Thursday, July 16, 2009

Domestic Violence--How much is too much?

If a lady ends up the worse for wear after a disagreement with her husband, such as in the above picture, what would be your advice for her? And yes, that is me.

Common Myths About Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women of color.
* Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

Some people deserve to be hit.
* No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
* Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.

Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.
* Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1.6 - 1.7)
* Generally, domestic violence happens when an abuser has learned and chooses to abuse. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 - 5)
* Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 - 8)

Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife.
* Domestic violence affects everyone.
* About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman's Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women's Health, 1999)
* In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997)
* 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family, 1996)

If it were that bad, she would just leave.
* There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
* Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)

more here.


Do you:
* feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
* avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
* feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
* believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
* wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
* feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Does your partner:
* humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
* treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
* ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
* blame you for his own abusive behavior?
* see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?

Does your partner:
* have a bad and unpredictable temper?
* hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
* threaten to take your children away or harm them?
* threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
* force you to have sex?
* destroy your belongings?

Does your partner:
* act excessively jealous and possessive?
* control where you go or what you do?
* keep you from seeing your friends or family?
* limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
* constantly check up on you?

If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).


Michele said...

Opus #6...I do hope you are no longer with the person who did that to you! (I hope he's behind bars!)

Opus #6 said...

Michele, we are no longer together.

GypsyFox said...

yeah those myths, should be called BS! wow, I'm so sorry NO ONE deserves that! & look at your beautiful face, it should never be hurt!

CI-Roller Dude said...

As a cop in CA, I would always suggest calling the cops right away...but, better yet, if we can be called before the hitting starts...this is what I would "explain."
"Sir, mam, we were called here because your neighbors could hear the screaming 10 blocks away. I know you hate each other's guts, but let me explain somethings....
1.) if one of you hits the other one, we're going to come and take the hitter to jail- debate, no choice but jail.
2.) once the hitter is in jail, the min bail in our county is $25,000 dollars-- if you get a bailbond, they want 10%.
3.) Court cost are going to be a lot more than that...and I'm very good at investigaitons--- I will get the hitter convicted- period.
4.) There will be jail time- period
5.) I will get ahold of a judge right away and get a protective order---and I have nothing else to do but sit in front of the house all night if I have to...and I have 100 cop friends who will do the same thing.
6.) No sir, when I arrest you, are you going to put up a fight with ME! Cause if you are, guess what."

When I've given this advice, I never had to return.

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

Very happy that you are no longer with the person who did this to you.

Bungalow Bill said...

Just for the record, I have been in an abusive relationship and took all of the physical abuse. No one deserves this.

LL said...

I'm shocked to hear this happened to you. The craven bastard that hit you needs a bit of the same medicine administered to him.

I wonder if he'd be so bold with a MAN his own size? Doubtful. A man who would hit a woman is a COWARD.

It is a pity that dueling is no longer legal. There are many men on this blog would be happy to call him out on the field of combat in your honor and kill him in a fair fight.

Michele said...

Opus #6--Glad to hear he's out of your life!

It's also very courageous to put your own picture up. Thank you for sharing something so personal! Hopefully you will encourage anyone in the same situation not to take it anymore.

Nickie Goomba said...

Counseling both victims and perpetrators is my field of employment. An assault like that is a crime.

Of course, so is the wallpaper in that photo.

Just a conservative girl said...

I am so sorry this has happened to you. I have never been hit, but I was emotionally abused by my first boyfriend. I stayed with him for more than 10 years. I felt like I deserved it. It took me years to realize I was worth something. I am so glad to hear that you took your children out of that envirnoment. Bravo to your bravery of being so out in the open. More women need to hear that they are worthwhile and never ever deserve to be treated that way. Your daughter is going to know that it is not acceptable and will demand to be treated with respect. What a role model you are being to your children.

Barking Spider said...

I'm with LL on this - any man who would do that to a woman is the person in the relationship who should feel worthless and he is a coward also. In answer to your question, Opie - how much is too much? - the first time he raises his hand is too much because he will never change.

Opus #6 said...

Gypsy Fox, thank you for your support. It means a lot to me.

Opus #6 said...

Roller Dude, I wouldn't have figured you for a cop. Roller Dude sounds like someone who skates the laid-back beach sidewalks of California.
Now I understand you are a cop and a war veteran. I respect both professions. Thanks again for your service.

The police were there en masse.

Opus #6 said...

Julia, thank you. I feel the same way.

Opus #6 said...

Bungalow Bill, thank you for your supportive words.

Opus #6 said...

LL, times have changed, haven't they.

Opus #6 said...

Michele, I did think about that. We hide too much in this society.

Opus #6 said...

Nickie, the wallpaper was from the people before.

Opus #6 said...

JACG, I know a little bit about that part, too. I'm sorry to hear that that happened to you. ((((hugs))))

Opus #6 said...

Spidie, thank you for confirming my decision.

Veronica Lee said...

I'm really glad that you're no longer with the person who did that to your beautiful face. Thanks for sharing the info.

Night Owl Mama said...

HUGs my mother was in a abusive relationship 4 many yrs I won;t go into deals but we finally escaped w/ our lives

HUGS only you can find the strength to run and never look back. Its not easy but your worth it. Do it 4 U

PropellerHeadMom said...

My advice would be to pack your bags and move out ASAP. My belief is once an abuser, always an abuser. I don't think that can ever change. There is something wrong with his wiring that cannot be fixed. It would probably only get worse.

readerwave said...

Thanks for your comments everyone needs to see this and react.. There is help for everyone out there .. and we are seeing more and more...

chupacabra said...

We sometimes never know the good we do that springs from these bad situations. I've never seen this information laid out in such a concise way, specifically the stats., practical assessment questions and resources for assistance. I'll apply this in the future in my nursing.
Thanks and wishing you the best.

WoFat said...

I recommend he take a long walk into a deep swamp.

As a former commander of the Child Abuse Unit as well as the Rape Squad, I am more than familiar with this type of behavior on the part of some "men." It was sometimes hard to retain my pension. Men who beat women desperately need to be flayed.

Opus #6 said...

Veronica Lee, thank you so much for your support.

Opus #6 said...

Night Owl, children are in danger too in these situations. I am so glad your mom kept you safe. Thank you so much for your supportive comment.

Opus #6 said...

Propeller Head Mom, aren't you right. This was not the first incident. And it was worse this time.

Opus #6 said...

Readerwave, that is truly my point. This situation is more common than we know.

Opus #6 said...

Chup, this is the information age. The internet is a marvelous tool. I was struck, though, that the Domestic Violence websites I went to had a warning, before you were allowed to see the page. The warning states that the victim needs to get to a "safe" computer before proceeding. More good advice.

Opus #6 said...

Wo, good guys seek to protect the weak and defenseless.

shelley said...

opus #6,
my hats off to you! no woman deserves to EVER be hit! what is wrong with men? actually the up and coming boys i have met from my daughters dating are just plain scarey, what ever happened to manners? and raising 6 kids! you are a wonder woman!

Opus #6 said...

Shelley, times may have changed, but we must stand up for what is right. You have a lovely blog, btw.

lady di said...

I saw my mother go through that ordeal when I was ten and they did divorce. It never goes away.

Opus #6 said...

Lady Di, I am so sorry to hear that about your mother. I am glad to hear that she had the strength to protect herself and you.

JulieChats said...

Opus, so glad you're out of that horrible situation! I was glad to read Roller Guy's comments. My best friend was with an abusive man for years, hiding it from everyone. After she finally left him & told us about it, we wondered why she had never mentioned it to us because we would have come & got her, her son & her stuff and moved her in with us. She said that was why, she didn't know if she could do it without him. I hope more people like you share your stories, so people like my friend see that there is life after domestic violence!

Thank you!

Opus #6 said...

Julie, your friend is lucky to have a friend like you. Thank you so much for your comment. :-)

I am Harriet said...

Hi Opus!!!!!
I've done several posts on this.
Would you like to guest post this on my site? It is so important!!!

Have a great VGNO!!
Take care :)

Yaya said...

I was with my ex boyfriend for 3 years. The worst 3 years of my life. Physically and emotionally abusive. I was trapped. People just don't get it. They think 'only stupid woman stay with someone like that'. And that is not true at all. You are stuck in the situation. Afraid to leave because if you leave you might be killed. He slept with a gun under his pillow for Gosh sake. Honestly, I'd still be with him if I hadn't met my husband during one of our many 'breaks'. Josh was able to keep me strong and keep me away from his emotional persuasion.

Annette Piper said...

Opus, that is just NOT ON. I am pleased to hear that you have removed yourself from that situation - I clearly recall my father telling me when I was about 16 that a man should never hit a woman, if he did you got out immediately- no second chances. If they do it once, they'll do it again.

Opus #6 said...

Harriet, I would love to. Please use the picture, text, whatever you need. The more gals (and guys) who see this, the better.

I actually thought of you, and your wonderful public-service announcements when I wrote this post. You are a good role model for all of us.

Happy VGNO.

Opus #6 said...

Yaya, yes, you said it. That is how it is. Sometimes trapped by fear. Or humiliation at having to admit publicly that one has made ANOTHER mistake in one's life.

Opus #6 said...

Annette, your daddy was right. It will happen again. And it will be worse next time.

GinSpaghetti said...

I'm sitting here with my fingers on the key board and I'm not really sure what to say. LOTS of things come to mind really... but I have no starting point. No words. I would imagine it might feel like that sometimes. I suppose I should first offer my ninja taekwondo skills ;) but moreso I am glad it's over for you.

Amusing Bunni said...

Hello Opus# 6: I've seen your insightful comments on some of the blogs I follow. Thank you for finding my blog and following me!

I must agree with all the wise comments above. And, I am very happy to know that you are away from that awful man! Like's been said, you are so pretty, and that's why he probably hit you in the face too. Indeed, they even raise their hand of a woman once, that's the end. I'd be gone. Well I've never been married and I have no children, so it would be easier for me to get away. You are very brave and having 6 children now to raise on your own! You are a superwoman.

I hope that sub-human slime ball was made to pay dearly for his abuse. Hit him where it hurts, in the pocketbook, make sure he supports your children. I like LL's comment too, dueling should be brought back. Real men would defend you and others this happens to.
God Bless and take care of yourself.
Also, thanks for posting all the informative info...perhaps someone in the midst of this abusive atmosphere will make a break for it.

blueviolet said...

I am glad you are free and safe now and I think it's a beautiful thing that you are doing whatever you can to raise awareness. If just one person is saved from seeing this post, it's exactly that: a person saved.

Thank you.

(and happy VGNO)

Opus #6 said...

Gin, thanks for the vote of solidarity. Glad to hear you've got skills. I think all women should study up on self defense.

Opus #6 said...

Bunni, a sweet gal like you will be taken in no time, mark my words. ;-)

Thank you for the supportive comment. I look forward to reading more of your Amusing blog. I think finding the humor in life makes is more bearable and FUN. :-D

Gena said...

My dear friend, as a concerned individual who is quite fond of you I am telling you to GET AWAY FROM HIM NOW!!!

I am going to talk to you as a friend, then I am going to give you my professional opinion as a Police Officer:

It doesn't stop, it progresses. I went through verbal and mental abuse for a couple years, he then started choking, throwing me, shoving me...I knew the hitting was next. I took my son, 2 1/2 at the time, and left.

I can't tell you how sorry I am that it happened. My guess is it went through the same stages that mine was going through, didn't it? If I had known, I would have intervened, talked to you, something, anything to keep it from happening.

As a Certified Police Officer and Criminal Investigator for the State of Arkansas, I'm going to tell you:

(1) It is best to try to "intervene" as the abused, the neighbor, family, friend...somebody to make that call and keep this from happening in the first place. I am so sorry that didn't happen and you had to endure such a horrible thing.
This hardly ever happens and, you probably know this, the abused generally ignores it and stays.

(2) To my knowledge, every state has implemented laws to protect the victims of domestic violence. When officers arrive at the scene and there is ANY evidence, I don't care if it is a scratch or redmark, the abuser Goes To Jail, right then. Period. They are charged and a bail is set. They are given the opportunity to bond out unless it is an Extreme case, such as death or possibility of death to the victim. Once released they are strongly advised not to return to the home.
One of the other GREAT things about this law, is that officers are the complainant. In other words, they are arresting on site due to what they see, not because the victim says so, but because that is how the law is written.Saying that, the victim DOES NOT have to testify against the abuser for him to get convicted. They don't have to go to court at all. This is to protect the victim.
Another note, once he is convicted for the abuse, generally (it's this way here) a second conviction is an automatic felony, so they go to jail, generally, for at least 1 year.

(3) Now, the first week day available, you immediately go to your county courthouse and obtain an Order of Protection, here they are called an Ex Parte, whatever your state calls it, they will know what you are talking about. Once obtained he will not be able to get near you, your friends, the home....and he cannot call, write letters, have friends or fammily contact you.......Nothing. It will go to hearing before a judge who can make the order permanent for as long as he sees fit. The order is registered and is in the national system so that, no matter where you are, an officer has access to it by running HIS name. It is effective Everywhere.

(4) You know the rest, make it permanent. Don't look back, sweetie. I have seen it too many times, with many different endings. It's not worth it.

I hope I didn't miss anything.

If you need help, advise, ANYTHING, you contact me, any time, day or night. E-mail me and I will send you my phone number. I am serious. I don't mind. I'm up late every night. Just keep it on hand, just in case:

Shop with Me Mama said...

I am so glad to hear that you are not with that person anymore! Good for YOU! You are a strong woman! Thank you for sharing this important information. Have a wonderful VGNO ;)

Carolee / Home4ever said...

I'm happy you are out of that relationship.

I've been there, done that!

No one deserves that!

Glad you are able to have a Happy VGNO!

RightKlik said...

"How much is too much?"

Zero tolerance.

Lizzie said...

i would hug her and tell her she needs to leave him, now.

i hope that's an old picture, if not sweetie you are in my thoughts and prayers

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I can't tell you how relieved I was to see that you replied and said you're no longer with him. You are a very brave woman, and I agree 100% with your entire post. I was married to an abuser, and it continued to escalate. Like Yaya mentioned, you feel trapped, like there's no way out. Luckily I was able to escape him, but even today if I were to ever run into him I would still be afraid for my life.

Thank you for sharing your story - hopefully it will reach anyone who needs to realize they are worthwhile and they do have the power to leave.

Oh - and Happy VGNO! :)

Wendie said...

Opus, a compelling post. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words and the one you've posted is painful to look at. I'm so glad that you and your children are safe. Stay strong!

Opus #6 said...

Gena, thank you SO much for your detailed information. I can't discuss my situation in depth here because my family reads this blog, if you kwim. I'm OK now. Your wise advice is of great help, and may help other women who read this post and find themselves in similar circumstances.

Opus #6 said...

Shop with me mama, thank you so much for your supportive comment.

Opus #6 said...

Carolee, sorry to hear this happened to you as well. Glad to hear it is behind you.

Opus #6 said...

RightKlik, I see that now.

Opus #6 said...

Lizzie, that picture was taken Memorial Day weekend. So it's only somewhat recent.

Opus #6 said...

Stacy, yes, I hope that anybody who needs to hear this is able to find the help they need.

Opus #6 said...

Wendie, thank you so much for your support.

d e v a n said...

I'm glad you guys aren't together any more. I'm so sorry he did that to you! :(

Moms On The Go said...

Thank you!! I am sorry that you went through this but I feel that your post was very educational and informative. Domestic violence is so hidden it is hard for women to get the information they need. I have once been in your situation and as a young women was ashamed, scared, confused and thought it was my fault. I think the more people talk about it, the more women will know what to do and where to get the help.

Lori said...

I am glad to read that you are free of that relationship and doing better. Being able to speak out loud about it so others may learn/benfit from your story is a courageous thing you are doing.
Please visit this blog is a work in progress, but also about the abusive relationship I endured for too long as well.
Take care,
Be safe.

LL said...

I understand your estranged husband's conduct is unfortunately mirrored in many abusers who derive pleasure from hurting women and presumably children - people who are unable to defend themselves.

I ask myself what kind of sick, perverted bastard derives joy from hurting women (and children) and can't identify with the mindset. It's courageous of you to come forward and help others find the courage to do also. There are some things in the world we can't seem to do, problems too big to solve.

This is a problem that can be solved and I hope you are able to resolve it to his detriment.

Jill Tingey said...

This is such good information and so true! I am glad you put this on here.

darlin said...

I feel that you are an extremely courageous lady! I too have been beaten in my past, not by one man but by several. I was not healthy enough to know any different, yet if I would have seen this back then, maybe I would have had an awakening!
Stay strong, keep safe and huge hugs sent your way!

Opus #6 said...

Devan, thank you, honey. It is sweet of you to drop in.

Opus #6 said...

moms on the go, yes, there is a lot of shame. That is one of the most insidious things.

Opus #6 said...

Lori, your blog is really GOOD. And your story sounds familiar....

Opus #6 said...

LL, moving forward step by step.

Opus #6 said...

Jill, I hope this information is able to help somebody.

Opus #6 said...

Darlin, a sweet gal like you deserves to be treated WELL. I am glad that part of your life is behind you.

Jill Tingey said...

I have put a link to your blog on mine and have told some women at the shelter about it. I really feel that hearing other women's stories or just how they are doing now and what they are doing to take back control of the own life is one of the most helpful things. I so appreciate your blog.

Opus #6 said...

Jill, that's fine to share this with others if you think it will help. I can write in greater detail if you want to get me your email address.

Lisa said...

MA, I left a comment a few days ago, but it looks like it didn't go through. I just wanted you to know that I'm heartbroken that you're in this situation and sending all kinds of good wishes for you and your kids. Peace, safety, and hugs to you as you move forward.

Lisa (Olisa/Infertile Ground)