October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.
I say abuse and not violence because I don’t want anyone to think that because there is no physical signs of abuse the abuse does not exist.
I write all kinds of posts, I try to use humor ie: the Narcissist Game, comparing Narcissists to Ticks, etc But domestic abuse is no joke and there is nothing funny about it, sometimes it is easier to discuss it using humor.
There are so many more people talking about narcissists and psychopaths than when I started and there seems to be quite a movement to raise awareness but the problem is not going away, society is still not “getting” it and victims are still remaining silent. It is obvious to me that we have a long way to go yet if we are to eradicate this problem from our children’s lives.
The fact that 1 in every 4 women in Canada, the US and in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lives is unacceptable is totally unacceptable and people are just not getting it.
I refer to the abuser as being a narcissist or a psychopath because in my experience I believe that my ex is a psychopath but I am not saying all abusers are narcissists or psychopaths. I am not an expert. I think they probably are but does it really matter what label we put on them? If they are abusive you need to get away from them whether they had an abusive upbringing that caused them to be abusive or not, victims have to stop trying to save them and save themselves and the sympathies have to be with the victim.
But what I see in Canada is not what we are led to believe is happening. Yes there are more banners, and sport stars speaking out against abuse, there are more commercials and a few more pamphlets being handed out but what is being done to solve the problem?
Yes the police have to be more sympathetic to the victims, and yes the police having the power to lay abuse charges is a step in the right direction but if there isn’t support for the victims, on going support, for several years, employment programs, school programs prior to the age teens start to date, we need more awareness about narcissists and psychopaths, society does not connect these people to living among us. Until victims speak out the stories that come out of the mouth of the few who are brave enough to speak out, sound unrealistic and like something the victim made up. Until society hears the same story over and over again people will continue to disbelieve the victim, so it is hard on the first victims to speak out they aren’t taken seriously and they are looked at suspiciously and in disbelief. Personally I was afraid to speak out about some of the things that happened with my ex because I didn’t think anyone would believe me but once I opened up about a few incidents I realized how common it was and how necessary it was to continue to speak out.
It has become even more apparent that the system is lacking while I have looked for post secondary education in Life Skills Coaching to work with domestic abuse survivors, there is none. That’s right, I was shocked to find out that not one school that offers courses in Support Worker, Life Skills or even counselling dedicates a portion of the program to domestic abuse. They have sections on Native Culture, Immigration, working with people with Autism, Developmental disabilities, Addictions of all kinds, troubled teens, unwed mothers, the elderly and there were a couple that threw in a few weeks on working with rape victims but not one program includes any education on working with victims of domestic abuse. I am assuming it will be included somewhere within another section.
While looking for jobs in the industry there are tons of jobs working with people with Autism, almost all the jobs have something to do with Autism. Out of curiosity I looked into the stats on how many people in Canada suffer from Autism and it is 1% of the population and they are called it an “explosion” of cases. Whereas the last study done on domestic abuse was done in 2009 and remained steady at 6% of the Canadian population suffered physical abuse from a domestic abuse and 17% experiences mental and financial abuse from a domestic partner. Those figures in themselves tells me we have a long way to go. Not that people who suffer with Autism don’t deserve the support but that victims of abuse deserve as much support as prisoners, addicts, people with developmental delays or disabilities, natives, or immigrants. I am sorry but I am sick of asking for help to get back on my feet and getting doors slammed in my face. If I was getting out of prison I would be offered an education free of charge and if I was an addict I would not be expected to find a job and be given twice as much money per month.
In order to solve the issue of domestic violence we need a joint effort, educate society, educate our youth, give a voice to the victims and then give them support and empower them to be self-confident and self-supporting strong (women) who will not become victims again, change the legal process so men get more than a slap on the wrist and retraining orders that are enforced. There is a lot of work to be done and it all starts with us, the victims and their families speaking out and not being silent any more.