Let’s countdown to a safer 2019.
For many, the holidays are a time of joy, togetherness, and warm memories made in front of crackling fireplaces. When friends, family, and loved ones come together, there are celebrations, traditions, and lots of presents to open. But, the holidays can look and feel very different for the family of domestic abuse. Key markers of domestic abuse are isolation, domination, and control in the home. So, what happens when friends and family want to come visit? And, how do we buy presents when we are cut off from our own resources?
The holidays add another layer of stress for the domestic abuse victim that many are not aware of, unless you’ve been there, and I was – for twenty years. While the New Year brings hope for the masses – making and keeping resolutions, finding new beginnings, planning for a better and brighter future – the victim of domestic abuse is just trying to get through that day, then the next, until the season is over. What can we do, as we reach the close of 2018, so that every person can share those same hopes and dreams?
Being a six-year Survivor of Domestic Abuse (SODA®), I made only one New Year’s resolution this year: To bring forward information on avoiding and escaping domestic abuse. If we’re going to count down to a new year, then let’s count down to a new life too. Let’s all share the same hopes and dreams for 2019.
COUNTING DOWN, HERE ARE TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO TO AVOID OR ESCAPE DOMESTIC ABUSE:
10. Get familiar with the 15 WARNING SIGNS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE. Know them so you can move away from relationships when you start to see red flags.
9. Be honest with yourself and ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT. Is any part of you nervous or uncomfortable when you are with this person? Pay attention to your answers and let them guide your next steps.
8. Remember: YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU AT ALL TIMES. When you meet someone, you are inviting them into your life to accept you for who you are. If you are being asked to change in any way, then something has already gone wrong and you need to think about leaving.
7. You get more than one CHANCE AT LOVE IN YOUR LIFE. Don’t get stuck on the notion that you are with your soulmate and this is the only chance you will ever have at love. If you are a victim of emotional abuse, this person is keeping you from meeting your true soulmate.
6. If you think it is happening THEN IT IS HAPPENING. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, take note of it and let others know. You may have already stepped into a trap that you are not aware of.
5. You’ll never find the man you love INSIDE OF THE MONSTER WHO SWALLOWED HIM™. I know all about this because I tried for twenty years. You may see glimpses of him now and again that give you false hope, but you can’t bring him back. Trying could be your demise.
4. If you are unsure if you are a victim of domestic abuse, learn from SOMEONE WHO LIVED WITH IT FOR TWENTY YEARS. I created TheSoda-Pop.com just for this reason. Get information, read my blogs, and see if any of this begins to feel like your story, too.
3. Learn the laws and LET THEM BE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND. I’m not a lawyer, but I can tell you what lawyers have said to me – if you are in fear for your life or your safety, know the laws in your state. Ask the professionals how they can help you protect yourself.
2. If you are a victim of emotional or physical abuse REACH OUT TO THE PROFESSIONALS TODAY AT THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE. They are there 365 days, 24/7. They will listen, advise, and help you determine what you can do next in order to remain safe and escape abuse.
1. IF YOU ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER CALL 911 – sometimes things escalate quickly and there is no time for anything other than a call for help. Be ready in case this happens to you.
I have renewed hope for 2019. I want to raise the volume on the conversations that we have in our country about domestic abuse. I’ll work every day to continue to get information out that can help all of us. But, I can’t do this alone. Please: avoid the situation when you see the red flags, and call the resources and get to a safe place if you need to get out. That is what I wish for you – that is my only resolution.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence or want further information PLEASE visit www.TheSoda-Pop.com or call THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE at: 1-800-799-7233 or visit http://www.thehotline.org for more information, help, and to make a plan for your safety.
Home Should be a Safe Place for Everyone™