bouquetDomestic violence is not limited to gender, social status or level of income. At this time of year, when stress is high, and higher still due to the poor economy, unemployment, and looming holiday obligations, domestic violence increases everywhere.

Many women do not know what to call their secret, little problem. It must be my fault. I must have done something. No. Abuse is a problem within the abuser, not the victim. It is a problem for the victim, but it is not her fault.  At some point the battered woman will ask the question: Am I being abused? What should I do? Should I leave? Where would I go?

Welcome to Domestic Hell.

Is Domestic Violence limited to physical abuse? What about verbal or mental abuse? And is verbal abuse a reason to leave, even if your beloved has never hit you? What if he does hit you? Kick you? Throw things at you? What about slapping? Does your partner engage in frightening behavior? Does he demean you? Call you names? Does he keep your financial status secret from you? Does he gamble with the household money? Does he threaten to kill you? Or harm your loved-ones?

Is any of this abuse? In a word: Yes.

(Again, “he said – she said” is just my point of reference, domestic violence is NOT only a heterosexual problem.)

Do you feel that you might be losing your mind? Are you afraid to ask for help? Do you think that no one will believe you?  Does he intimidate your loved ones and friends, so that you are not sure that anyone would actually help you in a tough moment? Do you feel totally out of control? Do you wonder what is wrong with you? If your beloved husband/lover/boyfriend/partner creates an environment of violence and fear, such that you begin to doubt your sanity and your worth as a human being, you are, indeed, living with domestic violence.

Ask for help. Find a shelter. Run like your life depends upon it (because, in truth, it does). Please, don’t pack. Just walk away. Packing will slow you down and get you caught. Be safe first, the other stuff can be replaced.

blessings and love