Violence against women continues to be a reoccurring issue that is left in the back burner. These issues, such as domestic violence, do not only consist of physical abuse but of the mental abuse that coexists with it. I believe a woman’s character should not be defined if she falls a victim of Domestic Violence.
Growing up I remember watching television talk shows that consisted of family trials and constant fighting. I always told myself, “How can they stick around to that abuse?” or positively think, “That would never be me”. Truth is, one does not wake up and suddenly wish to be in an unhealthy relationship. It is an evolving black cloud that surfaces.
After my father’s death, I longed to find a way to fill in the void of a masculine figure in my life. Getting into my first relationship, I hoped for it to be the sanctuary that would make my depression ease away. However, as the years passed, I soon realized I was in a relationship where I felt enslaved to my partner’s expectations. I could not dress a certain way, speak to anyone, or even voice my opinions. I was constantly told that I was worthless, ugly, and incapable of finding love from another. I heard these words over and over in my head; they were engraved onto me. Soon enough I began to believe them. I allowed my mind to be eclipsed by these hateful words and I lost all the love and hope I had for myself.
The mental abuse soon escalated to physical. I constantly covered up the bruises to avoid my family asking me questions. I knew my situation was horrid, but I lived in fear of being judged for allowing myself to be treated poorly. I felt alone and isolated because I was convinced domestic violence could not be easily understood unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
I was finally able to find the courage to tell my mother of the constant battle I was suffering for many years. I soon realized how important it is to bring awareness of the toll domestic violence plays in a woman’s life. It is not just physical, it is the constant feeling of being trapped and consumed inside these thoughts that have been forcefully implanted in your mind.
I always felt humiliated to accept that in my life I was once that girl on the television screen that I carelessly judged without understanding. That same girl I refused to ever be, yet there I was, in the mist of living a nightmare which felt never-ending. I believe an individual should take the time to listen to a victim and to understand the severity of the mental consumption which keeps a woman trapped in unhealthy relationships. Anyone can be a victim of violence: a mother, daughter, a teacher, student. It is not a choice to live a life full of fear, but a mental trap that takes time to get out of. I believe my past experiences of domestic violence does not define me, nor does it define those who are currently absorbed, but they should be taken to consideration and understood.