I volunteer with an organization that supports single parents; we offer support groups for parents as well as children. Over the years I have observed that many of these families come out of domestic violence/abuse backgrounds.
So often, coming out of domestic violence, we feel alone; like we are on a deserted island. It’s hard to imagine that we might actually be surrounded by others who are going through the same things we are. It’s difficult to acknowledge and recognize that domestic violence is much more invasive than we realize.
Let’s be honest, we hear the statistics, but they don’t really sink in. They’re just numbers. There are no faces, until we start hearing the stories of those around us. Suddenly, we realize we are not alone, that others understand.
If I tell you that one in four women and one in six men experience abuse in their relationships, it won’t make as much of an impact as when I sit with my group of four children, and recognize that at least three have come out of an abusive home. I can see their beautiful faces and my heart hurts for them! I sit with the adult group and hear the women sharing stories of their home life before their separation, and recognize that four of the five women in that room have escaped abusive husbands. The statistics become real.
We live in a broken world, and a part of that brokenness is marriages destroyed by abuse. We must speak up. We must take a stand, for our children, our grand-children, our friends, their friends. Silence is the avenue along which abuse is strengthened. We must break the silence and allow our voices to ring out, whisper, scream or shout that this is not okay.
We must tell our story so someone else doesn’t have to live it.
Sharing your story doesn’t mean you have to shout it from a mountaintop. Start with just one person, someone you trust, someone you suspect is struggling themselves. Find a support group that will understand. Write it down. Your story has power. Your story can change a life.
You are welcome to share your story here, if you’d like. Leave me a comment. Take back your power! Have you been blessed and have not experienced abuse in your relationship, share that with us too. Every story has a message, every story gives power. All comments are moderated before posting.