I don't write very much on domestic violence because, thankfully, it's not a part of my life (anymore). But it was at one time. I bring it up because October is National Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. I think it's important for survivors of domestic violence to speak up and share their stories. We all have stories. We're all important.
People who have been fortunate to have never been involved with domestic violence have no idea what it is like and I'm pretty sure one of the most common questions is "Why did she stay?"
Simply put - it's just not as easy as it sounds to 'just leave' - as simple and ask easy as it seems it should be.
Someone hits you and the relationship is over right? Not exactly. There are apologies. There are hopes that it really won't happen again. Hope that things will change. Hope that things will get better.
And there is the very real shame and embarrassment. Even if you know in your head that it is not your fault, even if you know that you don't deserve this it is still so very hard to talk about. It is so very hard to admit to family and friends what is going on. It still embarrassing to have to say that the person you love and care about hits you.
If you want an inside look at domestic violence in a relationship, why she stayed, why she finally left ... you can read my story. Not all stories are (obviously) the same, but his was my story, my reality, and my truth.
If you watch professional football you might have noticed the PSA for No More. The unifying symbol of No More is "designed to galvanize greater awareness and action to end domestic violence and sexual assault."
Domestic violence is still a taboo subject to talk about. No More. Don't stay silent on this anymore. Let the conversation be open and out there.
If you need help The National Domestic Violence Hotline is always available 24/7 with a toll-free number or a live online chat.