Domestic Violence Warriors

By Jenn Rockefeller

Now I’m a warrior
Now I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again.

~Warrior, Demi Lovato

What is a warrior? Just from the lyrics above from Lovato’s song, you can conclude that a warrior is someone who endured something traumatic and came out stronger on the other side. 

Just because domestic violence survivors aren’t on the front lines of the military doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get the warrior status. We absolutely do deserve the warrior status! It is a war that we go through–it’s a psychological war that is waged against us at the hands of the abusers. This psychological war is not just during the abusive situation, it is also in the aftermath. Why? Because we, as survivors, are fighting a mental war within ourselves in order to regain our identity, our confidence, our spirit and our reality. 

Think of it this way: we are warriors because we bravely fought to stay who we are. We are warriors because we were made to engage in warfare – warfare, in fact, that we never asked to be a part of. We are warriors because we were unknowingly forced into a conflict that sought to destroy us. 

We survived that which was meant to destroy us. We are survivors. We remained standing after the battle was over. We continued on despite the hardships and setbacks we faced. We realized that the warfare was unjust and we fought to uphold our beliefs. 

We may not have come out of our battles unscathed, but we came out of them. We fight to regain who we were before the battles began. We will find our way down the path of healing and recovery in our own way and in our own time. 

But now that we’ve come out of this warfare, we might be asking ourselves: What now? Sometimes, we can help ourselves more than we can imagine by helping others. It’s why so many survivors are now joining the fight against the world war against domestic violence. It’s why we write blogs, book speaking engagements, work at local shelters, speak out on social media, and so much more. The more we speak up and speak out, the more awareness can be raised against this skewed image that society holds. That’s what a warrior is – someone who not just fights for themselves, but fights for others, too, while living a life full of strength, honor, integrity, and peace.

So how can you, as a survivor, join the fight? 

Below are just several ways to get involved: 

  • Volunteer with Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence,
  • Share your story on your own social media platform or go to BTSADV’s “Share Your Story” link here,
  • Volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter,
  • Organize a local rally to raise awareness,
  • Make a donation to BTSADV,
  • Wear purple during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and tell people why ending domestic violence is important to you,
  • Change your social media profile and cover photos to show support for ending domestic violence,
  • Donate to your local domestic violence shelter,
  • Organize an awareness campaign in your area.

I think of us as warriors because we were forced to survive in a situation that was meant to destroy us. We had to adapt and cope in ways that no one should have to. Many of us likely even began to notice that we took on some characteristics and attributes of the abusers and thought we were becoming just like them, but we are not like them. We had to do what we needed to do in order to survive.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org or chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777.

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