Outspoken women don’t get beaten up, kicked, slapped around. Usually. Because if they do they will make a hue and cry about it, kick up a fuss, be loud, appear in public with their bruises on view, tell their mothers, fathers, sisters, friends, text each other, write blogs, cry to the doctor… So that finally, the person responsible for the abuse will quake in fear and learn to control his temper, hands, feet.
If we speak up we are in less danger. It’s a fact. Although it takes a tremendous act of courage to say it. There is the fear of repercussion. You may love your abuser and may be more afraid of his leavening you than of his slaps. You may not want to join the ranks of abused women. There is something so demeaning, so violent, so ‘not me’ about domestic abuse that it makes you disassociate from it. Sometimes you pretend that it did not happen at all, sometimes you convince yourself that it was a one off occurrence.
But the truth is – it did happen. And additionally, even once is not okay. So tell your boyfriend, husband, father, brother – whoever raises his hand against you, “This is not ok. I do not accept this behaviour.” Say it calmly. Or scream it. Whatever works for you.
And watch out for the signs. It’s rare that he will go from cuddling and princess treatment to knocking you about the ears. He’ll probably start by talking rudely, by not listening to you, by being short with you, by being inconsiderate…Nip it in the bud at that stage. Tell him you don’t like it.
This initiative to train doctors is wonderful. They can definitely help victims of beating and domestic abuse.
A couple of months ago I had a humongous black eye. Check the picture. I got it by walking into a glass door that I did not see because I was in a hurry and distracted. My story did not hold water. With anyone. I had a lot of explaining to do. How, where, who else was there, is there any significant other in my life right now and so on and so forth, ad nauseum.
Gentle hints also came my way. To read a book called The Woman Who Walked into Doors.
“Is it a novel?” I asked the person who suggested it, since he is a fellow writer. “Nope. It’s about domestic violence.” Somewhat exasperated, I made it clear that I do not ‘need’ to read the book. I am not a battered woman.#mce_temp_url#
He confirmed that my eye was fine. Then he looked me straight in the eye (the good eye) and said, “ The door story is good. But tell me what ACTUALLY happened. Doctor’s asking.”
Again I protested loudly and emphatically and described the scene… don’t know if I convinced him. But, I was able to quell my own irritation with the thought that, if any woman is battered, there are people a plenty to help and counsel her and assist her in escaping a potentially dangerous situation.
So, reach out, if you have been hit, even once. Speak up.