Facts and figures about violence against women are overwhelming and maddening, but, it’s the faces that give me the nightmares. There is a new face added to the gallery of survivors I remember…a women spending the night on her friend’s couch in a new town with her three kids, trying to sort out what kind of future is possible that will keep them safe from her husband’s rages. I see the faces of those who ended up in a shelter a friend started, or on the couches of friends or strangers, exhausted, afraid, ashamed, looking for temporary safety for themselves and their children…those who, even though they have won in court lost everything except their futures and their children and had to figure out how to build a new life out of courage and not much else. I cannot imagine how powerless that must feel, or how much courage it takes to seek help. I see those who have survived.
And the Mom’s aren’t the only ones who suffer. Dad’s can be abused too. Kids may or may not be being hit, but they are shaping their view of themselves, of relationships, and of God based on what they see and hear.
If you’re reading this, and you’re one of those being abused, please tell someone. Tell a pastor, a friend, a crisis line…get help. Don’t stop trying til someone listens. A new life is hard, but it can happen.
Jesus Loves the “Other” Children
Jesus loves the little children?
Oh really? Yes, I see…
He must love the other children
(This don’t look like love to me!)
In the car, while Mom hits Dad
And I sit in the back
Afraid and sad
As we drive to the church
And park in a row
Where all those nice people
That Jesus loves go…
I think of the words
Those nice ladies say —
“You can get what you want
From God if you pray,”
So I pray, and I pray
And I pray and I pray…
(But it never makes
The pain go away.)
We smile and look normal
As we walk from the car.
No one knows how bad things are.
No one can tell me
Why I feel so bad-
Like Jesus can’t love me
And neither can Dad.
“From the Child:A Child’s Perspective on Child Abuse
(Used by permission)
3 thoughts on “The Faces of Domestic Violence”
I was an abused Dad. It does happen, and unfortunately a lot of people don’t believe us men when we say we are being or have been abused. I went from being abused horrifically by my father, into an abusive relationship with a woman I thought loved me. I lived with it for 7 years before I could take no more and finally got a divorce. You are right, tell someone if you are being abused, don’t take it, get out, talk to a relative, a friend, anyone you trust. Great post!
There are alot of people that believe men can be abused.
Its just an excuse for many. Heck people have a hard enough time wrapping their minds around what they feel is the ‘real’ victims. Denial seems to work well for the world.
I’m glad you are safe now.
Thanks for sharing–I can relate to so much in this post…” cannot imagine how powerless that must feel, or how much courage it takes to seek help. I see those who have survived…”
I have site called “Shadow Wings” that tells my journey, and gives voice to those who survived abuse, poverty & homelessness. I use writing and photography to convey what words so often fail to express: http://shadowwings.wordpress.com/
I can honestly say that its the children who suffer the worst. An example of this being Marvin Gaye, who was abused by his father and witnessed domestic violence in his home. Marvin suffered depression all of his life and battled addiction. He was killed when intervening in a fight between his parents, and was shot by his father. I urge anyone in an abusive situation to get help before its too late–you are worth so much more, and deserve to be safe & happy.
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.