Let’s all speak out against domestic violence

August 11, 2016   ·   0 Comments

In Response to article in Citizen on July 28, re motorcycle ride on Aug. 20:

We can no longer close our eyes to abuse. There have been far too many deaths of women and children due to domestic violence, a few in our own community, and recently the death of a five-year-old girl by her father. We can no longer keep silent, deny it, or ignore it.

There is a need to raise public awareness and education, so that communities, police officers, and the courts can all work together to stop the senseless deaths of innocent women and children.

Many abusive men tell a story that will make them look good and the women bad, and get away with it by acting calm, smooth talking, denying it,etc. They get good at it and can fool many people, the courts included. They use many excuses such as telling the women they’re too sensitive, it’s all in their head, they caused it as they were acting hysterical, their dreaming or imagining it, and playing head games so that you won’t trust your own perception, the excuses are endless.

Remember that most trauma abusers act in their own self-interest. Denial is a barrier to change, as it makes them feel less responsible or guilty for the abuse. These women lose their self-esteem, self-confidence; don’t know where to turn, or whom to trust. They are afraid to leave, and terrified to stay, and the children always get caught in the middle. 

Many still suffer in silence, and will keep continuing to suffer for many years later, as they try to heal and put the pieces of their life back together.

As Ms. Parsons mentioned in the article, we need to be a voice for victims, be a part of making change, and she is definitely correct. She also mentions that she thought she didn’t know anyone other than the tragedy of Quinn, but since she began organizing the Annual Motorcycle Ride found she was mistaken, as a few women came forward. I can tell you that abuse surrounds us and it could be happening right next door to us, and we are no wiser. I myself am a survivor of abuse, and it’s shocking even to me, of how many women and teenagers have trusted and confided in me over the years, that were living in abusive situations, in the midst of leaving, or were survivors of abuse. Many times the system fails them; others become easy targets for perpetrators, leaving these women and children open or subjected to re-traumatization, and difficult in re-building trust.

Physical abuse can be fatal, emotional abuse takes the joy out of life, and is potentially life threatening too. If you are living in an abusive environment and have an intuition, or gut feeling of being in danger, listen to it, as it can save your life. Many have saved their lives by listening to their intuition, and many have lost their lives by ignoring it. In every situation whether it be domestic violence, crime, murder, etc., there are always clues or signs, if we really pay close enough attention.

Domestic abuse is a crime and its affects are devastating Children living in abusive environments are affected emotionally and intellectually, stopping them from functioning to their fullest potential. At times they develop physical symptoms, as it has to come out somewhere whether it’s physically, emotionally, or in behaviour. When these children act out, or reach out for help they’re given drugs or Ritalin, rather than being counselled and encouraged to work through their pain and loss, becoming open to being bullied or suspended from school. Many drop out of school, become hooked on drugs or alcohol, become pregnant, or worse commit suicide. Some prefer to live on the streets, rather than an abusive environment, and in trying to survive end up in trouble with the law. Some will continue leading a life of crime as adults, ending up in jail as juveniles, then again as adults, or even worse some are taken away much too soon such as 5-year-old Quinn. Unfortunately she is not the first, and won’t be the last, unless we start speaking up. These children have their whole life ahead of them, they need a bright future.

Both women and children are traumatized, which can cause psychiatric symptoms, as it is estimated that approximately 50 to 60% of psychiatric patients have been abused. There has also been scientific evidence that PTSD is a psychological and physical disorder that is always associated with a history of trauma and painful memories, conscious or unconscious of the experience. The body stores and re-enacts traumatic memories, as trauma is stored in somatic (body) memory and expressed as changes in behaviour and their body’s neurobiological response system. It also has an association of a history of damaging childhood trauma, adolescence and or/adulthood. Criticism, and holding in emotions such as resentment, guilt, and fear, are all also disease forming and puts poison in our system, as it festers. Anger is like storing dynamite in your basement, and eventually he/she will explode. (Neurons that wire together, fire together).

Due to abuse and trauma, these women and children become vulnerable and easy targets for perpetuators, con artists, and repeating the cycle. Sharing with the wrong person can be dangerous, as perpetrators can, and will use your history against you for their own needs or benefits. At times these women and children also find that the courts, the law, police officers, and the system fail them, due to the lack of education and awareness regarding abuse, traumatization and its effects. Ninety three percent of what we communicate is non-verbal and what we project, others reflect, as we re-enact trauma.

In order to eliminate a condition, we must first work to dissolve the mental cause, and get to the root of the problem. At times we also need to go beyond the physical to the mental cause behind it. All these people have to work through their pain, grief, and losses. They have a choice of either healing; stiffing their pain, or avoidance, and the longer one stays in the situation, the longer the recovery. Stress can become chronic suppressing our immune system, making it easier for viruses and infection to enter the body. Holding back on trauma and repressed anger, you suffer long term. Trust me; I know what I’m talking about. Is it not a wonder that our mental health system is on overload?

For both abusers and co-abusers their recovery is difficult, and even with the best recovery it usually continues. The abuser has probably been abused himself in similar ways, and instead of having worked through it, they shut it out of their conscious awareness, not always aware of their behaviours. Without participating in a full or long-term recovery program, a perpetrator usually continues to abuse.

Recovery involves giving up denial and other defences used, in order to avoid remembering the pain, feeling and resolving.

To get to the point of recovery we must survive, learn many coping skills, some healthy, some not so healthy, as we try to work through many layers of pain, as healing requires the peeling of all these layers. No matter how strong, recovery takes years to overcome and replace the negative conditioning, victim stance and repetition compulsion, and to heal ourselves. An ungrieved loss remains forever alive in our unconscious.

I strongly believe that by cutting down on domestic violence, we would also be cutting down on crimes, juvenile delinquency, gangs, etc. all leading to healthier communities, but we all need to work together to bring about change. Abuse is everyone’s business and it affects us all, our families, friends, neighbours, communities, resources and our health system. We need a healthier future for our children and grandchildren as the devastation of abuse and its effects are endless.

I am taking this opportunity to be a voice for the victims of domestic violence, before more women and innocent children lose their lives, or become affected for years, as abuse is soul-murdering.

The goal of the motorcycle ride is to raise awareness and raise money for Family Transition Place, a local women’s shelter, and a perfect time for everyone in the community to get involved. It will be held on Saturday Aug. 20th at Westside Secondary School, 300 Alder St. in Orangeville. Bike registration starts at 9:00, followed by a barbecue from 12:30 to 5:00. Your support and your voice will benefit many, maybe even save a life or lives. Let’s all speak up against domestic violence and be a part, as it takes a whole community to bring about change.

If you are living in fear for your life, Family Transition is the safest place for you and your children, and the staffs are compassionate and all highly qualified.

Refuse to be victimized; FTP was also given 100 percent accreditation by the Ministry.   

If you are a perpetrator, nothing wrong in asking for help and the benefits are far greater than that of refusing help, as it affects your family, and any relationship you’re in now, or in the future. Abuse affects every aspect of our lives, and can also be passed down from generation to generation, and men are no exemption.

Let’s all work together in making a difference and give our children and grandchildren a healthier future.

Grace Corda

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