What do these women have in common: Taylor Armstrong, Rihanna, Nicole Brown Simpson, Tina Turner, Farah Fawcett, and maybe even you? If you follow celebrity news, you know the answer, domestic violence, because their relationship problems have been and regarding Taylor Armstrong is currently in the national news.
Domestic violence is an evil that does not discriminate; it crosses racial, economic, social and cultural boundaries.
Unfortunately many women suffer in silence and shame. I was motivated to write this blog as a result of the Nancy O’Dell interview with Taylor Armstrong, the Beverly Hills housewife who has come forward and is openly talking about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her now deceased husband. For those who follow the show, you know that her husband recently committed suicide. Taylor stated that she is telling her story because she wants to encourage other
victims of domestic abuse and let them know that they are not alone. Isolation is no friend of a victim of domestic violence – yet many victims often suffer in silence, are ashamed and alone; their friends and family not knowing that
they are even being abused.
One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her
(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute
of Justice, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, July
2000. The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998
Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)
Domestic violence is a sensitive issue for me – I
have early memories of my own mother being the victim of an abusive
relationship. At the tender age of seven, I had the number to the local police
department memorized knowing that at any hour of the night or day, I may have
to call the police to come and restore peace in our house. I still have vivid
memories of many “morning afters” having to help my mom nurse her wounds
because she was too ashamed or too afraid to seek medical care. As a result of
the domestic violence that I witnessed at search an early age, a definite deal
breaker for me in a relationship is verbal, mental, and/or physical abuse.
In a national survey of American families, 50% of the men who frequently assaulted their
wives also frequently abused their children.
(Strauss, Murray A, Gelles, Richard J., and Smith, Christine. 1990.
Physical Violence in American Families; Risk Factors and Adaptations to
Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers)
For some women, domestic abuse is a relationship deal breaker; however there are many women who endure years of abuse. It’s easy for someone not in the same predicament of the abuse victim to say, “she should
just leave him;” this is much easier said than done. Walking away from an abusive relationship is never easy. Many victims of abuse stay in the relationship out of fear; fear of retaliation, fear of further harm or violence, perhaps
even fear of being alone. Many abuse victims are being controlled financially, and have been isolated from their family.
No woman should have to suffer in silence. There is
support for victims of domestic violence.
National Domestic Violence Hotline,