During a counseling session with a client recently, I realized that many women may not recognize domestic violence in its other forms so that is the focus of this article.
- Domestic violence includes physical attack of any kind. This includes pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, punching, kicking, stomping, etc. Any physical contact that is frightens you is meant to do just that and no, it’s not all in your mind. If you felt frightened, you were supposed to feel frightened. It’s the spirit, your gut, and intuition – whatever you want to call it, telling you that you are in danger, my dear.
- Domestic violence includes verbal abuse. Verbal abuse can be cursing, threatening to kill you or do you or your children bodily harm. Verbal abuse includes yelling and getting all up in your face without ever touching you.
- Domestic violence includes emotional abuse. Purposely doing things to inflict emotional pain on you is domestic abuse. Not coming home at night, having other women (or men – God forbid) call your home, come to your home or otherwise disrespect you and your home is all domestic violence. Draining your joint checking account or spreading ugly rumors about you – all emotional warfare.
Finally, rarely does physical abuse start out as such. Domestic violence – in fact any kind of violence – usually starts with a word.
Your spirit will let you know you are being abused. Don’t ignore your spirit. Don’t worry about what people will say. Don’t worry about staying for your children (you’re doing them greater harm by staying). Don’t worry about how you will support yourself (if you’re dead or badly beaten – that won’t matter).
If you need help leaving, get help. Talk to your local domestic violence shelter, your pastor, a co-worker, your supervisor, your friends, your family. Make sure the person you ask for assistance can give you the assistance you need and that they are able and willing to get involved. Get out now.