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Prevent your daughter from becoming a victim

March 17, 2010 5:09:55 PM PDT
Domestic abuse: an alarming reality you can't ignore! How you can teach your daughter to protect herself.

Domestic abuse is so prevalent a problem in the United States that nearly 25 percent of women have reportedly been raped or physically assaulted by their intimate partner. In fact, research shows that 1.3 million women suffer abuse annually.

Warning signs:

  • The person gets angry with other people (wait staff, other drivers). What you see is what you get.

  • The person is controlling, demanding or critical with you and you feel bad. Those feelings are an indicator.

  • They come from a violent, abusive background.

  • They have a history of broken relationships and difficulty holding intimate relationships together.

  • They justify their actions by blaming you for their abusive behavior (you are too sensitive, you don't understand me, etc.)
  • The person is extremely possessive and tries to cut you off from friends and family.

Methods to escape potentially life threatening relationships:
  • Get out and get to a safe place where you can't be found.

  • More women are killed when they try to leave than any other time during the abuse cycle. It is critical that you and your children are out of communication with the abuser. Locally, La Casa de Las Madres is a shelter for women and children.

  • Don't buy into any crying or pleading that can lead to another cycle of abuse.

  • Know your rights and how the law can protect you. You must press charges as research shows that this is actually the only real deterrent.

  • It is very important to recognize patterns. Remind yourself over and over that real love doesn't include abuse.

  • Surround yourself with support as you start your new life by going to 12 step programs for codependent women. Free programs include Ala-Non and CODA.

  • Don't feel ashamed to seek out and ask for help. You need it and you deserve it.

  • It's better for children to live in home where they feel safe than to have an abusive father in the home. If mothers take action, they teach their children that they too can confront a difficult challenge and make their lives better. No one deserves abuse be it verbal, emotional or physical. Abuse is always damaging.

  • Know that he WILL NOT change. He may learn better behaviors and not abuse his next partner, but once he has hit you, the episodes will only escalate.

  • Swallow your pride. Admit to yourself that it isn't going to work. There is no shame in walking away.
How moms can teach young women and teens to protect themselves from abuse:
  • Model healthy relationship behavior in front of children.

  • Read books, take classes, and keep growing. When we learn better, we can do better.

  • Grow your children's self-esteem through positive discipline and positive communication.

  • Teach your daughter the warning signs of a potentially dangerous date.

  • Teach your daughter that she didn't cause it, can't change it, can't cure it, and her love won't fix it.

  • It takes a broken man to abuse and a broken woman to stay with him. Sometimes the woman is both a victim and participant, but once this is acknowledged, it's easier to find the power to get out.

General Information

California Parntership to End Domestic Violence
Website: www.cpedv.org
Phone: 916-444-7163
Toll Free: 800-524-4765

About BOSS OF ME - teen dating Awareness campaign:

BOSS OF ME is an authentic for youth, by youth prevention campaign whereby paid interns at Youth Radio create content, develop messaging and provide the day to day operations of the campaign.

You can see their efforts on the website, www.bom411.com


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