Be Aware: Domestic Violence and Mental Health Illness

Millions of women, children and even men are subjected to physical abuse every day. I was once a victim to domestic violence. It was easy for those on the outside looking in to say leave him. But when you are not only physically abused, but, mentally abused as well. You begin to believe what your abuser/accuser is saying about you. You lose yourself in their hurtful words and learn to forgive them out of fear when they say sorry or I won’t hurt you again.

I was miles away from my family and friends, isolated from socializing with many people. Depression and doubt settled in, but, my belief in God never swayed. My prayers were answered when I began to open up to my mother as to what was happening to me. One day she calls me to say she had purchased bus tickets for me and my two children at that time, to come home. I was pregnant with my third child and scared their father may beat me to death if I left with our kids. Family members spoke with him on the phone, reassuring I would make it home. After a long three day ride on Greyhound, I made it home safely, back with family.

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I share this because too often victims suffer in silence, scared of their abuser, afraid to be judged and neglect searching for a way out of their situation.

It is extremely important to identify the signs of love ones being abused, those suffering with depression or other mental illness; the two can go hand and hand and there’s always visible signs. To name a few: if someone becomes distant, isolated, quit when normally out going, something serious could be happening in their life. Talk with them, ask questions and seek professional help if needed. Listening to comprehend without opinion is very important for those suffering to open up.

If you are in a situation that seems impossible to get out of; being abused or struggling with a mental illness, know you are not alone. There is help available! Seek it and live again.

Be aware even after the month of October.  It happens daily.

By: Dawn M. Dean

 

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