Friday, June 27, 2008

Physical Abuse

When we think of abuse, physical abuse it what usually comes to mine. However, this type of abuse is actually the second most common type of abuse, emotional being the first most common. The amount and kind of physical abuse varies from perpetrator to perpetrator as well as incident to incident. It can be as simple as a slap or push or as complicated as using a weapon. The whole point of this type of abuse is to control the victim. When the abuser feels out of control, violence is used to scare the victim into submission. If the yelling and threatining will do the job, then fine, but if not, then violence can occur. And the harder it is to get the victim to fall into line, then the more the violence will escalate. The violence usually gets worse the longer the victim stays in the relationship.

I believed for a long time that I did not have this type of abuse in my life. I thought that I could just deal with the words and ignore him. However, he would use physical abuse on the children. Again, for a long time I felt that it was just because that was what was modeled in his home growing up and if I could just be patient and teach him other ways it would change. This kind of thinking is common in victims. I didn't see that this was another way of his controlling not only the children but me as well. I took over all parenting so as to keep him from hurting the children. I, essentially, became a single parent until something would make him angry- and we never knew what it would be.

One Sunday we were attending Stake Conference. I was at the end of the row and he was at the other end with the children between us. One of the boys, E, was fidgeting and sorta bugging the brother next to him. I kept trying to catch E's eye to get him to stop. It was not a big deal, but definately not the perfect, wonderful, no problem picture that we were supposed to present to the public. I saw my husband stiffen up and the look of pure rage on his face was something that I had never seen in public before. I remember thinking, "Too bad we are sitting clear back here in the overflow where it is dark and no one can see him." He grabbed E by the arm and whispered something to him. Later when we got home, I took out the camera and took pictures of the bruises he left on E's arm. I sent copies to my parents for safe keeping and gave a copy to my bishop (who just brushed it off).

Another thing that he has done is throwing of things. One evening he got angry, opened one of my drawers and threw things all over the room while he was screaming at me. That was the first time the police were called to my home for domestic violence. I am not proud to say that it occured after 22 years of enduring this type of abuse. Another time he threw my pillow out of the bed when I asked him to please scoot over so I could get in. It hit my jewlery holder on top of the dresser and my earring went flying all over the room. Many were broken beyond repair, many were twisted and bent. And there is one, my most favorite 14k gold studs that I have had since I was 13 that I still to this day cannot find one of. He has never apologized and in fact told me that I probably threw the earring away so I could blame him.

He has taken my purse, my wallet, my driver's license. He has jerked the phone out of my hand, disabled the line, hung up the phone while I am on it, so that I cannot call for help. The night the police came, they told him that that was a felony and he could go to jail if he ever did it again.

Here are some examples of physical abuse:
again taken from the book "Not Another Sarah"

  • Kicking, punching, hitting, and slapping
  • Shaking, shoving, and pulling
  • Cutting hair, skin, or other body parts
  • Throwing things at or on her
  • Preventing her frm leaving and/or getting help
  • Using weapons in an attempt to gain control
  • anyting that is intended to cause her pain or discomfort in an attempt to control her.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing these things, get help immediately. (I will address how to help someone you love in a future post)

Again, you may wonder why I am still here when I know what is going on. Again, there is a reason, I am just not sure what it is just yet.

I have had some response from these posts and some new resources that I will beging posting in the sidebar.

1 comment:

Anna Maria Junus said...

Been there, I got out. Actually, I got him out.