National Domestic Violence Prevention Month

In my book published by Westbow Press titled, “Screen Door” I wrote about the domestic violence (then called wife-beating) I experienced as a child.  From a child’s perspective, living with this type of violence can turn your world upside down.  Trying to figure out how the man you love most in the world, your father, could hurt your mother so severely and heartless.  A child sees the parents as one and equal in responsibility and authority.  Once the father subjects the mother to such harsh abuse, the child then sees the father as the authority figure over everyone in the family and reduce the mother as one of the siblings.  Domestic violence engulfs the child in fear and a whole lot of anxiety.  Back in the days when I was a child, domestic violence in the home was kept secret.  Not only is spousal abuse hurtful and embarrassing, to a child it is mentally disabling. 

Since the Ray Rice incident when he punched his then girlfriend in an Atlantic City casino elevator, the issue of domestic violence came to the forefront.  People are discussing it out in the open on television, radio and social media.  Because cameras were on the elevator taping the incident, people actually SAW it happening in real time.  The NFL will broadcast commercials showing football players telling the audience not to accept any excuse from an abuser.  This a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.  There must be some intervention in mental dysfunctions, chemical dependency and anger management.   

Most adults who have lived through domestic violence as children grow to try and bury it in their minds.  They choose not to remember because it is too painful to revisit and may conjure up unwanted feelings against the abuser.  It takes a great deal of courage to even talk about it.  Now that so many incidence of spousal abuse is in the news today, the discussion will bring light to it and maybe finally society can deal with it.  Once we recognize the symptoms and the way we respond to it, there is a chance to change and eliminate this scourge altogether so that children in the future may never have to grow up with an abusive parent. 

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