Odds are, you know someone who was physically abused, odds are you know someone who was sexually assaulted even raped. Odds are you know someone emotionally abused. Odds are you know several. Odds are in many cases you don’t even know this is part of their history or current situation.
My last post was “But he doesn’t hit me” which was talking about emotional and mental abuse. Then on Thanksgiving, my facebook status was “if there are more than 4 women at your table, then one of them has been abused, molested and or raped. 1 in 12 odds for men.” So after a few emails I knew this was something that needed further discussion.
Maybe the number sounds high. You may look around your family, or your close friends and say “no, nothing has ever happened, I know them.” But the truth is sad.
It may have happened when they were little. Maybe it happened years ago, or it may have happened just today. First off, no matter if it is rape, sexual assault, physical abuse, or mental abuse it is embarrassing and humiliating. Second there is a problem of who do they tell, who can be trusted.
Most any form of abuse or assault happens from people known by the survivors. Since so many know their attackers, who can they trust? Even when they develop trust again, there are victims who would rather close the book and never talk about it again. Others may only mention when they are worried about someone else, or the topic becomes of importance.
It’s not an easy subject to handle or to announce. But what about those odds… again the truth is sad. Between friends and emails received I know many cases where this is a secret few know. If you are a guy you know men don’t talk. Men often feel emasculated by being abused so they are even more reluctant to talk.
It is not something talked about at the dinner table, so yes you could be sitting with a survivor, if not survivors. The odds are all too real. The reason for this story is simple. When do we make this stop? What can we do to help it stop?
Watch for signs of abuse. Watch for signs of someone having been raped. Offer support. Encourage medical attention as necessary. Do not push, judge or criticize. Read below for signs and visit the sites to see how you can help. If you are at a club and see someone slip something in a drink, tell someone. If you feel sleepy after a drink, talk to a guard or management. If you see abusive signs in your own relationship, seek help. Remember respect, honor and most important love. Put LOVE first everything else will fall into place.
Signs of Abusive Relationships
Fear of conflict, worried about upsetting a partner. Unexplained injuries, jumpy nervous behavior. Lose contact with friends. Change in activities, behavior and or appearance. Frequent last minute change of plans. Excuses made for abuser. Click here to learn how to help a friend or family member who is being abused.
Signs of Rape or Sexual Assault from NY Times
Rape or Sexual Assault is a very traumatic event. The person who was raped may or may not be able to say that she was actually raped, or she may seek medical attention for a different complaint. Emotional reactions differ greatly and may include:confusion, social withdrawal, tearfulness, nervousness or seemingly inappropriate laughter, numbness, hostility, and fear. Click here to learn how to help a friend who was raped
Thanks for sharing these insights and resources. The fact that they are borne out of your personal experience makes my heart ache, but I’m glad you are helping to extend a hand up to others who may be where you were, or for those who know someone living in a similar cell with invisible bars.
It pays to pay attention to our friends and loved ones; watch for signs of domestic abuse.
Just wanted to share a resource I became aware of a few years ago. The emotional scars of domestic abuse are physically invisible, but it is also a fact that many abusers are very crafty at leaving behind no physically visible scars, either.
Enter Cut It Out: http://www.cutitout.org. It is a program dedicated to educating salon professionals to be alert to the signs of domestic abuse. Frequently the abuser will assault the victim in the head area, where hair will cover the evidence of the beating. And really, who else touches your head but your hairdresser? Not only that, but those of us who have had a relationship with a regular hairdresser can attest to the fact that all kinds of things “come out” when we are sitting in the stylist’s chair — and almost nowhere else in our lives — that are little clues and insights into our lives, both experientially and emotionally. An astute stylist, especially over time, can become sensitive to all kinds of cues the casual acquaintance would most likely not pick up on.
Cut It Out trains salon professionals to look for and recognize such warning signs, both physical *and* emotional, and discreetly refer the victim to community resources that can help them find the courage to deal with or leave the abusive situation.
Thanks, MJ, for using your blog to bring awareness to a problem that is all too common.