Self Esteem Help for Victims of Domestic Violence

A woman who’s dealing with domestic violence needs self esteem help, we all know that. This is why there are many organizations making programs and raising awareness against this crime. The awareness are even on billboards but still it doesn’t stop.

Women suffering from this kind of situation doesn’t just need to receive self esteem help but to offer herself a self help as well. There are some things they need to do when overcoming the problem – “hush, hush” and “letting go”. Here are some ideas and tips on how it’s done.

HUSH, HUSH

One in three women will be affected by domestic violence, and one in five teens, Clark said.

“It’s people that you know, they just don’t talk about it,” Clark said.

According to Clark, law enforcement agencies in Alameda County receive between 8,000 and 10,000 domestic violence calls annually, but only one in 10 cases are actually reported.

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Self esteem help can only be received by the person seeking it if she offers herself a help from her own.

“So those 10,000 calls should be 100,000,” Clark said.

There are many reasons why such abuse goes unreported. People often don’t realize they are victims or are afraid to seek help due to isolation, fear they won’t be able to be self-sufficient or because they don’t want to break up the family, among other pressures, Clark said.

Not recognizing abuse is especially a problem for younger victims, said Sherri Plaza, manager of prevention services.

She said much of teen abuse revolves around control issues, such as constant text messaging or, worse, forcing partners to send nude or sexually explicit photos.

Not only is “sexting” considered child pornography, it’s a form of abuse, said Plaza, who works with ninth-graders to define the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.

“You’re losing control of your own body,” she said.

Even when abuse is reported, victims end up getting back together with their partners.

“When you fall in love, you fall in love because you feel good,” Clark said. “And that’s true of domestic violence victims. They’re looking for someone to make them feel good, feel safe.”

“Because you have that attachment, you want to forgive that person,” he added.

On average, it takes seven attempts for a victim to leave an abusive relationship, said Kate Hart, director of residential services for SAVE.

For Linda, it only took two attempts. It just took a long time — marriage and five children later — before she realized she was a victim.

LETTING GO

Linda had no idea she was in an abusive relationship. Her husband’s constant verbal attacks and extremely controlling behavior paled in comparison to the physical abuse her mother experienced at the hands of her father.

Her husband was different, Linda thought. He was a charming and successful man, she said.

“He wined me, dined me and swept me off of my feet,” she said. “I fell head over heels and got pregnant.”

The two went on to get married, have more children and live in a large house.

“Materially, it looked like I lived the life,” she said.

But things soon started to change.

“It began with control,” she said.

Linda wasn’t allowed to visit her friends and family, she said. Her husband timed her when she went to the grocery store or ran errands and would get angry if she didn’t return quickly.

“All of a sudden I’m a slave, I’m a prisoner in my own home,” she said. “I felt paralyzed.”

She called SAVE when she was pregnant with her fourth child but said she didn’t have the strength to leave. She didn’t have a college education and was estranged from her immediate family, which her then-husband used against her.

“Where are you going to go? Where you going to get a job? What kind of life are our kids going to have?” he would ask.

“I started to believe it,” she said.

He wasn’t physically abusive at the time, she said. “I thought he was okay, a good father,” she said.

Then she caught him cheating on her, she said. That’s when she took her children and left. She landed a job as a case manager for a women’s shelter. While taking a training class about domestic violence, it finally sunk in: she, too, was a victim.

“I wanted to run out and cry. I said, ‘Oh my god. This is my life,’ ” she said.

But still doubting her decision to leave, she moved back in with her husband.

“Things got worse,” she said.

She tried to set her own boundaries and stood up to her husband. And then it got physical.

One night, he placed his 6-foot-4, 350-pound frame atop her and tried to suffocate her, she said. She managed to free herself, hit him and escape.

“I was ready because I became aware of the services that were provided at shelters,” she said.

Like Mary, she became empowered through SAVE.

“It’s like the ER. They’re resuscitating you back to life,” she said.

Linda’s currently in transitional housing and has a successful career in Alameda County.

But she doesn’t pretend that leaving is easy. She still has a legal battle ahead of her with the divorce and still struggles to get by and support her children.

“It’s hard. Every single day I second guess myself,” she said. “But I believe with the help of God and SAVE, I can keep taking steps forward.”

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The seeker should first offer herself some help by taking courage to seek and receive help from God and others with thoughtful hearts. Self esteem help can’t be received if the person doesn’t know she’s a victim or doesn’t have the courage in helping herself. It takes courage to stand up and courage is usually earned with how deep your faith is.

 

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