Tag: Domestic Violence

Titans: Hank and Dawn (Part 2)

Titans: Hank and Dawn (Part 2)

 

In the last post, we learned about Hank. This time we will learn about Dawn. Before Dawn sported the hero apparel, she was an accomplished Ballerina. In fact, she was able to perform a dance, when mother came over to visit her from England.

Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger

As she catching up with her mom, Marie Granger, she found out her dad was still being abusive to her. Each time Dawn tried to talk about her getting away from him, her mom made an excuse like how he wasn’t as bad as he was in the past and that he is “trying to change”. What Dawn’s mother is experiencing is called “Intimate Partner Violence”. Intimate Partner Violence or IPV describes physical sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.

IPV doesn’t just affect women, it also affects men too. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) about 1 in 4 women and about 1 in 7 adult men revealing having had experience some form of physical violence from their intimate partner in their lifetime. So, if Dawn’s mom knows he’s abusive why did she make an excuse for him? It’s easy to say, how you would have done better, but it’s not that simple.

There are emotional and situational reason why victims like Dawn’s mom would stay with their abuser.

Emotional Factors include

  • Belief that the abusive partner will change because of his remorse and promises to stop battering
  • Fear of the abuser who threatens to kill the victim if abuse is reported to anyone
  • Lack of emotional support
  • Guilt over the failure of the relationship
  • Attachment to the partner
  • Fear of making major life changes
  • Feeling responsible for the abuse
  • Feeling helpless, hopeless and trapped
  • Belief that she is the only one who can help the abuser with his problems

Then there is also the situation factors

  • Economic dependence on the abuser
  • Fear of physical harm to self or children
  • Fear of emotional damage to the children over the loss of a parent, even if that parent is abusive
  • Fear of losing custody of the children because the abuser threatens to take the children if victim tries to leave
  • Lack of job skills
  • Social isolation and lack of support because abuser is often the victim’s only support system
  • Lack of information regarding domestic violence resources
  • belief that law enforcement will not take her seriously
  • Lack of alternative housing
  • Cultural or religious constraints
Marina Sirtis as Dawn’s mother, Marie Granger

From what it sounds like to me, Dawn’s mom believes that her husband will “change” and will stop abusing her. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen. From what I remember, she never mentioned, for example, admitting how he has hurt her or stopped making excuses and blaming…nothing. To be honest, I was hoping she wouldn’t return to him, but unfortunately, it seemed like she already made up her mind to return.

I remember feeling disappointed when my mom returned to my dad once a long time ago…like Dawn, it was hard to see my mom go back with my dad. I felt like mom deserved a better life than to return with my dad. He never stopped making excuses and blaming, he never took responsibility of his behavior, he never showed respectful, kind, and supportive behavior….nothing. It hurt me to see my mom not just hurt physically, but emotionally as well.

So how can you help a loved one who is undergoing domestic abuse? According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, loved ones should:

  • Acknowledge that they are in a very difficult and scary situation, be supportive and listen
  • Be non-judgmental
  • If they end the relationship, continue to be supportive of them
  • Encourage them to participate in activities in activities outside of the relationship with friends and family
  • Help them develop a safety plan
  • Encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance
  • Remember that you cannot “rescue” them.

I provide this knowledge, because domestic violence isn’t easy to see or experience and I understand how it’s easy to become judgmental towards someone, especially if it is someone you love, because you can’t understand why they would continue to put themselves in an abusive relationship. All you can do is love them and be there for them when they need it.

References

Center for Disease Control. (2018).Intimate Partner Violence. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html

Domestic Violence Roundtable. (n.d.) Why Do Abusers Stay? Retrieved from: https://www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org/abuse-victims-stay.html

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (n.d.) Help a Friend or Family Member. Retrieved from: https://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/

 

Celebrate Recovery: My Recovery Testimony

Image result for person celebrating

The following essay, was for a testimony I was to give to the attendees of the “Celebrate Recovery” of my church. To be honest, I wrote that the last minute, because of the nerves I had built on writing this. The anxiety knowing what I said and how I said about my testimony would and perhaps could change a person’s life. It was nervewrecking for me (even though I brainstormed a couple times) to know I could have impact on someone’s life. But the time it was about two day’s before I presented my testimony I spent all night to put it together. Barely even rehearsed it, but it was already in my heart and memories of the recovery process I went through. But at the end, it seemed everyone liked it because the audience was applauding and one of leader’s of the program said some people were nodding or exclaimed how I overcame my obsticles. One person also joked about how I could have come from Harvard, because of how smooth I talked and how well written was. I can’t believe people liked it! Anyway without futher adieu, he is my written testimony I presented at my local “Celebrate Recovery” location:

 I am a believer who had struggled with anger issues. I know it’s hard to believe that I have anger issues, but I do. I have struggled with anger issues for a long time…all pent up…angry at the world and angry at myself. And that was the insanity. But mostly I was doing it as a way to protect myself. My anger stemmed with loneliness, insecurities, lack, and uncertainty. It didn’t help either I grew up in a domestic violent household either. The shame of living through that (and feeling misunderstood or discounted) kept me from confidently making friends or getting into a relationship. I felt if I let go of my anger it would weaken me, make me vulnerable…and being vulnerable meant exposing myself to the hurts and feelings I’ve tired so hard to bury and forget. But like everything else, nothing lasts forever. Plus, all that pent up anger from childhood caused me to have anxiety and depression disorders.

To be honest, I didn’t want to go back into Celebrate Recovery, because at the previous church I attended the people at THAT celebrate recovery weren’t very interactive. And incase things didn’t turn out well and THIS celebrate recovery, I didn’t wanna leave my business out in the open. I mean sure, I wouldn’t see the attendees again, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving my hurts with strangers. Unfortunately, a couple years ago I didn’t have a choice. In late 2015, I was sexually assaulted and that had a toll on me. And then THAT eventually led to a falling out with my folks, which led me to living a friend, but even there I was falling apart, because I was still reeling from everything that happened in just a few months. I had to put school on pause for awhile too. Pretty much I was a mess and angry. It was then their family member suggested Celebrate Recovery. Even though I was facing some pretty rough circumstances, it gave me enough to focus on myself and the only relationship I had that was fully available: my relationship with Jesus Christ. Being in the program really helped me to vulnerable and a safe spot for me to heal. Plus seeing other people sharing their vulnerabilities helped to understand it was okay to be vulnerable….that there was strength in being vulnerable and strength in facing them as well.  It was also encouraging to see other women wanting to grow from their pain and help each other out. The more I came, the more I was able to have a handle on my anger. The step that spoke to me, was the first which was “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that lives had become unmanageable.” I needed to accept that, because I had to stop feeling the need to control things and keep to myself. It’s like the good book says in Genesis 2:18 and Matthew 18:20, in, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” and “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Because I pursued my relationship with God and myself vulnerable to Him, I was able to be vulnerable to myself and better it and I was able to better my relationships. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s manageable, I’m manageable. I am freer and lighter, and I have a bit more confidence in myself and how I relate with others. Yeah, the pains of the past are still within me, but they don’t dominate me as much anymore. Since, my attendance in 2016, I’ve also been able to make friends here, which was something I did not expect. I was just focusing on bettering my spiritual side and managing my hurts. And what’s great is that we all help and support one another. This recovery journey has taught me that God is in control of everything, even my anger. I spent so much time feeling like because it was my anger, it should be my responsibility. But as I look back on my life: the relationships I’ve made, the circumstances I have faced, it shown me that God has dominion over EVERYTHING…good and bad but as long as I have him in my life I’ll be okay. I don’t have to take on everything my own, not even the pain I have. He will send me all the resources and support to see that I’ll be okay through it all.

So, my advice to the newbies is this, you don’t have to take everything on your own (your addictions, your hurts) you’re in good company here as well as God’s company. So, don’t worry about what you do and don’t have emotionally or financially, nor how long you expect for change to happen in yourself. Just focus on spending the next hour here and focus on rebuilding your life with God and in his time, you will get you’ve been seeking.