Empowering Survivors

Far too frequently women throughout the world become the victims of domestic violence. Some people believe that only physical violence is considered domestic violence. In fact, the definition of domestic violence also includes emotional, sexual, financial, cyber stalking, and psychological abuse.. The abusive partners may not ever realize the trauma they leave their victims with and how difficult it becomes for victims to beat the cycle of traumatized life. This does not remove their culpability and should be a motive for more victims to speak out about the harms of abuse.  

In this article, we will focus on how grief can carefully be converted into actions and how domestic violence survivors can be honored in every possible way.  

Become a domestic violence advocate 

Real experiences shape the personality and knowledge of a person like no other experience. If you have gone through the cycle of abuse then you know the steps of breaking the shackles. By becoming a domestic violence advocate you can contribute to meaningful organizations, which will often look out for you as a valued volunteer or mentor. You can raise awareness about how you broke the cycle of pain and took the first step toward healing yourself.  

Participate in charitable events

Most organizations run frequent charitable events to raise money and community support during designated domestic violence awareness or teen dating violence awareness months. They usually give you targets of running for particular miles or coming up with one post a day on domestic violence so that those who have been silenced for so long may find the strength to raise their voices in whatever way possible. You can also talk about the days when you coped with such a terrible experience and encourage others to come out of it safely.  

Prioritize your mental health

You can always honour yourself, or whosoever has gone through domestic violence, by laying a path where one may prioritize healthy activities in the form of yoga, gymming, cycling, walking, meditation, or mindfulness. The trauma in the mind may be eased by appreciating the present moments and letting go of the horrible past events. As they say, there is a beautiful life after the abuse.  

Speak from your experiences 

Aria-Joshes Keeshan conducts interviews with other domestic violence survivors on behalf of Walk Everyday May to raise awareness and fight against the abuse. She is a survivor of domestic abuse and advocates for others to share their stories, too. There are many organizations found throughout social media that continue looking out for people who could support them by raising a voice against their abuse. You can always take a step toward such a cause to help the world.  

Start blogging or a website

When you do such a thing you see people often reach out to you to know how they could make the best choice for themselves while planning to leave the abusive relationship. Sometimes just by listening to them half of the work is done, while the rest of the strength these women get comes from their inner self. This step would help the survivors of domestic abuse or those who are going through the abuse to run away from their abusive relationship by taking proper actions which keep in mind their health, life, and security. 

Grief is such an emotion that can never vanish on its own. You have to work through it while going through it. That’s the way it is. But with time it becomes less intense and the best of the coping mechanisms help you to maintain emotional stability and enhance your healing cycle. If you are facing something more intricate that couldn’t be helped by the ways mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Grief is something that has no right or wrong way to heal the affected person, but some ways could help the person to operate functionally and mentally while they work their way out of the cycle trauma creates.  

Help is available: 

Australia’s National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)

website: https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

India’s National Commission for Women Helplines 7827170170  

website: http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines  

The UK government lists helplines for each individual country at:

website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help 

USA victims may reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) website: https://www.thehotline.org/ 

or Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence’s supportline 1-855-287-1777 

website: https://breakthesilencedv.org/support-line/ 

When time can’t heal your wound… 

People always say it will get better with time, but that is not always the case. Losing a loved one, no matter how, is one of the deepest pains we can experience. Losing a loved one due to violence adds an additional layer of complexity to grief. The feelings you have after losing someone to domestic violence can take control of your whole life. Your daily routines seem to be harder or almost impossible. You feel like you cannot cope with even the simplest things like eating or sleeping.  You feel this persistent inability to accept the loss of this beloved person. You may even get images or persistent thoughts of the loved one. So, what can you do to help yourself heal while surviving this trauma?

Put the Responsibility Where it Belongs

Don’t take responsibility for what happened. Put the responsibility where it belongs: on the person who took away your loved one. You might feel like you could have stopped what happened or beat yourself up for not catching the signs. You also might have been blamed for what happened by the abuser themselves. Blaming yourself and rewriting what you could have done can circle in your head and make healing impossible. Taking on this false responsibility creates survivor’s guilt, which leads to unjust self-blame. This turns into toxic or chronic guilt and, without help, can become a default state of mind. You are not responsible for another human being’s violent actions– recognizing this is an important first step towards healing. It is possible to overcome any guilt you may have already tried to shoulder on your own. Recognizing where the responsibility belongs is the best place to start.

Find Strength in Numbers 

Going to grief themed support groups can help. In these groups you can express all the feelings and hardships you are going through since your loss. This can help make the process easier, because you will find others who can truly connect with the pain you are experiencing. These groups also provide education about how to handle grief, what healthy habits other participants have used along their healing journey, and just getting through one day at a time together. These groups also provide a chance to give back to others as they struggle with their pain. There is healing in giving.  Having people to walk beside you in this grief journey can give you strength and a more complete healing.

Professionals to Guide You 

Therapy can help. Multiple studies have shown people who have lost a loved one due to violence have significantly higher rates of PTSD and complicated grief than those who have lost a loved one to natural causes. 

According to resources from SAMSHA, “Complicated or traumatic grief is grief that does not end and does not help individuals to make progress toward getting back to their usual activities and routine. For most people, intense feelings of grief will lessen gradually over time, beginning to ease within 6 months of the loss. But those with complicated or traumatic grief may not feel any reduction of grief over many months or even years. Their feelings of sadness, anger, and loneliness may even become more intense over time.” 

Seeking help and working on self-love can bring healing. There are therapists who focus on guiding clients through traumatic grief. A trauma-informed therapist will typically have additional training, skills, and strategies designed for overcoming the effects of a painful event without re-traumatizing their client. Going to a therapist knowledgeable in trauma will provide you with a safe environment to prioritize your healing.

Your Thoughts and Feelings are Important

Your thoughts and feelings are very important to talk about– whether it’s through therapy, support groups, journaling, or all of the above. Writing down your feelings and thoughts is important, because this lets you express your pain and helps you make sense of your feelings.  The process of writing makes you organize your thoughts and can help give more focus to what’s cycling in your head about the traumatic experience. This will help you to process your emotions better and find what you need for your healing journey. 

It should be noted, though, that timing matters when it comes to this exercise. Sometimes journaling when the event has just taken place can make you feel worse. Specialists in this field recommend waiting one to two months after the event before journaling about it. In the meantime, you may also find that writing a direct message to your loved one then putting it in their coffin or in a balloon for the sky can give you the goodbye that was violently stolen.


While you can heal and recover without approaching forgiveness, it may be helpful to those who come to that point in their healing. At times, you will be angry, resentful, or maybe even want revenge. Holding in all this anger and pain can be like a poison corroding only you. Forgiveness is empowering and with that power it can be liberating to take back a sense of control. Some survivors feel that the violent act is unforgivable– which is ok. No one should push you to forgive. Forgiveness should happen on your own time and come from within.

Nothing can fully take away the pain of losing a loved one. Take time to grieve. Keep with your daily routines or find new ones if the pain is too much. Find time to breathe. Find time to smile. Find a moment of peace even just by taking a walk. Find joy in reliving positive memories with your loved one and cherish their memory. Everyone grieves in different ways and at different times. It is unique to everyone like a fingerprint. The most important thing is to be gentle with yourself and focus on healing day to day.

“Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.” –Jennifer Brown


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)* Toll-free helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264) Website: https://www.nami.org

Behavioral Health Treatment Facility Locator Toll-free: 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) (24/7 English and español) TDD: 1-800-487-4889 Website: https://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

MentalHealth.gov Website: https://www.mentalhealth.gov  

MentalHealth.gov provides U.S. government information and resources on mental health.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline Website: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disasterdistress-helpline

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to get help and support 24/7.National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Toll-free: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889) Website: https://www.samhsa.gov

Hidden Traumas

Domestic violence (DV) can affect anyone of all races, genders, age, and sexual orientation. The CDC reports that one in every seven men in the U.S. over the age of eighteen are a victim of DV. The actual statistics may be even more, as men are far less likely to report instances of domestic violence (which may be because of societal stigmas that socialize men to not be vulnerable or seen as victims). In this blog, we will explore the different traumas that men may face as victims and how they relate to domestic violence. Including: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger issues, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse.  

Psychological Effects  

Men tend to suffer psychologically when subjected to domestic violence. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that typically follows a traumatic event. PTSD can affect one’s daily living by triggering memories or flashbacks, causing one to be avoidant when it comes to their feelings, having negative thoughts, isolating oneself, memory problems, being easily frightened/startled, and having trouble sleeping. With all these effects, it is easy to see how many other challenges can unfold.  

Additionally, anxiety and depression are two mental health issues that often go hand-in-hand for victims of the domestic violence cycle. Perpetrators of DV are typically looking for control and this desire to be in charge causes the victim to feel dependent on their abuser. With dependency comes a lack of self-esteem and low self-confidence that belittles how one views themselves. This control-dependence-abuse cycle causes psychological damage. 

Men can also develop anger issues, as anger and trauma are linked. When personal boundaries are crossed or violated, there is a follow-up of persistent anger. When someone is violated emotionally, mentally, physically or psychologically, a certain ‘survival instinct’ takes over, and that is associated with anger. Anger management is hard to deal with when things progress over long periods of time, such as in a domestic violence relationship.  

Physical Health Problems  

Following the psychological factors, it is not far off for men to develop physical health problems. Issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse, and isolation from others are examples of the unhealthy coping mechanisms prevalent among male victims of domestic violence.  

Eating disorders often stem from vulnerability. Being verbally and/or mentally abused may cause someone to adopt unhealthy eating habits as a way of feeling in control of their own lives again. Ultimately, this causes further harm to the victim.   

Substance abuse also ties in directly with domestic abuse – many men often look for an escape, as leaving a DV relationship is not an easy task. Substance abuse numbs the emotional turmoil, but cannot address the true source of the problem.   

Isolation from the outside world is also extremely common in these situations. A male victim of abuse may self-isolate out of a sense of shame due to his situation. The abusive partner may not allow the other to do certain things or has belittled their confidence so much that they have completely disconnected from their environment. Isolation leaves a victim without resources to improve or escape the situation.  

Societal Factors  

Many people incorrectly think that men cannot be victims and, therefore, don’t report the abuse. In society, men are often taught to be strong and to hold things together. This stigma causes issues when we think on a large scale about domestic violence. Coming forward to ask for help or to state a claim may be more difficult for a man to do because of the fear that either he will not be believed, he could be shamed, or that he won’t be taken seriously. This opens the gates for men to internalize their struggles in order to avoid appearing vulnerable.  

The stereotypes that surround men encourage them to downplay the abusive situation. The man is seen by society as someone who wouldn’t be the victim of a domestic violence case. This can be hacked down to our images around masculinity. Especially in instances of DV, society views victimization as emasculating which, in and of itself, can lead to even more psychological issues for male victims. With this thought process as a society, we are inadvertently belittling a physical and mental health crisis that is very prevalent in the lives of men today.  

It is difficult to assess everything that occurs when a man is a victim of domestic violence because of how underreported and misunderstood it is. Men are often reluctant to come forward, and judgement from peers or having their masculinity put into question does not make it any easier for them to do so. 

With all the effects that surround the victim of DV, it is important to remember that men are victims, too. Support is available for people of all gender identities, sexual orientation, race, and age. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please reach out for help.

Hotlines are available 24/7 for assistance:  

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233 
  • BTSADV Support Line: 855 – 287 – 1777 

Finding Her Voice: A journey from victim to survivor 

For those who have been battered yet find the courage to pack up and leave their abusers, the road from victim to survivor is not an easy one. It can be filled with fear, doubt and sometimes danger. Although one battle may end when you first walk out—if you take your abuser to court, it becomes a struggle of another kind.  

Survivors who have fled intimate partner violence, including those who went to court, will tell you that fighting to reclaim their lives was worth it. One such survivor who only wished to be identified by her first name, Audria, has been out of her DV relationship for 16 years.  

“After I left, I was homeless. I would take that—and the not knowing what was on the other side—over staying there.”   

Like Audria, many survivors leave behind everything they own and must face economic uncertainty. According to the National Center Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), victims of intimate partner violence in the U.S. lose a cumulative total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year. The economic cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year. Between 21-60% of victims of intimate partner violence lose their jobs due to reasons stemming from the abuse.  

“Initially, my ex was charged with a felony because he put me in the hospital. He broke two of my ribs,” Audria said. “Because of those charges, he originally had to have court ordered, supervised visitation with our children.” 

When Audria made her decision to leave, she went to the hospital for help. There they took pictures of her injuries, and filed a police report. According to HG.org, documenting the truth of the abuse will make it easier to get a restraining order. Also, the court requires the individual to furnish “reasonable proof” of abuse. Evidence can be in the form of medical records, police reports of recent abuse incidents, and photographs of injuries. 

“I left [for good] with my children, a laundry basket of clothes and my car and drove eight hours to my sister, who lives in Fort Worth, and then went to a Shelter. I was homeless and penniless. I had to start all over again… The shelter offered an umbrella of services, and the first thing the shelter did was help me establish an emergency protective order. It was hard. A lot of women don’t want to go to a shelter, but I realized no one is going to abuse me there.”  

Most of the domestic assaults reported to law enforcement take place after the couple separates, therefore, going to a shelter for safety is vital. Shelters offer a variety of assistance options. For Audria, the shelter she chose, Safe Haven, gave her a secure place to hide. They helped her get an Emergency Protective Order. They offered counseling services for individuals, groups, and families. They set up an appointment for a job. They offered her clothing for the job interview and for her personal needs. They assisted her in getting Medicaid, food stamps, adding her and her children to a housing list, and finding her a legal team—who then devised a strategy for taking her husband to court.  

“Sometimes we forget when looking for a lawyer that we have the ability to ask questions,” advises Audria, “Make sure the attorney has experience dealing with domestic violence cases. Make sure that they are trained and know the domestic violence laws.” 

Domestic violence restraining orders require the offender to stay away from the individual’s home, workplace, school, or daycare provider of the children. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may also include safety orders, such as prohibiting the respondent from having guns, or having a police officer by your side for a maximum of 15 minutes while essential personal items are being removed from the home by either of the parties. 

For custody and parenting time orders, a lawyer needs to file a family law case (Findlaw.com). A judge will ask a few questions to discern the seriousness of the circumstances. Based on the responses received, the judge will rule about the parenting time order. Next, a hearing is scheduled, so the plaintiff/victim can present evidence of the abuse or call witnesses to testify.  

“I couldn’t have survived without my legal team… When your life is falling apart, you need organization. It’s like a bomb went off and everything just scattered. They were very organized, and sometimes, literally held my hand to get me through. I was too afraid to walk, much less speak.” 

According to research, 78% of domestic violence cases get dismissed because the victim recants the statement. It is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence, after leaving the abusive relationship, to feel isolated and alone, and the idea of taking legal action can seem overwhelming. In the United States, the Legal Services Corporation will provide an attorney that specializes in Family Law to domestic violence victims for free. It is important for DV victims to have access to these resources and support from qualified help. 

The time it takes to resolve a domestic violence dispute will vary from case to case. For Audria, the litigation lasted 4 ½ years. The legal battle was over the home they had bought together from her parents –the home she had grown up in. Initially, her lawyers also demanded $40,000 owed by her ex for back child and spousal support and waged a custody battle for their two children. As a strategy, her husband’s lawyer frequently delayed the proceedings.  

Both Audria and her ex had served in the military. The defending attorney made the argument that her ex-husband was a disabled veteran. Because of this, the charges against him were eventually lowered to a misdemeanor, and he had to attend a six-month batterer intervention program.  

After 4 ½ years, Audria decided to settle the case.  

In the end, she gave up keeping her childhood home. She also waived the $40,000 in backpay of spousal and child support, with the stipulation that he would pay child support going forward.  

“It’s not that I didn’t think that he should pay the support. I did. I was just done and wanted to move on,” Audria said. “Also, sometimes, children are in the crossfires of a custody battle. I didn’t want to put mine through that.”  

Despite the adversity and trauma, Audria’s courage and faith restored her voice. She now serves on the leadership boards for the organizations which helped her out, including Safe Haven—the shelter where her journey began.  

‘My childhood, into adulthood, into a relationship. I lost my voice. I never had a voice. I was always silenced,” says Audria  

Recently, she stood before the House and Senate in Texas, told her survivor story and advocated for a bill to amend a state Family Code regulation which hadn’t been updated in 20 years. The bill was passed on Thursday, May 25th 2023, and it will provide financial resources for organizations like Safe Haven that continue to offer the umbrella of services to those in situations like Audria’s. This bill will also supply funds for other agencies that offer counseling and housing programs.  

“God led me back to [Safe Haven]. In telling them I was ready to help, it started with sharing my story. He literally helped me break my silence…and the way I was able to do that was going back to the shelter and telling them I was ready to help… [T]hey asked me are you willing to share your story, and I said, “Okay.””  

Domestic Violence Victim Resources: 

US National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 

BTSADV Hotline number: 1-855-287-1777 

Women’s Law Directory of Shelters & advocates https://www.womenslaw.org/find-help/advocates-and-shelters 

Domestic Violence Resources State-by-State https://www.findlaw.com/family/domestic-violence/domestic-violence-information-by-state.html )  

Protective Order forms State-by-State https://www.findlaw.com/family/domestic-violence/domestic-violence-state-forms.html 

How To Help Someone Facing DV

Learning that someone you know is in an abusive relationship can come as a surprise to many. The warning signs are not always clear, and most people suffering DV put on an Oscar-worthy performance that the relationship is A-okay all around, when in fact it is anything but. 

So what can you do if you do learn that someone you care about is in an abusive relationship? Though it is only natural to immediately want to jump in and save them, it isn’t often the best choice. There are many reasons why it is difficult to leave a violent relationship, and just as many reasons why it can be downright dangerous, too. 

Here are some helpful tips on how to offer your person the best form of support, regardless what stage of their journey they are in.

If they start talking about it

Maybe you suspected your friend, family member, or coworker had a rocky relationship. Maybe you’re hearing about it for the first time. Regardless, the first two things you must avoid doing when your person comes forward and confesses that things are bad, are:

  • Do not express doubt or disbelief (“Well, that just can’t be! Are you sure?”)
  • Do not side with their abuser (“But so-and-so is such a wonderful person/great parent/active church member!”)

Instead, let them know that you heard what they said, that you believe what they just told you, and most importantly, let them know that you are there to support them however you can. 

Some things to say to your person when they confess that they are in an abusive/toxic/violent relationship:

  • I believe you
  • How can I help?
  • Do you have a safe place to stay if things get bad?
  • You can stay with me/us if you need to (assuming this is something that you are genuinely able to provide)
  • Can I help you find a safe place to stay? (assuming you are not in a position where you can offer them shelter in your home)
  • Is there anything that I can look up for you? (abusers frequently keep close tabs on their victim’s cell phones and search history. Your person may not be able to look up the number to a hotline, or explore what their legal rights are, etc)

What your person needs most at this stage is to see that they are not crazy. In nearly every abusive relationship, the abusive partner will use tactics to convince their victim that they (the victim) are “crazy”, or overly emotional, or too sensitive. This ensures that the victim will be less likely to talk about the abuses going on at home, because they will doubt themselves. So if your person has come forward and they have let you in on some of what has been going on at home, the most important thing for you to do is reassure them that they are not overreacting, nor are they “crazy”. Your person needs your help gaining clarity that their abusive relationship really is “that bad”, and that they really do need to, for their own well-being and safety, escape their abuser. 

When they start planning their escape

For those of us lucky enough to have never experienced an abusive relationship, it may seem like the idea of an “escape plan” is far-fetched and unnecessary. But with an abuser, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Statistically, abusers become their most dangerous selves when their partner voices their intention to leave, or if they catch their partner leaving them (this can happen if the victim attempts to leave without informing their abuser, but they wind up getting “caught” if the abuser returns home unexpectedly). 

Escape plans help assure that the victim of DV has everything they need in order to leave swiftly, safely, and with resources in place so that their departure is a sustainable one. 

Some things that you can do to help:

  • Help your person secure a place to stay. Be it at your home, a friend’s home, or a shelter
  • Offer to safeguard your person’s important documents, new bank cards, new cell phone
  • Help them find an appropriate support network. For some this can be a church, for others it can be groups that come together at a local shelter, but a group of people who have been through similar hardships can be invaluable to someone who is just getting out of an abusive relationship
  • Help secure material resources for your person. This can be clothes, so that they don’t have to leave with bags and bags full; transportation; basic furnishings and or kitchenware if they are able to get set up in an apartment of their own
  • Advise them to set up a new bank account and start putting some money away in it
  • Advise them to get a new phone
  • Help them document instances of abuse. Many victims are too afraid to report their abuser to authorities (and with good reason, because this can often lead to even more dangerous and violent behavior from the abuser), but it can still help to have a journal of listed events that have taken place. Even better if these instances are dated, or if there are any text messages, emails, written letters, or photographs supporting the incidents. 

When they are ready to make their escape

Even with all of the planning that has likely taken place up until this point, your person will still need some help in getting out of their current dwelling and away from their abuser. Sometimes this may involve helping them carry their packed up personal effects out of their home. Other times, it can mean being ready with transportation. And yet other times, it can be as simple as showing up with a trusted friend or two, cell phones in hand, ready if the abuser comes home unexpectedly so that authorities can be informed immediately. 

  • Be available to pick them up if you can, or arrange other transportation
  • Do not post about any of this on social media. It doesn’t matter how vague you think you’re being, or how tight you think your privacy settings are, this is one of the worst things that a person can do. It is one of the easiest ways for the abuser to catch wind of what’s happening, and again: abusers become their most dangerous and violent selves when they learn that their partner is going to leave them
  • Help them settle into their new space, even if that means accompanying them to a shelter
  • Remind them that you are their for them, even after they’ve safely left their toxic partner

After they have safely left their abuser

This, to most people, may seem like a good time to return to things as normal. Your person is safely away from their abuser, and you have done all you can to help them reach that point. But, alas, transitioning to a life free from one’s abuser is a whole other can of worms. Interestingly, some victims find the calm after the storm to be its own form of unexpected anxiety, and the support of a dear friend can be tremendously beneficial. 

Here are some ways you can continue to show your support:

  • Ask them what other things they might need as they transition to a life free from their abuser
  • Help them research their legal rights. These vary by state, and they vary based on whether the two parties were married, shared property, or had children together
  • If your person permits you to do so, advise their new neighbors of the situation and give them a description of your person’s abuser. It is not at all uncommon, in fact it is to be expected, that the abuser will come around their victim’s new neighborhood, dwelling, and/or place of work. It can be helpful for those living or working around your person to know what’s going on, and what to be on the look-out for

If they decide to return to their abuser

This can be the toughest situation for a friend or family member to have to witness. When we are not the ones in the abusive relationship, it can seem like the most illogical decision a person could possibly choose for themselves. But because we are not in that situation, we cannot pretend to know how we would behave if we were. 

To be supportive if your person decides to go back to their abuser, consider the following:

  • Remind them that you will remain there for them whatever they decide to do
  • Check in on them regularly. Whether it’s via phone, text, or email, make sure that you reach out regularly, so that (A) they know you still care, and (B) you know that they are well enough to be able to respond to you.
  • If you do not hear back from your person, report it. Most police officers will insist there is nothing to worry about. Most will remind you that you are asking them to check up on an adult, who is old enough to do whatever they please, go wherever they please, and associate with whomever they please. Report it anyway. Make a stink at your local station if you have to, until you are heard and the officer you are dealing with sends out a car to perform a welfare check. 
  • Take care of yourself so that if/when they decide to leave again, you will be able to provide them with the same level of support

Though it may seem like leaving a relationship should be a relatively easy endeavor, it is absolutely not so when it comes to leaving an abusive relationship. It takes tremendous courage, a great deal of support, and a very skillfully thought out escape plan. This can be all the more complicated and difficult if there are children involved. So if it does happen that you find yourself listening to someone in your life talk about the difficulty they are experiencing in their relationship, and that it isn’t in fact all smiles and sunshine, be prepared to help them seek the support they are surely going to need in order to get out safely. Though the list of things one can do for someone facing DV may seem long, don’t feel that you have to do it all on your own. Ask your person if there is anyone else they trust to help start planning their escape. Guide them towards helpful resources like support groups and hotlines. And most importantly, do not judge. There are a multitude of reasons why it takes a victim a long time to even come forward and confide in another person about how bad their relationship is, and there are even more reasons why they don’t escape sooner. Give them your ear, your support, and your compassion, and help them remember that it will be better on the other side of things, and that once they get there, you will still be there for them.

A Poem for Grieving Mothers

An event no Mother should ever have to attend. 

A day no Mother should ever have to see. 

When a child is born, no Mother imagines or thinks she’ll have to bury her baby. 

No Mother should have to shed tears filled with grief and pain. 

No Mother should have to cry and pray and hope that grief’s sting will go away. 

No Mother should have to live without her child’s embrace. 

No Mother should ever have to worry about her child’s memory being erased. 

No Mother should have to cease to hear her child’s voice. 

No Mother should have to watch her child’s life come to a pause. 

Mother, dear Mother, we see the pain on your face. 

Mother, dear Mother, we know that this pain cannot be erased. 

Mother we know sometimes your face is smiling 

While on the inside, you’re crying. 

Mother, dear Mother, we see your tears 

Even when it has been a few years. 

Inside your heart the pain still lives. 

Sometimes, we feel we don’t know the right words to say, 

But please know, Mother, that we want to be here to comfort you today. 

Today, Mother, it is you we want to embrace. 

We want to wipe the tears from your face.  

Today we want to hold you up and help you stand. 

Today, Mother, we want to hold your hand. 

We want to encourage you and let you know that even though  

Things will never quite be the same  

You still remain…  


Our love and support continue today,  

Mother’s Day,  

and every other day.   

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