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“ The other question everybody asks is, why doesn't she just leave? Why didn't I walk out? I could have left any time. To me, this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask, because we victims know something you usually don't: It's incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over 70 percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she's gotten out, because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes include long-term stalking, even after the abuser remarries; denial of financial resources; and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children, who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, why doesn't she just leave? ”—“Why domestic violence victims don’t leave” - Leslie Morgan Steiner
“This is the largest mass shooting in the United States where the shooters were still at large after the crime was committed. Think about that for a minute. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Fort Hill to Aurora, all the shooters were either killed or apprehended on site. But the person or people responsible for shooting 19 Americans are still free. So why am I allowed to go outside? Where's the city quarantine or FBI and Homeland Security presence for this act of "terrorism"? Because this is an act of domestic terrorism right? Just because the alleged shooter was wearing a white tee and jeans does that suddenly make the shooting a gang-related affair? And we all know how irrelevant gang-related shootings are in America. The Mother's Day shooting is so irrelevant that politicians haven't even bothered to mention it to further their anti-gun agendas. If the shootings aren't even important enough for politicians to spin, then it's truly reached a black hole of irrelevance. Did I mention the shooter is still on the loose? I have? Just checking. Police have released photos and video of one of the suspects, but he is still at large. Now take a moment and imagine a Mother's Day Parade in the suburbs of Denver, a neighborhood in Edina or a plaza in Austin where bullets rain down on civilians and even hit children. I can't help but imagine the around-the-clock news coverage. And I can't help but think it's because most of America can identify with the fear of being bombarded with gunfire while just enjoying a parade in the middle of town. But America can't identify with being at a parade in the "inner city" where "gang violence" erupts. The "oh my God, that could happen to me" factor isn't present with a story about New Orleans or the Chicago southside. ”—Why isn’t New Orleans Mother’s Day parade shooting a ‘national tragedy’?
How do I know if I'm in an abusive relationship?
Abusive relationships don’t start out that way. Most abusive relationships start out with candy and flowers, courting and romance—basically, a “normal” relationship. The abusive slips in, slowly and maliciously. It may not seem so obvious to the person in the relationship that things are getting out of hand because they have slowly progressed to that point over time.
It can be hard to determine if you’re in an abusive relationship because it can be hard to see the behaviors for what they really are. It’s common for the recipient of the abuse to make excuses for the abuser’s behavior or they may simply deem it as a normal part of the relationship.
You might be in an abusive relationship if:
- You’re afraid to break up with them because they make or imply threats
- You feel tied down, like you have to check-in or account for your whereabouts
- You feel afraid to make decisions or bring up certain subjects because the other person gets too mad
- You are afraid to contradict them
- You tell yourself if you just try harder and love your partner enough that everything will get better
- You find yourself worrying and obsessing about how to please your partner and keep them happy—regardless of if you feel comfortable doing it or not.
- You feel like you are walking on eggshells all the time.
- You find the physical, verbal, mental or emotional abuse is getting worse over time.
- Your partner threatens to physically harm you and/or follows through on those threats.
- You are being cut off from family members and friends more and more because your partner doesn’t want you to have contact with them.
- You partner makes decisions about where to go or what to do with little or no input from you.
- You are being belittled and called names when the two of you are alone or in public.
- You are being embarrassed and humiliated in front of others, or your partner talks about you as if you are not there.
- You are having sex that is forced or rougher than you prefer.
- You are prevented from having access to your own money or the family’s money
- Money is used to control and manipulate you
- Your partner minimizes the abuse, tells you it didn’t happen or that you are crazy
- You are feeling intimidated by your partner when they hit objects, abuse pets, brandish weapons, or verbally threaten you
- Your partner dictates who you can see and when you can see them.
- Your partner routinely looks through your Internet history, your phone’s contacts, texts, and recent call lists.
If any of your friends have expressed concern that the relationship you’re in may be unhealthy, it’s not a bad idea to go through and honestly evaluate the relationship—outside observers may see the behaviors differently than you do.
If you are feeling this way in your relationship, talk to someone. Call a hotline. Talk to a friend or family member you can trust. See a counselor or mental health provider. We have a great list of hotline numbers available that are aimed specifically at domestic abuse. The National Domestic Violence website has some other great resources.
Love should never be about fear or anxiety. It’s not your fault, and you deserve somebody who will love and respect you always.