Dear Readers ... How are ya’ll? These are such trying times. We are all trying to cope with such a pandemic as has never been seen in the history of man. It is enough to break your heart. The coronavirus has created another pandemic that I personally feel. In fact, I cry for the victims, and that is domestic violence.

I’d like to start out by saying that I myself have been the victim of domestic violence. I must admit that it hurts me to say it out loud to my readers, but it is important that victims break the silence of shame that overshadows domestic violence.

Society has customarily ADDED shame to victims ... “She must have low self-esteem, she must be weak, she must be a lower class and uneducated woman.”

Well, I am here to tell you that NONE of that is true. Female victims, (which there are male victims of domestic violence, but primarily the statistics show the most abused are female, abused by a male), come from a variety of education and backgrounds.

I am in a domestic violence support group and one woman that is a member was a Chinese Cryptologic Linguist for United States Air Force Intelligence. Yes, you read that correctly. A strong and very beautiful woman.

I’ve had tremendously successful careers also, successfully raised four gorgeous, successful daughters, one of which is a psychologist. Abuse is an equal opportunity problem. Abusers are brilliant manipulators. They are predators that study their prey to figure out how to reel in their victim. Then they, “gaslight’ their victim like the 1944 movie Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman. The movie is how the term was coined.

Getting out of a domestic violence situation is a nightmare. The abuser can kill their victim if they feel the victim may leave them, thus losing their control over the victim. The abuser thrives on a tyrannical control of the victim.

Family may not help the victim because they look down on them.

Friends may not understand the full scope of how the abuser has made devastating inroads into the self esteem of the victim.

Authority figures may be fooled by the abusers charm and label the victim a liar.

And now, during the coronavirus a lot of abuse centers cannot take in abused women. So, in a lot of situations, the victim is now quarantined 24/7 with the dangerous abuser. Murder of women is dramatically up at this time. What can we do?

Number one: do not judge the victim, have empathy. Show her respect. Would you want some empathy when your life is in danger or you’ve been beaten to a pulp? Most likely yes you would.

Number two: if you see abuse notify the authorities. Tell what you’ve seen.

Number three: If you are able, donate to domestic violence support groups so that these women can be helped.

And last but not least, if you are a woman in this situation, my heart is with you 100%! Do not give up. Your life and your children’s lives matter. Call the domestic violence hotline. Make safety plans if possible, set aside important documents you may need in the future. Keep a “to go” bag. AND, do not let your abuser know anything about any plans to get away that you may be making. This delicate time is when you are likely to be killed by an abuser who does not want to lose control.

Well, now ya’ll know the rest of the story about part of my life. It took a lot of inner strength but I made it out of a marriage like this, and I am thriving.

Oh, and I am so happy. I am free to, “be me.”

Until next time, have a safe week, and have a literary week!

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