Celebrating Women

Mother’s Day is a time for many women to celebrate their families.  But some women spend this weekend celebrating freedom from an abusive home.

 

Every Mother’s Day weekend, I help the Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas with their annual Mother’s Day Luncheon, which raises money to help abused women and children.
One of the women was kind enough to answer my questions, in hopes of helping other women.
 1) How did your partner abuse you?  Was it physical, verbal, psychological, or all three?
All 3 – the physical was bad, but the emotional scars take the longest time to heal.

                                      2)  How long did you put up with it and why?

On and off for 8 years. I knew what he was doing wasn’t right, but I believed his excuses and wanted to believe his promises to change. After a while I was too embarrassed to admit that I was in an abusive relationship. I didn’t fit the profile many people have of abused women. I owned a home, I had a great job and I always had an excuse for the bruising and swelling.

 

 

3)  What made you get out of the situation?
After an especially violent assault with my children as witnesses, I knew I had to get them out of the situation before they were left with him as the only caregiver. I was afraid he would kill me.
4) What would you say to other women about the warning signs?
When you notice something that just doesn’t feel or sound right – check it out with safe people. I ignored his controlling behavior, character insults and false accusations, not wanting me to spend time with my family or friends, and just the general whirlwind nature of our relationship.

 

 

5)  How has Genesis helped you?

 

Genesis helped me see that the problem was not me, but his values and beliefs. First of all, I learned that abuse is not a normal part of healthy relationships. I learned that I can’t change him – only he can change himself. I learned I have rights in my relationships, I can choose to set boundaries, I do not have to keep his secret and most importantly there are people who can help and want to help me provide a physically and emotionally safe and stable life for me and my children.
For more information, go to www.genesisshelter.org
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