Domestic violence. Where do we begin? I could talk about the actual physical pain a victim feels when they are hit, punched or choked. Many of us have experienced that kind of pain at some point in our life times. It’s not pleasant and sometimes it leaves a mark. Usually we recover from that pain in short order. That’s one kind of pain.
I think I’ll talk about the other kind of pain. The kind that doesn’t leave a nasty reminder on your face or on your arm. This pain is the pain that lingers in your soul and in the lives of the people in your family. This is the hidden pain and anguish suffered by the direct victims of domestic violence and the indirect victims as well.
The indirect victims are usually the innocent children who have to listen to the screaming arguments and watch the adults in their lives punching each other around. The direct victims are the people who have to dodge the insults, indignities and sometimes the real hits. Never knowing what will happen next. This hidden pain causes wounds that last a life time. This damage goes well beyond the physical; it can ruin lives, families and future relationships.
Ask any police officer about the things they have seen during domestic violence incidents. Their answers may shock you. During my own career I have had little children clinging to my leg, crying and begging me to take them away from their homes because of all the fighting. Their little faces covered in tears and painted with fear. Your heart breaks for these kids. We see the faces of our own children in these little angels. We can comfort them for the moment and calm the situation down for the time being, but we cannot remove the haunting images and sounds that stick with them forever. That takes much more than words.
In years gone by, domestic violence was considered a private family problem. If the police were called to the scene, they stopped the violence, counseled the combatants and then left them to their own solutions.
Those days, thankfully are gone. Today we have help for the victims, children and even for the people causing the problems. If you know a person or family that is suffering from this type of pain tell someone. If not for the adults in the situation then for those innocent kids. As the friends of people in a violent relationship, sometimes we have to take a stand, even if it is done anonymously.
Victims of domestic violence can find themselves paralyzed with fear, unable to reach out for help. As a society we can’t stand by and hope it will get better. Most times it does not. Sometimes it is deadly.
Most municipalities have some type of free counseling or referral services, make the call. If you are the adult in this type of a relationship, get help. Protect yourself, find the strength to take action to make the situation better. Think of the kids, cowering in their rooms, do they deserve to live like that?
A good relationship is a give and take. The people involved support and help each other. Everyone has disagreements, but violence, especially in a family, is never the answer.
Domestic violence has many roots. None of them are justified. Today there is more awareness of this problem, but many incidents still go unreported. We can no longer accept these incidents. We must help the victims where we can.
Let me know what you think. Email me at email@example.com