Abuse

Domestic Violence in public: What should you do?

Hey All,

So today I wanted to chat about something that happened to me just the other day. A form of domestic violence out in the wild and in a VERY public setting.

It was a bit of a trigger for me only because I actually have not been around anything resembling my past since my relationship ended. I see things here and there in movies and I totally feel a type of way or change the channel or look away because it’s not actually happening to a real person. But this…this one was very much real and right in front of me.

So here is what happened that has me so upset..

We are in Florida so of course we have an annual pass for Disney. The happiest place on freaking earth. Maybe slightly less happy in August and 90 degrees with 100% humidity. But whatever. Still happy. We were walking around and enjoying the day and all of a sudden I hear “Shut the fuck up you stupid bitch” OMG ,my head whipped around so fast and I see a man screaming at his wife/girlfriend. She was also pushing a maybe 6 year old girl in a Minnie Mouse stroller. She had the face I know so well. Defeated and stone faced while trying to hold back tears. She was trying to be anywhere but there in that exact moment. Trying to hide and extremely embarressed.

It’s human nature to stop and stare so the amount of people that saw this was going to be expected. And it’s Disney so they are known for crowds anyway. Knowing there was eyes on him he kept going so that was not even an issue for him. He was calling her every name he could. Yelling at his daughter as well calling this child selfish and he could not believe she could be so inconsiderate. A FIVE YEAR OLD. He had a backpack and started throwing things out of it on the ground, threw his hat and the babies had into the bushes and stormed off. The poor woman had to pick up all the items off the floor, repack the backpack and soothe the now crying child. It was heartbreaking.

So what if anything should we do in moments like this? If you’re like me, I was taught to mind my own business. Do not stick your nose in things that does not concern you. Should you say something? Should you help her pick up all her things? Do I not make eye contact and just go about my day and pretend I didn’t see it? At what point do you intervene? Yelling, Throwing things at mom and baby, if he was punching the mom? What about the baby? What the hell should we do in this situation? It’s very murky waters to be surrounded in and most of us feel like we would do the right thing but at what level would you let it go to?

I feel most of us if we saw the guy hitting the child a bunch of us probably would have tackled him. But what about the mom? I’d say we’d lose about half. If he was just yelling and throwing things most of us wouldn’t have said anything at all and kept moving.

I’ll tell you what I did and why. Mom and I made eye contact. I mouthed are you ok? She mouthed back “yes and thank you”. I stayed back until she had her belongings and baby was ok and she moved along. I asked from afar. Made sure she knew I was there if needed and kept my distance.

Here is why.. We do not know her family or what’s best for it. We may want to run over and confront the guy and help but it could completely make things worse for her later. Asking her from afar if she is ok and acknowledge you are here to help if needed is really all you can do in that moment. Her guy could become even more enraged if she was talking or getting help. We don’t know the dynamics. She gave me a response that was was going to be ok. She didn’t have to and that would have been on too. I wasn’t entitled to an answer. She got herself together and baby was good. Emotionally it could not be easy but she was good enough for her to move forward.

My ex would become extremely jealous and angry if I spoke to strangers. I would get in so much trouble and it always ended badly in private. You have no idea if us going over there would do later. We respected her boundaries. As stated if physical harm to child or mom and she was trying to protect herself you have to make the call. But she let us know her boundaries and we were ok with that.

It’s totally ok to feel bad, upset, sick about it. That’s normal. You can worry and hope things get better but we are not there to fix it right then and there.

I still think about this woman and baby a full 48 hours later and hope everything is ok. Everyone has a different path and just because some of us are out or close to it she could just be starting her journey.

Have you seen things like this in public? How did you handle it. Has anyone helped or offered to while it was happening to you?

XOXO,

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Violence: Economic Financial Abuse

Hi all,

Continuing on in our series on types of domestic violence. We’ve covered physical and emotional/psychological abuse so far and you can read those posts below if you would like to catch up.

https://swearingtotallyhelps.com/5-types-of-domestic-violence-physical/

https://swearingtotallyhelps.com/5-types-of-domestic-violence-emotional-and-psychological/

This week we are going to chat on one that some don’t really think about. Economic or financial abuse.

Let’s first talk about what it is.

Economic abuse is a form of abuse when one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, which diminishes the victim’s capacity to support themselves and forces them to depend on the perpetrator financially.

Some of the most common examples are.

1 Conceals financial information

2. Limits a victim’s access to assets

3 Controls a victim’s ability to

acquire money

4. Exploits a victim’s resources

5, Dictates how all family funds are

Physical abuse is completely unsafe and dangerous but I also feel like this one is the next one in line. Most domestic violence victims feel trapped to stay in dangerous situations that could escalate because they also do not have the resources to leave.

Their partner controls the finances and often times do so for this exact reason. Some have to ask for money to get food, clothes and basic needs. You rely on the abuser so much for pretty much everything you need as a human to stay alive. The thought of leaving is terrifying because you may not have one single dime when you leave.

Another form is not allowing you to make your own money. Your not allowed to work outside the home or online. Any money you receive has to go to them or in the “house” account that you never get to see. This is particularly hard because you always here advise saying save up and make a plan when you can get out. How can you save if you have no income.

I’ve had stories of survivors reach out that they started saving seriously by taking change from going to get groceries and loose change they find. It’s seriously that small of a start but it’s something.

Another option is if you have access to the internet I had an email from a survivor that she signed up for online surveys that paid to a PayPal account. Slow process but she felt like she was taking the time to build her self at least a little something.

But here is what I do want to say..if you ever feel like you are not safe or it’s escalating to a level it hasn’t before and you need to leave right away please do it. There are shelters and organizers like myself that will do whatever we need to do to keep you safe. No money in the bank will keep you alive if it gets that bad. Just leave if you can as safe as you can and it’s ok to rely on help in the beginning.

My abuser actually left me unannounced and took everything with him. At the time I was 3000 miles away from my closet friend and no means to get back to where I had a soft place to land. He took my furniture and any money we had together and left me with only my clothes.

It’s completely terrifying feeling so helpless and not sure how you will end up but trust me. There are enough people that care about you that will be there no matter what. I realized I had so many people willing to help once it was k own what had happened. A go fund me was set up and within days I had enough to get back to a safe place.

It was humbling to feel the love. People I didn’t even know sent me a little something. I cried with every ding of my phone alerting me. It was like a little hug.

Bottom line is safety first. If you can work out a plan safely then absolutely do so to minimize impact but please no matter what, do not stay because of the lack of stability. This community and the community has got your back.

XOXO,

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Violence: Emotional and Psychological

Hi all,

Getting back on task after having to say goodbye to our Lucy has been rough but it’s time. I wanted to continue talking about the 5 types of domestic violence.

Last time we chatted about physical. If you would like to revisit you can here…

https://swearingtotallyhelps.com/5-types-of-domestic-violence-physical/?amp=1

This time I want to talk about 2 out of the 5 since they can be interpreted as the same sometimes. They really are two distinct categories but they totally intertwine. Emotional and psychological abuse can hurt and cause damage if not more long lasting than the physical kind. My emotional scars have long since overpowered my physical ones. But let’s break it down.

Emotional abuse refers to the type of abuse that affects how someone feels. Being put down, isolated from friends and family, constantly criticized, being blamed for something you can’t control. There is no emotional growth between you and your abuser. You will always be in the wrong.

For me, my abuser started with minor things like commenting on an outfit not looking right or my hair was out of place. He would show concern everytime I went out with my friends or had drinks. At first I thought it was cute, but when it progressed to me not spending enough time with him or I was cheating everytime I went out..I just stopped going so there wouldn’t be an issue.

There was even a time if I needed to go to the store I had to ask if it was ok. If he was out of town or at work he would assume I was up to something because I didn’t want to wait until he got home. I would be in the house most days because going out meant a fight.

When we did fight that’s when the name calling kicked in. I swear he called me a fucking idiot more that he ever said my name. Stupid, crazy, dumb, idiot. Shut the fuck up was also the phrase of choice in our house.

I remember how those names made me feel. Worthless, empty, I even started to believe it. I would go into the shower and just cry my eyes out. Then he would always see my puffy eyes and ask what the hell was I crying about. He told me once he’s the one who should cry because of having to deal with me!! WTF?!?!

Psychological abuse falls close to emotional but psychological abuse involves trauma to the victim through behaviors that are used to “control, terrorize, and denigrate” victims. I guess I think of it as taking the emotional abuse up a notch. Next level stuff. Examples are gaslighting, (meaning making you second guess yourself). Telling you that you are wrong or mistaken when you know your right. Using anything you’ve said in confidence against you. Using threats to spark fear. Feeding you negative thoughts about things to control you.

Mine would tell me bad things would happen to me if I left the house. Nowhere is safe. If I go somewhere he has to go too so he could protect me. Another example is using a past insecurity against me. I had an ex cheat on me when I was younger and it crushed me. He used to tell me I was the reason he cheated because I didn’t do things he liked. Then he said he would too because that’s what happens if they don’t get things. Ugh.

You can see they can be pretty similar but once has a larger manipulation factor to it.

Don’t get me wrong when I say this but for me the verbal/psychological abuse messed me up the most. The physical hurt like hell and can absolutely have devastating outcomes. My injuries healed but my mind has not. I’m 3.5 years out of the abuse but the pain of the words and memories are still right here with me.

This is hard to admit but it’s my truth.. I would actually hope he would hit me instead of the hours long verbal assaults. Typically the physical wound last less time. Ugh I can’t believe I said that but there it is.

I will ALWAYS say that any and all abuse is wrong and one is not worse than the other. It’s not a contest. I think that’s why a lot feel if they are not getting hit or have brushes then they can’t come forward for help. I totally felt that way too. Mine was all 5 categories but the physical came last.

My hope for you is you can recognize the 5 types and make a plan to leave when safe to do so. You deserve all the love and more.

XOXO

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Violence: Physical

Hi all, 

In the next week or so I’m going to talk about the 5 types of domestic violence. We can break down so many types of abuse into smaller categories but these 5 are the starting points. 

These next few posts should come with a warning. No matter where you are in your journey it can always be painful hearing and reading others stories. If your not ready, it’s ok. Bookmark us and come back as a resource when you can. We will be here:)

So let’s dig in..

The 5 major types of domestic violence are considered: Physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and physiological. 

Each one by itself can be devastating but unfortunately most times a lot of these are combined. My own story has all 5 front and center. 

Today we are going to chat about the physical part. Domestic violence in most peoples minds is physical. We see movies of victims bruised faces,billboards of sad, tired black eyes. We know famous stories of celebrities that spoke out like Tina Turner and Rihanna. If you ask any random person on the street and have them explain domestic violence it would almost always be the physical side. 

In reality most domestic survivors say the physical side was a slow progression. The other pillars lead up to it. 

The majority of shelters see victims only come for help when it gets to this point. Fearing for more harm and trying to save their lives. For some, feeling like they can’t get help unless it gets physical is so painful to hear. Abuse isn’t judged on how bad it gets. 

My own story was exactly that. It didn’t just start as a fast punch to the face but once that first form of physical violence shows itself it’s already going down a dangerous path.

If you haven’t read my story you can do so below.

Domestic Physical abuse is considered any touching contact that is intended to hurt or cause harm. A punch, slap, kick, shove, push, choke, hit with an object or being held down when you are not allowed to move are forms of physical abuse. If your parter is hurting your body with intent to harm you are physically being abused. Sexual abuse is a form of physical but due to it being on a whole other level it gets it own category.

Did you know it take an average of 7 tries to leave an abusing partner? Meanwhile each episode things progress worse and worse. 

Please know your situation and if you feel you are in danger you need to make a plan when safe to do so. It’s scary and the fear of leaving everything with no next steps can be hard. The only step you need to do is find a way to safely. There are so many wonderful people and organizations here with open arms and we got you. I promise. 

If you or someone you know needs help please reach out to someone on our resources page or if you just need to talk or have a friend there are so many that will listen. I see you and if you need a quick moment of knowing your not alone let me know and I will do what I can to help. 

Just please know you are not alone. I got you. We ALL got you. 

Xoxo

Amy

How to handle constant verbal abuse

Hey all,

Wanted to chat today about that feeling of never doing anything right? Feeling the smallest thing with become a problem. The never ending anxiety of what will happen next? Will it escalate? Will they just yell this time? Wondering what names and insults will be hurled my way. Not being able to defend yourself because you know it will make it worse.

They can be just words but it is still 100% abuse. When I first starting talking about my story I would always say that I would rather had hit hot me each time than the verbal. The sting of the slap or punch went away but for me the words stuck with me. Some of them still do. We all handle things different ways but for me that was my truth.

My ex could fight or say something hurtful every time I opened my mouth. Everything could be a fight. I did something wrong in his eye. I didn’t move fast enough. I said something the wrong way. I looked at him funny. No matter what I did or said it was an opening for him to break down every part to tell me how I effed up.

Living with that constant assault on you and your mental health can be exhausting. I was a walking zombie most days. My mind and body was on fumes. The little times he was not around me was so breathtaking. It was a minute I could breathe. I could be myself or what I remembered of myself. I took those little moments to try and reset and get back to a place where I could go back in recharged.

There were days where it was an all day thing and I didn’t know if I could get though the day. Other days he was gone and I was in the house alone. Holy Shit you guys…it was like I was on vacation. I watched my tv shows I never could. I would call my friends with out him listening and questioning everything. I took care of bills, personal things on my laptop and most important I took care of me.

I am by no means a therapist but here are a few things I did to help me on those really bad days.

  1. Find little pockets of time to be alone. Take a long shower. Take the dog out for a walk. Go get the mail. Whatever you can think of to steal a few moments to yourself to breathe.

2. Find something you find joy in that you can do. I wasn’t really allowed to work or go anywhere. I had to get creative on my own so I taught myself how to knit. He of course would criticize it but the joy I felt doing something and feeling accomplished when I finished. Coloring books, plants, baking..whatever you love do it!

3. Try and do a bit of self care. It can be hard to actually want to do ANYTHING when your feeling down. I totally get it. I tried to at least get up and changed clothes each day. I would brush my hair and teeth. Put lotion on and try to do what I can to feel presentable for the day. Just having that little thing for YOU can lift your spirits.

4. If safe to do so try and join a Facebook/Reddit or any online support group. There are a bunch of us out there that know what you feel and we are here to listen and help. You are definitely not alone in this.

5. This ones a hard one but no matter how hard it gets please remember what they are telling you is NOT TRUE! They are meant to make you small and weak. YOU ARE NOT! I would always try and remember how I was before I met him. I was strong and independent. I survived and thrived before him and I will after too! Let them ay what they need to say. You can process and feel awful…that’s normal but then please remember who you are. Their words do not define who you are. What they say is not set in stone. Just right now is not the best but the time will come and you will break free when your ready and able to do so. Just believe in yourself and mentally plan for your amazing future.

Verbal abuse is not a lesser abuse. It’s painful and extremely harmful to your mental health. Please know if you need to chat I am here and no judgement. It’s tough out there so it’s good to have an ally.

xoxo

Amy

5 High profile celebrities that have experienced domestic violence Pt 1

Hey All,

We all know that DV can hit anyone. It does not matter if your Rich or Poor, successful or just trying to make it. Everyone one of us has a different story on how we were forcefully made to join this awful club. Some of us left right away. Others took more time to plan to be safe. Some went back and forth on if we should go or not. Regardless on how we made it through or if your still in and working through it we are all the same.

Celebrities are for sure no exception. I’m sure most know the stories of these 5 strong ladies but here is a quick reminder that even at the top of your game you are not alone in this. We are stronger together. And unfortunately as the People Magazine pages say.. “Stars.. They’re just like us”

  1. Rihanna

In 2009, on the eve of the Grammy awards Rihanna and Chris Brown had a moment that would have the world buzzing the very next day. By daylight Chris Brown and Rihanna’s performances were cancelled. One was arrested and the other was black and blue and a photo of Miss Rihanna’s face was ALL OVER the internet.

You can for sure read about it all in detail and see the photo’s with a quick internet search but since it could be a trigger for some I will leave that for someone else to discuss.

What makes this close to home for me and probably many others is that she went back to him. She felt he made a mistake and just needed help and she felt very protective. This is a very common reaction. On average it takes 8 times to leave before it sticks.

The other thing that is hard but so common is that Chris Brown is remorseful but in an interview after the incident, His verbiage was she did this and she did that. He acknowledges his wrongs but it was almost like… If she didn’t do this I wouldn’t have done that. Victim blaming at it’s finest. CB was sentenced to 5 years probation, 1 year of domestic violence counseling and 6 months community service.

Both Rihanna and Chris moved on and had successful careers. Chris has had his ups and downs since then. He is now a father and Rihanna is expecting her first child.

2. Tina Turner

Oh miss Tina. We all know the fierce woman we see today but very early on in her career she met a man named Ike and her world changed forever.

Ike saw the talent in her early on and took her in and taught her the business. Soon he began to control every aspect of her life. Her finances, her clothes, her hair, her sound. Beatings and sexual abuse followed.

The band and staff around her all knew but they felt powerless to help. Whenever they did she got it worse. She has been quoted saying that she felt the only way out was death. In 1968 she felt that was the only option and had a scary attempt at her own life.

While driving to a show in Dallas in 1976 she suffered a bad beating in a car and once Ike fell asleep that was her chance and she finally took it. With .36 cents in her pocket she ran into a nearby hotel and decided enough was enough.

Being free is one thing but she had a tough time bouncing back. When a partner controls every aspect of your life you need to start 100% over. Record labels were scared to sign her as a solo artist. Too risky since she bailed on Ike. Little did they know the abuse she suffered.For 6 years she was out of the spotlight. Cleaning houses and singing in small clubs to get by. No one would still touch her as an artist so she decided to tell all. In 1981 she wrote a tell all book and laid it on the line. That book became a movie in 2013 that had a #1 single with the same name. What’s love got to do with it told her story and she was ready to make a new one. We see her now as a strong kick ass woman and a survivor. National treasure type level for sure.

Ike died in 2007. She met an amazing man that loves her and after 24 years she got married again in 2013.

On Sunday I will break down the last 3 wonderful ladies. Madonna, Robin Givens and Whitney Houston.

XOXO

Amy