Abuse: The Untold Story
This post was sponsored by 1st for Women and is about Women Abuse.
Violence against woman articles has been trending on social media recently… Everyone wants to help and yet what do we really know? We hear of success stories. We hear of pain. We hear of fear. We hear of desperation but do we really hear the silent cries from the mom that we see every day – the mom with a smile on her face … and tears in her heart, the mom that is crying silent tears because her body hurts and she wishes that she could die, the mom that endures because…. she is afraid, and that fear immobilizes her!
It is easy for us to say that there are so many ways to escape. Technology is on our side, but unfortunately, it is easier said than done.
I speak from experience. I wanted to cry every time I tried writing this article… and the reason is that I know someone who is trapped in this vicious circle. Outwardly her life is perfect. Her pictures show a loving family. She is beautiful. She has two amazing kids. They show no outward signs of neglect.
Yet deep inside where nobody sees – she is an abused woman. She has suffered so many types of abuse.
Did you know that an individual can suffer from so many different types of abuse?
They can be categorized into the following:
- Discriminatory abuse
- Financial abuse
- Neglect abuse
- Physical abuse
- Psychological and emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse and verbal abuse
She wants to die but holds on to life because out of this dreadful situation came two amazing children. I want to help her – I really do. I wish that I could just pluck her out of the arms of this demon – yes, he is a terror… but I cannot.
Does she live in denial?
No – the tragedy is that she did try to leave. She even went to court only to be told that she did not have enough evidence – it was his word against hers. He even had the audacity to play the victim – even to the extent of contacting the authorities with false accusations against her.
I guess that this is what hurts most. So many people want to help and yet we are all held in check by red tape. How do I help someone in this situation? All I can do is ‘be’ there for her, and how do I do that. I can empower her with knowledge and support ….
We need to build a better support system for abused women in the poorer communities!
1st for Women Foundation recently did a survey with 100 domestic abuse survivors.
31% of the abuse survivors interviewed said that it took a year to regain their confidence following an abusive relationship. Others said it could take anywhere between three months and two years to take back control of their lives and enjoy the freedom that is rightfully theirs.
“78% of the women surveyed left an abusive relationship thanks to the support of their mothers, friends and/or family.”
Even though 52% of the women believed that their life would be worse if they left their abusive partner, 30% of the women said that as abuse survivors they are now content with who they are, and 32% said that they are finally the person they were always meant to be.
The 100 abused survivors offered words of encouragement as well advice that could hopefully help other abuse victims make the decision to leave a little easier including:
- Build a support system – it may be just one person or a network of people, whatever it is, these are the people that will be there for you at your lowest moments and will help you build up the courage you need to start over.
- Research safe houses – if you have nobody to turn to, remember there are safe houses all over the country that welcome women in your position and will help you get back on your feet.
- Have an escape plan – know when and how you’re going leave as well as your immediate destination. Many of the women surveyed said they left while their partner was at work.
- Always be prepared to leave – if you can, pack a bag with important documents and necessities in case you have to leave in a hurry.
- Plan but don’t over plan – this can make the idea of leaving completely overwhelming so rather take it day-by-day.
- Do some legal preparations – keep evidence of physical abuse like photos and police or hospital records. These should be kept with some else like a family member to ensure they are never discovered by your partner.
Victims of abuse needing help can go to www.firstforwomen.co.za/foundation for more information or call Lifeline on 011 715-2000.
We as women need to ALWAYS be prepared for the just in case situations.
1st for Women is there for all those ‘just in case’ moments with insurance specifically designed for women – not only providing car and home insurance but also supporting the unique needs of women by providing peace of mind and convenience through its Guardian Angel Assist service.
With their car and home insurance there is a Guardian Angel who you can call 24/7 whether you need your tyre changed, car towed or someone to make sure you’re safe; if you need a reliable locksmith, builder, electrician, or handyman; or if you need to speak to a nurse, get medical advice or to call an ambulance.
In addition, a portion of each monthly premium goes to the 1st for Women Foundation to help those affected by women abuse prepare for a better future.
For more information go to www.firstforwomen.co.za or join the conversation on Twitter: @firstforwomen, Instagram, and Facebook: @1stforwomen at #JustInCase
About the 1st for Women Foundation
The 1st for Women Foundation was established in 2005 with one objective: to uplift and inspire women of South Africa. To date, the Foundation has donated over R49 million to a number of women-related charity organisations that focus on women abuse and cervical cancer.