Speak up, speak out, do something

Dec. 2, 2011 _ If you suspect someone is being abused, please help.

As a survivor of domestic abuse, I can tell you that silence is the number one reason why abuse continues. If you find out or even suspect that someone is being abuse, please take action.

Let the victim know of your suspicions in a non-judgment and supportive way. Call 911 and ask for help. Or do a Google search on what to do. No, its not your problem or your responsibility, but do it anyway.

I assure you, it won’t go down the way you think, but silence keeps abuse going and the dynamic between the victim and abuser may seem unnatural and hard to understand. But that relationship is in the middle of a giant storm that is causing lots of damage and no one in it is thinking clearly.

It takes a lot of courage to help someone in that situation and it is understandable why you might not want to get involved. There are a lot of reasons not do, not the least being that victim and abuser might not like it at first. But, abuse needs to stop immediately and outside help is usually the only thing that will stop abuse other than serious injury or death.

You are necessary. Confronting abuse can save lives and mitigate emotional damage for all involved.

And once you know about abuse, please don’t turn away from it. Hold the abuser accountable. Give the victim your support. Please don’t try to keep the fantasy that was presented before the abuse was uncovered alive after you know the truth. I know it is sad to face the reality that someone you know is not what you thought.

I know that involvement is difficult. No one wants to jump into someone’s private lives. But, know that abusers prey on that sentiment and are emboldened by it. Abusers are happy when you choose to ignore their wrong-doing and believe that they were right to blame their victim.

And when you have the opportunities to address the issue of domestic violence, speak out against it. Teach your children what it is and why it is wrong. Teach your daughters that they do not have to put up with this and that real love does not cause pain.

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