I Can't Do This By Myself

November 8, 2012

by Rita Saxon Wearbon, Legal Advocate, Safe Harbor

We have all heard the saying: “It takes a village to raise a child”. The same concept applies to the prevention of Domestic Violence. It takes an entire community to eliminate it.

When someone is a victim of Domestic Violence, the first feeling is often loneliness. It is important that victims speak out so that family and friends can provide a strong support system and encourage victims in the process of seeking help and safety. It is also important for Law Enforcement to hold the perpetrator accountable for the crime and to ensure that the victim is connected to a victim advocate, so that his or her voice can be heard at bond hearings as well as other criminal hearings. Judges must take a stand against Domestic Violence by issuing Orders of Protection, upholding contempt charges, and imposing the maximum sentence to offenders at criminal hearings in order to protect the victim and to encourage the offender to end his or her abusive behaviors. Faith Leaders must encourage equality in marriages and relationships and discuss the issue of Domestic Violence openly in their congregation or faith community. It is important for all community leaders and members to teach that all people are valuable individuals who deserve respect.

Victims, family, friends, law enforcement, judges, faith leaders, and community members must all contribute to the cause. If everyone works together and conveys the same message that Domestic Violence is morally, legally, and spiritually wrong, things would change. Domestic Violence crimes could decrease or may even be eliminated.

I want to leave you with this quote from Carson McCullers: “The most fatal thing a man can do is try to stand alone.” Let’s not make this fatal mistake! Together, as a community, we can work towards ending Domestic Violence.

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because...

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



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