Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lost in the headlines about the historic presidential election and the stock market meltdown is the fact that October is the month dedicated to becoming aware of and controlling domestic violence. The irony is that the financial shock waves that have been rocketing throughout the world are likely to increase the prevalence of abuse. The economic turmoil will undoubtedly lead to greater fears, pressure and anxiety within families facing financial collapse - and, in many cases, that stress will lead to battering. Sandwiched Boomers, already dealing with the enormous strains of caring for growing children and aging parents, may be especially vulnerable.

The Centers for Disease Control believes that 10% of the population is affected by domestic abuse, although it is estimated that only one-third of these cases are actually reported. It is the most common cause of injury for women ages 15 to 44 who suffer physical as well as emotional injury, such as depression, anxiety and social isolation. If you, or someone you know, are the victim of domestic abuse, this may be the time to begin the long process of extricating yourself.

Why do women remain in abusive relationships? Frequently, the reason is fear - they have been brainwashed by the perpetrator - convinced that they are helpless and cannot cope alone. Or they're afraid that the abusive partner will harm them or their children if they attempt to leave. Another justification is the victims' incorrect belief that the responsibility is theirs, that they have caused the abuse or that it is up to them to stay in order to keep the family together. Finally, because of a variety of psychological issues and complicated family dynamics, the defense mechanism of denial can remain strong. Domestic abuse victims often refuse to see themselves as battered and don't accept the fact that the perpetrator will continue the abusive behavior.

Stay in touch this week as we give you some options to help you take better care of yourself. And let us hear from you if you have dealt with this personal crisis before.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. It is so important for women to have the support that they need in order to get away from the abuser.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a survivor of domestic violence, I can appreciate and relate to this! I personally believe it's far more than 10% of the population. 
One time, my husband was chasing me around the yard (drunk) with an ax, threatening to burn me in place of firewood in our wood stove. We didn't have a telephone, so I managed to run to the neighbors house to use hers. The police would not come. They were less likely to get involved in domestic violence disputes then than they are now. The officer on the other end said to his co-worker "Hey --, listen to this! Old man’s gonna burn her for firewood! Ha! Ha! Ha!. I suggest you go stay at your momma’s house!” To which I replied “So, what you‘re telling me is…you can’t or won’t do anything about it unless he kills me and then it’s too late?!” “Yep.” was his answer. My neighbor called them back to tell them I had a 2 month old baby in the house (true), and they came out. Know what they did? Took me and my baby to my momma’s house! They didn’t even arrest him!
I lived at a local women’s shelter 3 times while we were married. That’s where I met another man who would NEVER abuse me-Jesus. I eventually did some volunteer work for that shelter as well as was employeed there as their house-mother several years ago. I am long divorced from that man, who now has a long police record, as well as an ongoing history of abuse. I broke THAT cycle in my life. I rose above those circumstances and have been able to share my story(s) with many other women over the years. What seemed to be a bad thing worked out for good, as a lot of women’s lives have been changed for the better by this, my story.
Get help. Leave. Leave in any way you can. Don’t go back. Period.

7:18 AM  

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