Abuse – 5 letters that shatter

According to statistics published by the CDC, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience physical abuse. Fifty percent of women and men undergo emotional abuse in their lifetime.

Astonishing numbers.

Abuse is a part of many people’s stories. Some will become stronger and it will impact their entire lives in a positive light. Others will continue to be victims of the cycle. The abuse may seem normal or they may believe it’s all their fault.

Abuse is not silent, even when it appears to be. It screams at every inch of your body, breaking it piece by piece until one day you don’t recognize who you are anymore.

“Live in faith and hope, though it be in darkness, for in this darkness God protects the soul. Cast your care upon God for you are His and He will not forget you. Do not think that He is leaving you alone, for that would be to wrong Him.” – Saint John of The Cross

How does one move from victim to survivor? How can we help others from enduring this cycle that tells them they are useless, they are weak, and there is nothing they can do? How can we help victims of abuse see a shimmer of light through a crack in the darkness?

  • Be observant and recognize when someone is in an abusive situation. There may not always be physical signs. Withdrawal and isolation may be prevalent.
  • Be present and listen. Listening and presence are the most important piece. It reveals the greatest gift God gives us – compassion and love for one another. Allowing the victim to know they are not alone.
  • Generate awareness of unhealthy behaviors. Help them to see what healthy and unhealthy looks like and to recognize boundaries that have been violated.
  • Provide resources. Let them know they aren’t alone and that there are professionals that can provide assistance in the process of removal from the relationship and the healing process.

October is domestic violence awareness month. Let’s not continue to let this disease kill and destroy families and individuals.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”

Saint Augustine

Categories: Faith

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