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Monday, October 12, 2009

Awareness

October is Breast Cancer awareness and Domestic Violence awareness month

Raising awareness of breast cancer and domestic violence in the same month doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. Both issues primarily (but not exclusively) affect women and require ongoing funding. Let's get proactive about reaching out to every woman reading this forum today.

Every woman reading this today needs to examine her breasts monthly, and even now, with what we know about self examination, not every woman is doing that. Many of us don't want to know, or are too busy, or feel we can't tell the difference between a "normal" lump and an abnormal one. This is a treatable, curable disease IF we take care of ourselves and do that monthly check - following up with a doctor's visit. If you haven't done that self check this month, DO IT RIGHT NOW. If you need instructions, click here.

How to self examine
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Domestic violence is happening right now to you or someone you know. Right now. Today. Women who are abused physically are often isolated. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extent as well as verbally degrade them.

PHYSICAL ABUSE:
Hair pulling, biting, shaking, pushing, pinching, choking, kicking, confinement, slapping, hitting, punching, using weapons, forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching in public or in private and depriving her of food or sleep.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE:
Insulting her in public or in private
Putting down her friends and family
Making her feel bad about herself
Calling her names
Making her think she's crazy
Playing mind games
Humiliating her
Making her feel guilty
Using Male Privilege; acting like "Master of the Castle"
Treating her like a servant
Making all the big decisions
Being the one to define men's and women's roles.

ECONOMIC ABUSE
Preventing her from getting or keeping a job
Making her ask for money
Giving her an allowance
Taking her money
Not letting her know about or have access to family income
Not allowing her a voice in important financial decisions
Demanding exclusive control over household finances.

COERCION OR THREATS:
Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her
Threatening to leave her, or to commit suicide
Threatening to report her to welfare
Making her drop charges
Making her do illegal things.

USING INTIMIDATION
Making her afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions
Throwing or smashing things, destroying property
Abusing pets
Dangerous driving
Displaying weapons.

USING CHILDREN
Making her feel guilty about the children
Using the children to relay messages
Using visitation to harass her
Threatening to take the children away.

USING ISOLATION
Controlling what she does, who she sees, what she reads, & where she goes
Limiting her outside involvement
Refusing to let her learn to drive, go to school, or get a job
Not allowing her to freely use the car or the telephone.

USING JEALOUSY AND BLAME TO JUSTIFY ACTIONS
Minimizing, Denying, Blaming
Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously
Checking up on where she's been or who she's talked to
Accusing her of infidelity
Saying the abuse didn't happen
Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
Saying she caused it.

Why Get Help?

The danger is real.

If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous.

If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.

Domestic violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in a relationship. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.

Learn the Warning Signs

Disagreements develop from time to time in relationships. Domestic violence is not a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors used by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors can become more frequent and intense over time.

The abusive person is responsible for these behaviors. That person is the only one who can change them. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt.
You Are Not Alone. Consider getting some help. Talk with friends about your situation.


6 comments:

Haley said...

Great post. Women need to be proactive about both issues. As a certified mastectomy fitter, I know the importance of the self check...you can't imagine how many women actually found the lump but did nothing about it for months...that is time wasted towards treatment. I have met so many incredible women that are breast cancer survivors. Once they have been diagnosed, they understand the importance of self checks...it is a shame that so many women wait till it is too late. Please. Save second base, save the Ta-Ta's! It takes 2 min and you can do it in the shower!

sherry ♥ lee said...

You've written a wonderful and informative post Teri. Being aware and doing something is imperative. I didn't know that October was domestic abuse awareness month but I'm glad that I do now.

I'm a 4 year and counting breast cancer survivor and I was a child of domestic abuse and child abuse so I'm surprised I didn't know that about this month.

My mother was not strong enough to say "no" to the abuse in our home. It was me at 14 who finally called a halt, telling my mother it was "me or him" and I'd leave if she didn't do something about this. She did and it was the best move "we" ever made. Unfortunately my mother and my younger sister passed away 12 and 10 years ago. My father died shortly after my sister (who was only 39). I'm still standing. Because I knew and know that you must speak up and speak out and get out of any negative situation you find yourself in. Thanks for the reminder Teri.

Bea said...

Excellent, EXCELLENT post. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this very important information. :)Bea

freebird said...

Thankyou. I copied the list of abuses and also sent it to my daughter. I know her husband and mine use some of these. After 37 years my husband doesn't use them enough to warrant leaving but my daughter I wonder about. All I can do is offer support and her mother-in-law supports her also which is quite telling isn't it?

Lawendula said...

Hi, I came over via Sherry Lee, such a beauty your blog is and thank you so much for this very very important posting! :)

Jennifer R.D. said...

Thank you so much for this post. I had an acquaintance come to me last night wanting advice. She said it was a long history of verbal abuse and she felt no one would take that seriously. I printed out your post and will give it to her with the number of a local outreach program that will offer legal help.
Thanks for an important message!
Hugs,
Jen