Sticks and Stones

My family doesn't believe that I'm a victim of domestic violence | Domestic violence | The Guardian

There was an old saying when I was a young child, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." That is a lie and a falsehood that is experienced by many persons in dv/ipv situations. Absolutely sticks and stones will break your bones, slaps and fist punches will break them also so will kicks and stomps. This is the dv/ipv that most people associate with dv/ipv incidents. But what happens when physical violence is not happening? What happens when the abuse takes on less stringent attacks and the abuser gets a cheering squad?

A friend of mine was mentally abused by her husband for many years. She was portrayed as crazy, unstable, insecure, etc. She had young children who idolized their father and turned against their mother because they only believed the narrative that the father was saying about the mother. It led to a break in the relationship between the children and their mother that was irreparable. This caused much grief to the mother who paid the ultimate cost of losing her children's love because of an abuse that was unimaginable to her children.

Words hurt and much more, the unbelief when a parent is expressing the abuse suffered at the hands of the abuser by the children hurts so much more. Children who are loyal to the abusive parent are loyal for many reasons. One reason is that they do not want to experience the abuse themselves. Another reason is that they do not witness the abuse and do not believe it is happening. Whatever the reason, the young child or even the adult child sides with one parent over another. It hurts and causes the abused to close off even further from the intimacy of others because of the disbelief. It is very hard for a victim to express their abuse; to break the silence of abuse. However, when the victim is not believed, it is painful.

So, survivors of dv/ipv, my advice is to continue to speak out. If help does not come from a family member, seek help and counseling sessions with local dv agencies. Most of them have a complimentary group session that you can attend. Pastors, be a source that a victim can come to and talk about their situation and believe them. The majority, not all, but the majority of persons who are talking about a dv/ipv incident is telling the truth.

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