BY SYAFIQAH IDAYU BINTI ROSLI
For every time you raise your voice, the hands shake a little.
For every time you raise a hand, the eyes tear a little.
And for every time you lay that hand on your loved one, the heart dies a little.
For all the victims of abuse out there – child or parent; brother or sister; partner or spouse – this is for you.
I understand the LemonSqueeziy are all about doing things the easy way. But today, I will make an exception. There are some days we watch the news and something…horrifying screams out at us.
These are the days we remind ourselves that we each have our own part to do. And no easy way would suffice. We have to accept that there are some things in life that there is simply no other way than one. Perhaps…like Domestic Abuse.
Sometimes, it is near impossible to tell if your loved one is hurting. You just don’t notice the little to big changes in the body language, or the sudden intermittent silences when they are normally loud(er) and more outspoken.
If you noticed, have you ever wondered why?
According to the Ending Cycle of Violence: Community Responses to Children of Battered Women, children who witness violence at home displays emotional and behavioural disturbances. They become withdrawn, have a lower self-esteem, nightmares or even aggression to those around them.
The question is: Who is the abuser?
Of course, the possibility remains that the sudden worrying change in behaviour is a consequence of school-related activities, or perhaps even the loss of a pet. We mean, that classmate sitting alone by that table over there, or the outspoken kid you bump into every morning; they couldn’t possibly have gone through abuse.
Again, our question to you is: How sure are you?
For children alone, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an approximate 40 million children below the age of 15 are subjected to abuse each year. Whether in the form of physical or psychological punishment, or that of neglect, the number alone is a striking contrast to what we may wish to believe.
Trust us. We had to take a double-take when the figure was presented to us.
7 billion people. 196 countries. 40 million cases of abuse – and that doesn’t include anyone older than 15.
Our dear readers, we ask only this question: Are we doing anything to help prevent this?
There are many forms of domestic abuse. The following are a few examples:
- Physical aggression/assault
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Economic Deprivation
Compassion, as they say, is a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. How is it possible then, that there are so many forms of abuse? And to a supposed loved one?
And yes, we insist: supposed. How could one bring oneself to even lay a hand on someone they love? That is not courage, or bravery. Or even the twisted notion, according to the Cycle of Violence in Domestic Abuse, that they are ‘doing what is best’ for the victim.
Do they not have the capacity to hold in their anger – or whatever it is that drives them to violence – and resolve issues with a steady mind? For all you abusers out there, shame on you.
In the United States, child abuse alone makes up the following (as seen above) statistics.
LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
What hurts you hurts other people.
That has never been truer.
In a family where the mother is abused, there is a rate of 6-15 times higher that the child would be abused as well as the mother attempts to deal with the trauma. Confusion, stress, fear, shame and even the thought that the child is the cause of the problem hurts the child.
Children may express emotional issues by crying excessively, eventually being more withdrawn and shy. Not convinced? Watch the following video.
WARNING SIGNS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
One of the things that you can do is to recognise the symptoms of victims. Those abused may:
- Seem afraid/anxious to please abuser
- Go along with abuser’s wishes
- Check in often with abuser to report where they are and what they are doing
- Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from abuser
- Rarely leave home
- Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants (to cover bruises/scars)
- Depressed, anxious, suicidal
- Sudden low self-esteem
- Major personality change
And the above does not even do justice to the suffering and strength a victim must have gone through to survive.
WOULD YOU HELP THESE VICTIMS?
There is only so much written words can convey.
Nothing we say can give the voice these victims so desperately need to break out of the shell they have been reduced to.
What can you do?
Talk to the victims. Befriend them. But most of all, be kind to them. You never know what they have been through. Sometimes, there is no easier way but to let these people know you are there for them.
As a fellow, compassionate human being, the LemonSqueeziy asks of you – WE ASK OF YOU – to please be aware of the symptoms and report any cases of abuse around you.
So please, stop pretending that it is not your concern.
It could be your neighbour.
It could be your friend.
It could even be your own family.
Domestic abuse exists.
Stop the suffering. Sign the petition to Protect Domestic Violence Victims from Further Harm now.
- Understanding the domestic abuser (samambreen.wordpress.com)
- Housing trust supports child and adult domestic abuse victims (24dash.com)
- Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don’t leave (ruoxiangchau.com)
- Domestic Abuse Signs – When Physical Abuse Opens Your Eyes to Mental, Psychological and Sexual Abuse (hypnosisvancouver.com)