Warning signs of domestic violence

June 16, 2010 4:59:14 PM PDT
Spot the warning signs and unlikely victims of domestic violence and learn how you can help.

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence
By Jeannie Mirassou

Different types of Signs

Using intimidation and making me afraid by using looks, actions, gestures: this was always the start to a violent impending episode. It was often followed by using emotional abuse verbally, making me feel bad about myself, name calling, making me feel guilty, denying and blaming.

Using/stating his male privilege was also a precursor, defining a men's and women's roles and being in control of the household and specifically household finances.

As the years went on, holding on to me by my wrists and yelling at me until I agreed with him was a common event. Because there was no real "hit" it was acceptable to him.

Trapping me in one of our closest was often done as well, again, no real "hit" just isolation. Going to bed before him or sleeping in my son's room became a "way-out" for me, I was trying to avoid him at all cost.

As time went on, he became privy to my actions and would drag me out of my son's bed anyway. My son was 4 at the time and it was apparent I couldn't hide the violence from him anymore.

I divorced because as a mother, I feared I had to do something or my son would grow up like me or grow up like him (becoming an abuser himself or living a life allowing the abuse to happen to him.)

When I first told my ex-husband I was leaving, he convinced me to stay by seeking help with a therapist. That went on for a year, the episodes became less frequent but also, they became more intense (pinned up energy.)

The Final Episode:

My ex-husband was finally arrested at the Beverly Hills Hilton after a dinner event on Elton John's behalf. After a night of much drinking he chased me around our penthouse suite, I tried calling for help but he pulled out all three phone lines in the suite then tackled me onto the bed.

As he held me down on my back, he through a great big throw onto me, he paused, looked straight at me and smiled. I knew at that moment that if I didn't find a way out, he was going to kill me.

I tucked under him and rolled off the bed and onto the balcony, I scream for help and the security guard happened to be in the courtyard. He and others came and my ex-husband was arrested.

I was in shock for months after this I was also embarrassed, I didn't understand how I had let my life get to that point . I applied for a restraining order, and really lived as a hermit in my own house many months.

I didn't answer phone calls, I avoided events, I just took my son to preschool and back and that was that. One year later I bought my first home, a safe haven for my son and I.

Ironically enough, my first single piece of mail was a flyer from Next Door Solutions. This was my sign from God, that I made the right choice.

If you or someone you know may be a victim of domestic violence, contact Next Door Solutions.

Hotline: 408-279-2962
Website: www.nextdoor.org

About Next Door Solutions:

Next Door seeks "to end domestic violence in the moment and for all time."

Next Door promotes safety for battered women and their children through emergency shelters, multiple points of entry for victims, individuals, system and institutional advocacy, crisis intervention; education for victims and the community and the changing of community norms through prevention activities.


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