Understanding What Domestic Violence Is
“I was for 3 years married to a military man who was violent and abusive after I became pregnant with our first child. He was forever dropping our infant on furniture, shaking her, and striking me. I have since left him (returned home with my family) and filed for divorce. Is this wrong? In God’s eyes can I ever remarry?? I feel I did what was in the best interest of my little girl, but I need a little insight. thank you.”
Marriages and relationships today are often troubled by three kinds of abuse: physical, sexual and emotional. The abuse you and your child have experienced is quite severe. Your lives have been endangered. You have suffered both physical and emotional trauma at the hands of an angry man.
This is a criminal act:
Your husband has been assaulting your baby. This is a clear case of child endangerment. You need to file charges against him. Maybe he has assaulted you as well. Your husband has not only placed your lives in grave danger, but, he has broken the laws of society and God’s laws.
What causes domestic violence/abuse?
When people cannot deal with stress and anger – they may strike out forcefully to vent their anger and frustration, especially towards the person with whom they are angry. Many can be helped by learning how to manage anger. I offer anger management courses for people struggling with this issue.
What types of abuse are there?
Physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, economic abuse as seen in this wheel of violence:
DOMESTIC ABUSE INTERVENTION PROJECT, 202 East Superior Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802, 218-722-2781
At the center of the Wheel of Violence is power and control.
What cycle occurs?
Spouses ( a great percentage are men ) who control and manipulate through violence are drawn to spouses (usually women) who are passive. Women learn a helpless sort of syndrome becoming victimized- staying in these threatening relationships – fearing financial loss, divorce and possible repercussions from angry husbands if they leave. I am glad to see that you and your child are separated from your husband.
What can you do now?
- Protect Yourself and Your Child.
Get counseling and advocacy by contacting a domestic violence agency near you. If you live in the USA call the National Domestic Violence Agency at: 1-800-799-7233 . If you live outside the USA see the International Domestic Violence Agency listings.
This man should no longer be allowed to see your child. Hopefully, you have filed an order of protection against your husband in the court. An Order For Protection (OFP) is a court order that will help to protect you from domestic abuse. An Order For Protection tells the abuser to stop harming or threatening you.This physical abuse inflicted on your daughter needs to be reported to the proper child protection agency. You are responsible to protect your children. The law protects children in this country from physical, emotional/mental, sexual abuse and neglect. Look up resources for children at ChildHelpUSA or call them at: 1-800-4A-Child. Check out the ChildAbuse.org site as well. Read the article on the relationship between domestic violence and child abuse .
- Take care of yourself and your child by stabilizing in a safe environment.
If you go back to your husband and your child gets hurt again, you could be held responsible for not protecting her from harm. Your life would also be endangered. Do all that you can to live in a safe residence so, you can begin to experience peace in your life vs. fear.
- Move forward with your life.
God does not want you harmed. You need faith. You need spiritual strength and focus. You need to know that the God of the universe cares about you and your situation. Read about How to Know God Personally . Order a book to help your faith grow such as: An Anchor for the Soul: Help for the Present, Hope for the Future by Ray Pritchard.
- Grow personally by learning assertiveness skills and how to set boundaries in relationships. Order the online course Stop the Victim Syndrome ; and Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and Asserting Yourself by Sharon Anthony Bower, Gordon H. Bower.
- Get support.
The domestic violence agency may have a support group you can participate in. A group like this can give you perspective on your situation, hope for the future and help you learn skills to protect yourself.
Anger Management program and book: online
National Domestic Violence : 1-800-799-7233 (safe)
International Domestic Violence directory Sarah’s Inn (Oak Park, Illinois) 1-708-386-4225
(24 hour hotline)
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
resources: Illinois state Crisis line: 1-800-252-6561
- Regarding remarriage:
I encourage you to order the DivorceCare tapes: 1-800-489-7778 or 1-919-562-2112.
The audiotapes are only $15.00. You can also locate a DivorceCare support group near you by searching their site.Take the: Abusive Relationship Inventory
If you need a counselor, contact AACC for a referral in the USA or Focus on the Family in Canada.