Monday, September 26, 2005

Domestic Violence Month

October is Domestic Violence Month in the USA. You can find out more at www.silentwitness.net

Strangely, when people speak of domestic violence, i don't , as a rule, think of myself as having experienced it. It seems to be about men beating women and not about men and women beating children. In my home, my mother was never beaten. I clearly recall my dad almost hitting my mum once-not delibrately, but he was smashing my head into a wall and mum thought this was going to become known outside the house(holding up an image was soooo important to them) so she intervened and that is how she nearly got hit-in his rage, he didn't realise she was in the way until almost too late. Well, she flew at him so vicioulsy I was shocked. Shocked because in that moment I realised that all this time, she could have protected me and stopped him. Instead, she normally cleaned me up, put cold compresses on me and told me if I was good he wouldn't do it. I spent my whole life being good in the hope that people would treat me well. I know better now.

My mum was just as bad but she wasn't as scary nor so physically strong.

Despite the physical abuse, and sexual abuse outside the home,( I was a classic victim), it is the emotional abuse that was the worst and still is. Never being told I was loved. Being told I was bad, stupid, lazy, evil, the cause of all ills. Told I was crazy, that what had just happened, hadn't. That i didn't see things right. THAT is what did the damage. I suffered at the hands of a child pornographer because I didn't dare tell because I would get into trouble! (11 years ago the Police traced me thru Interpol, and i had to spend 3 days giving evidence-(i.e. details of what was done to me even tho they had film of my abuse, at least I assume they did or else how did they know I was one of the man's victims?)-only to be told I could not give evidence in court because I was not a reliable witness. Why? I had had psychiatric treatment! Yes that is right. If you abuse someone, and they need psychiatric help because of it, you get off scott free because they are too crazy to be believed!!! I have no idea what happend to this guy. The whole thing was appalling. I have only given one person the details of my abuse, my therapist. This policeman got some of it and left me feeling abused and dirty again. Not even my partner of 24 years knows the deatils and never will. )
The very first time I was sexually assaulted, i did tell. Not str8 away, i was scared to. But the girl next door was assaulted and the police got involved etc. I then told my mum about this man and what he did in case it was the same man who asaulted the girl. She slapped me and told me I was disgusting and blamed me for what happened to the girl. Nothing else happened. She didn't speak up. I learned to keep my mouth shut then. It was very lonely being a child and hasn't changed much. I still feel a barrier between me and everyone else. Just because the violence ends doesn't mean the nightmare does.

Domestic Violence is serious. It has serious consequences. We see those consequences in society-the violence, the substance abuse, the poor. Educate yourself and support the efforts of groups working to end this vile and insidious evil. A recent documentary here, supported by the police, showed the lives of 7 men that had caused much harm thru their violent offending in a UK city. EACH one of them had been victims of violence and sexual abuse as children. The Police on the program expressed dismay that the general public refused to see the connection between child abuse and violent offending and substance abuse and were only interested in locking these men up. Perhaps, if you are reading this, you might form a different view to the general public.
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