Abuse comes in many different varieties and not all bruises are visible. Trust me – I know! #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou hopes to raise awareness about the different types of domestic abuse.
When I was in college, I dated (thankfully for a very brief period of time) a guy who was extremely abusive. He never yelled, never raise a hand to me – instead, he tried his hardest to manipulate my every action, alienated me from my friends and tried to dominate every minute of my time. He constantly told me my opinions were wrong and if I truly cared for him, I would do this, that, or the other thing- whether or not I wanted to do those things was completely unimportant. I hadn’t even really seen that he had come me off from friends and family – yet.
For me the breaking point was one evening when I decided I wanted to hang out with my best friend instead of going out with him. He very kindly gave me permission but then called her house repeatedly to check up on me- to make sure I was there. That was also the same evening that another friend came over to her house and together they say me down and said “Have you looked at yourself lately?”
It was a very short period of time that I had been dating this guy but I had changed dramatically – to the point my friends didn’t recognize my personality any more. Fortunately, that was the wake-up call I needed. With the support of my friends and the fact that, generally speaking, I have a strong personality, I got away from this master manipulator quickly and easily. Once he realized I was going to stand up to him- he moved on to an easier target for his games but not after he tried to spread vicious rumors about around the campus of the small liberal arts college we were attending. Oh –well, the price was worth the lesson learned.
Bottom line- I was lucky- extremely lucky. Not everyone is. 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic abuse at some point in her life be it physical, psychological/emotional, financial, or sexual. And to be completely honest not every victim is a woman.
If you are in a relationship that constantly denies you dignity, self-respect, security, or makes you question your every move- get out. It is not your fault- despite what your abuser wants you to think. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, member of the church or make a call to the domestic abuse hot line. In Illinois, that number is 877-863-6338. Nationally, the number is 800-799-7233.
If you are concerned someone in your life is a victim of domestic abuse, be there for them – make the call for them and find out what you can do to help. Abuse relies primarily on ignorance and fear. Spread this hash tag and we can defeat ignorance. By supporting our loved one, we can overcome fear.