Thursday, July 28, 2005

Myths and Facts

Myth: Victims of domestic violence like to be beaten.
Fact:Victims desperately want the abuse to end. They engage in various survival strategies to protect themselves and their children (ie calling the police and/or seeking help from family members) Another strategy is silence (ie taking a beating to keep the batterer from attacking the children).

Myth: Victims have psychological disorders or they would not take the abuse.
Fact: While some victims do suffer from psychological effects (ie post traumatic stress disorder or depression), it is as a result of being abused.

Myth:Victims never leave their abusers and if they do, they just get involved in another abusive relationship.
Most victims try leaving their abusive relationships, often several times, but the abusers often convince the victim to stay through various strategies including: financial control, threats about the children, and promises that the relationship will get better.

Myth: Low self-esteem causes victims to get involved in abusive relationships.
Fact: Victims usually experience a decrease in self-esteem as a result of being abused, since abusers frequently degrade, humiliate, and criticize victims.

Myth: Batterers abuse their partners/spouses because of alcohol or drug abuse.
Fact:While substance abuse may increase the frequency or severity of the violent episodes in some cases, it doesn't cause the abuse.

Myth: Batterers abuse their partners because they are under a lot of stress or unemployed.
Fact:Since domestic violence is found throughout all socioeconomic levels, it cannot be attributed to unemployment or poverty.

Myth: Law enforcement and judicial responses (ie arresting batterers or issuing a civil protection order) are useless.
Fact: The entire criminal justice and civil systems must work together to be effective (ie law enforcement officers make the arrest, prosecutors prosecute the case, and courts enforce orders and impose sanctions).

Myth: Children are not affected by domestic abuse.
Fact: 50-70% of the children, whose parent is domestically abused, are also being physically abused. Children also suffer emotional, behavioral, and developmental impairments as a result of witnessing domestic violence in the home. Some of these children (especially boys) will grow up to repeat the same pattern.

Myth: Domestic violence is irrelevant to parental fitness.
Fact: A history of domestic violence can indicate that the perpetrating parent physically or emotionally abuses the child as well as the other parent. Abusers also frequently use the children as pawns to continue to control the other parent. This use of control undermines the abuser’s ability to parent because the primary concern isn't about the child.

=^..^= Brenda Hoffman
Independent Executive
Discover a way to increase your health and/or income!
E-mail me for more info!
"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." - Les Brown (American Songwriter, 1912-2001)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What is sexual abuse?

Please note that there is some descriptive, adult language used in this article that may trigger you emotionally. You're an adult so please use your own best judgment as to whether or not you should read this article.<br>
There are many types of domestic abuse. Here, I will share with you what sexual abuse is and how it has affected my life.

Sexual abuse occurs when...

A partner has minimized the importance of your feelings about sex My X never thought that I should have sex with him 2 or 3 times a day even though I wasn't in the mood or interested.

A partner has criticized you sexually My X use to make me feel inadequate because I couldn't give him the "perfect" oral sex and I wouldn't swallow.

A partner has insisted on unwanted or uncomfortable touching My X would grab me in a sexual matter whenever he felt like it, regardless of whether I welcomed it or found it absolutely annoying.

A partner withholds sex and affection My X didn't know how to be affectionate or intimate without it being sexual.

A partner has forced sex after physical abuse or when you were sick While this wasn't done after physical abuse, my X would force me to have sex with him after verbally abusing me.

A partner has raped you There were times when my X was quite forceful with me, holding me down and having sex with me or forcing my head into certain sexual positions.

Some other ways in which sexual abuse occurs includes a partner being jealously angry, assuming that you would have sex with anyone, and insisting that you dress in a more sexual way than you wanted. Thankfully I haven't experienced these 2 forms of abuse.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Top 10 reasons to call for help

The first thing that is important to understand is that you canNOT recover from abuse all by yourself! This never works! It only prolongs the time you suffer! Here are the top 10 reasons why you should call your local Women's Crisis Center or Child Abuse Prevention Center and get them involved in your emotional healing process.

(1.) They know the laws in your state.

(2.) They provide counseling and support.

(3.) They've been there so they understand.

(4.) They will ALWAYS believe you!

(5.) They will guard your privacy.

(6.) They work for FREE.

(7.) They know the official, and the unnoficial, ways to make the system work for you.

(8.) They are experts who have tons of resources available.

(9.) They'll help you feel better.

I truly want to encourage you to call them! It will be the best thing you ever did for yourself or your child(ren).

=^..^= Brenda Hoffman
Independent Executive
Discover a way to increase your health and/or income!
E-mail me for more info!
"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." - Les Brown (American Songwriter, 1912-2001)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Effects of domestic violence on infants/toddlers

This article is of great interest to me since I truly believe that my dear, 3-year-old, daughter would NOT be suffering from RAD if I had left my abuser sooner. Nevertheless, I refuse to dwell on the past. I insist upon both my daughter and my own healing and moving on to much more positive lives. This doesn't mean that I shouldn't be knowledgable of what the effects of domestic have had on my daughter though. These things include: excessive irritability, immature behavior, sleep disturbances, emotional distress, fears of being alone, and regression in toileting and language. This is because exposure to family violence interferes with a child's normal development of trust and exploratory behaviors, which lead to the development of autonomy. My daughter definitely has trust issues, sleep disturbances, emotional destress, she doesn't like leaving my side, and she is having problems with toilet training. Once again, all of these are symptoms of RAD.

=^..^= Brenda Hoffman
Independent Executive
Discover a way to increase your health and/or income!
E-mail me for more info!
"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." - Les Brown (American Songwriter, 1912-2001)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The effects of domestic violence

Do you know what the long-term effects of domestic violence are? Well, they include: anxiety, chronic depression, chronic pain, death, dehydration, dissociative states, drug and alcohol dependence, eating disorders, emotional "over-reactions" to stimuli, general emotional numbing, health problems, malnutrition, panic attacks, poor adherence to medical recommendations, poverty, repeated self-injury, self neglect, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders, somatization disorders, strained family relationships, suicide attempts, and an inability to adequately respond to the needs of their children.

I had many of these when I was being abused by my X. I was depressed, suffered from chronic pain, overate/gorged on food, developed numerous health problems, lived in poverty, neglected myself, wasn't interested in sex, either suffered from insomnia or slept 14 to 16 hours per day, didn't have any relationship with my parents, and wasn't allowed around my dear daughter which has caused her to develop RAD.

It is also true that abused women are at higher risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths. They are also more likely to give birth to low birth weight children which puts the child at risk for neonatal and infant death. If these children do survive, they are more likely to be malnourished and less likely to have been immunized against childhood diseases.

Thankfully, God somehow saved my dear daughter and helped me to make sure that she was properly immunized. Maybe it's because I, like a lot of battered women, took active steps to protect my daughter, even though I didn't leave my partner.

It is also true that mothers who are abused are often depressed or preoccupied with the violence. They are emotionally withdrawn and numb. They are irritable or have feelings of hopelessness. This results in a parent who is less emotionally available to their child, or they become unable to care for their children's basic needs. Many of these women also exhibit aggression toward their child. It is also true that battering fathers are less affectionate, less available, and less rational in dealing with their children.

I was depressed. How couldn't I be when I was being kept away from my daughter while my X was moving his new girlfriend, her husband, and their children into MY house? Luckily I didn't abuse my daughter BUT unfortunately my X did. He was unaffectionate, unavailable, and unrational when dealing with her... to the point that he basically neglected her, hit her upside the head and often told her to get away from him even though he still wouldn't let me be around her.

When children find that they cannot depend upon their parents or caregivers for emotional and practical support their development can be seriously delayed or even permanently distorted. These children often withdraw from relationships and social activities. This then affects their ability to form relationships throughout the rest of their lives.

This is why my daughter has developed RAD, is developmentally delayed, and socially has a difficult time forming relationships with me and with other children too.

Parents who have been traumatized by violence must cope with their own trauma before they are able to help their children. That is why I am in therapy and so is my daughter. Together we are working to recover from the abuse. My hope is for you and your children to also be able to recover.

=^..^= Brenda Hoffman
Independent Executive
Discover a way to increase your health and/or income!
E-mail me for more info!
"Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars." - Les Brown (American Songwriter, 1912-2001)

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