Trigger Warning: Sexual abuse
A fist connects with her face and the imprint it makes will last much longer than the time it takes for the bruise to fade. The scathing remarks penetrate deeply making a scar upon her soul.
Why is it that in 2014 we are still talking about violence against women?
When I set out to write this blog in regards to Violence Against Women Awareness Week, I thought about my own experience of being raped by a former boyfriend.
My screams of no went unheard, and after what happened I continued to be silent as I did not speak about what had happened. How could I accuse someone of rape when I had an established intimate relationship with them? Who would believe me? Years later I found out I was not the only one that had told him no and I celebrate that brave soul who brought him to justice.
As I have spoken to other women during my research for this piece, I am astounded to know that almost all of them have endured abuse on some level. So why did or do they stay in these relationships? Security and fear.
Most of the women that I spoke with felt that they had nowhere to turn. They would rather face an open palm or a harsh word than the unknown. And with abuse comes the guilt and humiliation. One asks themselves: How did I allow this to happen to myself? What will people think of me if they know? They begin to believe that they deserve or have even brought the abuse upon themselves.
In our area we have one shelter for women to turn to. And honestly, restraining orders are about as effective as the piece of paper that they are printed on.
So what is the solution?
Obviously stricter laws as well as enforcement of the current laws need to be in place for these predators. But the best defense is ourselves.
Women are an extraordinary species and empowerment is the answer. Women have to take control over their lives and realize that they are worth more than the love of a spouse or partner.
How can we fight violence against women?
- Self confidence
- Self worth
are the tools we have at our disposal. It is unacceptable to allow anyone to do anything to you in a harmful manner. And even though I may have been silent about the attack that I endured, I cut the guy out of my life entirely the very next day. There are no second chances for these hurtful, hateful, bullies in our lives.
Stand up for yourself.
I can assure you it will not be easy, but you will surprise yourself with the strength that lies within you.
Char is one of Ugly Ducklings Inc’s collaborators, and has written articles for our series on child abuse awareness, and adoption awareness. Although her life has been pierced by experiences some people will never go through, her blogs are an example of strength and optimism against all odds. You can read her Ugly Duckling Story on Pinterest.