Monday, April 13, 2009

Home Is a Refuge

There’s a lot of crap out in the world today. It’s nice to be able to come home, close the door behind me and – if I truly want to block all of it out – turn off the television. There. All gone.

I’m lucky that way. For me, home is a refuge from the ravages of the outside world – but it wasn’t always. And for so many others, it’s still not.

Even if you have escaped domestic violence, survived sexual abuse or another violent crime, those experiences never really leave you. If you’re lucky – like I think I am – you come to terms with them. You, ideally anyway, reach a point where you can leave them lay (maybe pausing to stomp on them a time or two) and then move on stronger for having vanquished them.

And if you’re really lucky – again, I’m in this category – you might even find a way to put that emotional garbage to good use. That’s why I feel privileged to have a guest post today on Maggie’s (she of Okay. Fine. Dammit.) other site, ViolenceUnSilenced.

Domestic violence may be a hard thing to comprehend, particularly if you’ve been spared. But don’t for one second think it has never touched your life. You just may not know. It could be happening right now to your co-worker, friend, neighbor, aunt, sister or daughter.

The statistics are that one in four women (and one in nine men) will experience it during her lifetime. You and three friends or you and three sisters. Chances are, one of you knows domestic violence intimately.

That’s just one of the more insidious characteristics of this epidemic. No one wants to talk about it. Whether it’s fear or shame or whatever it may be, these victims are silenced by it – when speaking out is what very well may save them. And God bless Maggie for providing a forum!

I’ve always known that I’m luckier than most and some of the stories shared on this site have shown me just how lucky. But I understand their stories and feel them more than I like to admit. That is, however, what the Violence UnSilenced site is all about. It’s about exorcising those inner demons and either finding the strength to escape an abusive situation or sharing insight on how you have gotten past it to hopefully empower others who are still trapped.

I hope you’ll check it out and support the other contributors. And, if you can relate to these stories, consider sharing yours, too. If you’re still in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, it may be just the message you or they need to hear.

6 comments:

rustbeltrebel said...

A club I would never wish on my worst enemy.

Michele

Jayne said...

Home is my refuge, too...but when I dispatched at the Sheriff's Dept. I learned how common domestic violence is. So sad.

Karen Anne said...

I was shocked to read this morning that Marlee Matlin had been in an abusive relationship and had been frightened to leave.

Maggie, Dammit said...

SO many have this secret, they really do.

You did good, babe. Thank you.

NV said...

Michele -- Definitely.

Jayne -- I'll bet you did! And I'll bet it was a lot of the same places over and over and over...

KarenAnne -- I hadn't heard that. Doesn't surprise me. It's truly something that can happen to anyone.

Maggie -- Thank YOU for having the vision to put up the site. I think a lot of good is coming from it!

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