Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The day I stopped sharing.

"Keep Calm And Love Your Husband."

"A Happy Marriage Is The Union Of Two Good Forgivers."

"A Good Wife Makes A Good Husband."

I used to share this sort of stuff on social media all the time. Branden and I got married as teenagers; we've come a long way, and we fought like hell for it. I'm proud of us, and I have some truths that I cling to and believe- particularly concerning the myth that a good marriage doesn't require work, but that is for another post. I rarely, if ever, posted about what a husband should be doing, simply because I was only relating to the things I could change in my marriage. I had friends who told me that it encouraged them to see my posts in a sea of husband-bashing. It made me feel good.

Until I realized that perhaps I was unintentionally sending the wrong message to some women that mean a lot to me.

1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime. This abuse may come in physical, emotional, or mental forms. Do you realize what this means?

Someone in your life is very likely a victim, whether you know it or not. Maybe they don't even realize it, or they tell themselves they don't. They tell themselves it isn't that bad, they tell themselves it's different.

Worst of all, they tell themselves that it's their fault, and then well-meaning people, people they love and trust, post and say things that only drive that point home. If they worked harder, tried harder, weren't so very flawed human, they wouldn't bring this upon themselves.

I never, ever wanted to perpetuate that message. I never will again. Seeing those so dear to me be kicked and then kick themselves some more broke my heart and lit a fire in me at the same time.

We have got to change this conversation from being so heavy with victim blaming to full and unconditional victim support. We have to be one another's champions. We have to stop telling women if they'd be less, or be more, or just try to figure out how not to make him so angry, that things would get better. We have to reach our hands out and pull each other up. We have to raise our boys to have nothing less that the utmost respect for the women their lives. Nothing is going to change unless we change it.

1 in 4 women.

The remaining 3 of us need to be their voices and their safe havens.

***Here are some resources for victims and those wanting to help.***

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Voice Unsilenced

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