Recently I went thru an experience that changed my way of seeing the people around me. I spent a few days being shocked before getting mad and wanting to help people who are having a hard time helping themselves.

That anger lead me to a local safe house where I was basically told to chill the hell out. My anger wasn’t productive and honestly would just scare the people there more then it would help. I am still working thru this in my own head but I have learned more about strength in character then I ever have before.

**The safe house I went to was women only. I do understand that men also deal with domestic abuse, and this account is not to discredit anybody. As I continue learning more about this I will work on being able to speak of those situations as well. **

It humbled me to see some of the women that worked for this organization, who took the time to tell me their stories of how they got where they are today. Some were just like me, swayed by a coworker or friend who we had to learn the hard way what was going on behind closed doors.

However the other women here had brutally honest stories to tell and I felt my world shift a little as I listened to these stories. The horror of their life being described by words that could never quiet pinpoint the the things these women survived.

Maybe one day I will chose to share some of what I hear but I have not been able to process them enough to be able to correctly portray what these women have overcome.

The biggest take away that I have gotten so far is learning how to be a supporter to someone facing this situation. I have learned that all of my normal responses I would have used are actually wrong. My first instinct us always to give advice and rip them out of the situation. However thats not usually the answer.

These women already know the options. They know they should leave. If they have children then they know they deserve better. They also have been groomed to beleive that they are worthless most of the time. They have been told it so many times that they beleive it. They have been told they would survive with out the abuser.

What’s worse is that they love him.

Anyone who has ever loved someone knows that love doesnt listen. Your brain and heart will war about whats logically right versus what you want. Over and above that inner fight, is also topped by the amount of fear of the unknown.

Fear that they will be caught and the punishment will be more severe then the normal punishments. Fear that even if they get out, they will always have to look behind them.

Fear that no one will beleive them.

They have done nothing wrong. They do not deserve what they are dealing with.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233

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