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Domestic Violence...An Addiction to POWER & CONTROL

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Liberty for Some ... Justice for Whom ?

Why DON'T Women Leave Domestic Violence ?

.............................THEY CAN'T !

They CAN'T.....if there is no place to go !

Women can't get away to be safe, if there is simply noplace for them to be. But we go right on assuming there IS shelter for them. In fact, there are NOT shelters for most women at this time.

Women with Sons, Women with Disabilities, Women with Disabled Chilren, Women of Color [are far more likely to be eliminated by shelter staff for any number of offenses], and Women Who Speak English as a Second Language [see above]. It really ALL depends upon whom was on duty, at the time you phoned.

If you do not believe that shelters are normally FULL, not available for women, call yours today and ASK. They can assure you they are nearly always full, even if you don't meet these criteria.

  • "I know that I would......."
  • "Can't she see that she should ?"
  • "I know that I could if it were me.....!"
  • "She could have left, but she didn't, she SHOULD have."
And then.....when there is no way she can be safe, we blame her for NOT leaving him. And we say But it's just not that simple.

Domestic Violence is complex. It involves the deepest of emotions, and the strongest ties. Leaving is just that complicated. While this epidemic rises, shelters do not expand. Far too many women simply have no place to BE safe.

How can we make it possible for women to LEAVE? We must raise awareness, and bring about shelter regulation, so that Justice IS for all, not some, or a few. We've changed the laws, some of them, and that's a start. But if we must still rely on shelters the way they are currently run, we still make most women go right back.

If we continue to rely on the police to stop the cycle they more than any other profession, DO at their own homes [this statistic has not changed in the past 25 years, which is about all the time we've taken this seriously] nothing will change. This is America, yet this is not seen as a crisis. Let's change this. Let's make shelters a safe place, not a prison.

Let us establish regulations and requirements, because they basically force women to return to batterers. They need your help. The women need your help.

    How? By looking at abuse NOT AS:
  • A drug problem : Did you know that most shelters require drug classes, OR you Must leave.
  • Not money problems: many now require that you take their budgeting classes OR leave.
  • Not as an Economic Class problem: Most shelters focus on getting jobs for women, not on rebuilding families.
  • Not AS IF there are shelters for the Disabled EXCLUSVELY: almost no shelters take disabilities, the group abused ten times more than any other class of persons, male and female alike.
This nation needs concerned involvement. It needs your help.

HOW can women IF, there is simply NOwhere to go? Did you know that if you have a Son, you can't stay at most shelters? Also if you have asthma, the wrong accent or religion, skin color, a different national origin and especially a disability, you just aren't welcome. The call is made by the person on the phone, with no regulations, and a whole lot of power. Women who must leave the state, have absolutely NO assistance, to relocate someplace else in our nation.

And much as we wish to think that shelters are available, they simply are only for a few. And the staff will usually be at least 10 years younger than the battered woman, and without life experiences, few have true diversity. For many of us, there will never be a safe way to leave a batterer, unless we DO something about it. Shelters need to be for everyone.....not merely a few. And they need HELP before they will change. Wanting them to be available can't happen, until we bring about change.

That is life for millions of women in the US and Canada alone. I am one of them. My story began in 1995 and continues to this day.

How can a highly educated woman with a backround in Social Work end up in a domestic violence situation with no help avaialable? A LOT more women than you think CAN and DO!

It's easy. It could happen to anyone. It can happen to you..... And so it becomes time to ask: Not WILL you leave? BUT CAN YOU? IS there a shelter? Will they take boys? How about ANY kind of disABILITY? That is what we will cover on these pages....AND a solution to Ending the Cycle

These subjects are my life. It has been destroyed by Domestic Violence, disability and society's unwillingness to provide reasonable accomodation in shelters for women who MUST leave. But in writing these (and other webpages) my spirit lives on. If it gives you hope to trip has been worthwile.

When three years ago, aching, bruised and having lost all, I began a simple Tripod webpage of my Domestic Violence story. Imagine my shock when months later MILLIONS had visited my page. It was averaging almost half a million a week. And it wasn't even very good which tells us it was Domestic Violence, the subject matter, which is affecting millions daily.

It tells us that the subject is POWERFUL. And so is the ability to recover. But first we must recognize it for what it is, an addiction. Not of the survivor. No, the one of the person seeking POWER and CONTROL, which BECOMES Domestic Violence. But the victim must travel that road from the victim role, to the survivor!

I recognized it when a woman younger than I, became jealous. And she was not even out of her abusive relationship, already she was seeking yet another one. While I was dealing with my newly lowered self esteem, she was ready to continue to cycle of abuse!

The entire thing had me baffled. There she was, young, lovely, and I felt completely unattractive. Didn't she notice also the wheelchair, if not the age difference? I was not undesirable, I was in recovery and knew it. I sought safety. She seeks another man so she can feel good about herself. And I am quite certain she found yet another one, and probably is no happier now than then !

There was no help for me. I must use a wheelchair part time, for distances and any standing. You see, a man or woman who becomes differently abled, also known as a Person With DisABILITIES, is suddenly ten times more likely to experience spousal abuse.

Even as a partner whose spouse is addicted to a substance can attend meetings, surivors of the Addiction to Power and Control, known as Domestic Abuse , can attend meetings as well. There may not be one for DV your area. But Twelve Step Meetings and websites abound. Attending one can bring freedom. Just writing this website has brought freedom and serenity to me!

Men can find support on these pages as well. We have the Twelve Steps for Batterers, pages on where the need to feel in "Control" comes from, and Support for Bat terers as well links to other related webpages.

If you are a woman caught in the web of the addiction to power and control known as Domestic Violence, please read the pages which educate and support those found....OR THINKING THAT THEY MIGHT BE.... in this situation. The numbers of links on the subject are staggering. And I encourage you to check out every single one. YOU are worth it. Your kids are worth it. And his addiction is not affected by ANYTHING you do, good or bad, behaviorally.

We can NOT control his addiction. But we CAN control our reaction. Staying will NOT bring about change. Educating your self will. Thank you for checking this out, coming here. PLEASE TAKE CARE of yourself by reading on. And if you feel that you absolutely can NOT leave, or find help, please keep reading. I speak from experience in saying that you are stronger than you think you are. I left, wheelchair and weak body, and all. Your Spirit is strong. And your love for your children is strong. You are not "keeping" them "from" the man who "loves them". You are keeping them safe until that day in which he seeks recovery ON HIS OWN. Because we can't make anyone do anything. If I can leave a batterer, when shelters won't even allow Persons With Disabilities, you can leave too!

Friends and family members here is support for you as well. As you know, the Twelve Steps are for everyone touched by the addiction: including yourselves. Go to a meeting, and bring your daughter. See if your shelter has meetings which are open to concerned individuals. There are many resources as well for what you can do IF YOU EVEN SUSPECT. As my friend David did, he pointed me in the direction I needed to go TO GET HELP. I live today because he did so. Please check out the references on the pages specifically for Concerned Support Persons.

And I have ideas and plans to do so. For starters shelters MUST become accessable by law so that everyone, including PWDs (of all ages-kids too) can get help! And we need to create an Underground Railroad, to assist our sister s in their departure, and help them relocate under the Family Violence Act. Ready to join me in exploring these?

Good, I thought so! Let's Go...

Copyright November 4, 1999

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