destroy a woman’s self-confidence, making it more difficult for her to believe that she deserves better treatment, that she can find the courage to leave, or that she can manage on her own.”
From the Department of Justice a few more facts:
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. If your area does not have a 9-1-1 service, call your local police emergency number. The police are trained to help you deal with dangerous situations. They are there to investigate and can also help you to get a peace bond. They can also refer you to victim services. Victim services or a lawyer can help you get a non-criminal protection order to keep the person who abused you away from you.
If the situation isn’t dangerous right now, you can also call a health centre, victim services, community organization, shelter, or the local police and tell them about the abuse. They can help you to figure out what to do next. When you ask officials like the police, a social worker or a lawyer for information, you can ask them to keep your concerns confidential.”
There is never, never, and I repeat never an excuse for abuse.
Your children see and hear the violence, the words spoken and it destroys them too. If you love someone you don’t beat, humiliate, and violate that person. Saying ‘I am sorry’ ‘I’ll change’ using excuses then repeating the violence, means your words are meaningless and false. If he hits you once he will hit you again. Everyone deserves to be safe at home and in the workplace. If you are in the Interlake call Interlake Women’s Resource Centre 204-642-8264. Hotline 877-977-0007. Reach out for help and have a safety plan.