Anti-domestic violence protesters marching through the streets of Detroit this past Saturday.
October is here, and it’s a big month for us at Haven House. Why? Because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We’re going to be posting all sorts of news articles, facts, infographs, safety tips, how you can help victims of domestic violence, and much more.
Essentially we’re going to post more frequently than we’ve done in the past with a bunch of information. We also hope you’ll read, reblog, and recommend our blog to friends. The more that read, the better we can raise awareness. Again, we thank you, readers, for all your support!
DamageThis is not my usual post. But it’s something I had to share. As you read this, imagine how your reaction would differ if this story were being told by a woman, talking about how her husband treated her.
I have been separated from my wife for over a year, though we continue to share a house. We live on separate floors. We share the house because we need to parent our son together, and because we can’t afford to maintain two households.
I’d like to tell you a story, illustrating one reason why I am divorcing her. This is an example of the treatment I have received over the past fourteen years.
This evening, while she was drinking her wine, my estranged wife took exception to the fact that I wanted to talk about how tense she’s been. She said she didn’t want to talk about it.
I left the room (so as to comply with her request).
I went upstairs to use our tiny guest bathroom. She began to yell and throw things around the kitchen, then eventually charged up the stairs and into the bathroom, just as I was finishing and getting ready to leave. She confronted me there, holding her half-full wine glass in her hand. Her voice got louder, her gestures wilder.
She complained that I had upset her by wanting to talk when she had told me she didn’t want to talk. As I began to feel uncomfortable, I said, “You’re saying it’s my fault you can’t express your emotions responsibly like an adult?”
She said, “Yes!! It’s because you want to go off and take a vacation with your girlfriend!” Then she threw the contents of her glass in my face and smashed it against my bare chest.
The results are pictured here.
I stood there, with shattered glass at my feet, glass shards sticking in my skin, bleeding, for five minutes or so. I asked her to move so that I could leave. She waved the broken stem of the glass in the air and said, “Leave!! Who’s stopping you?”
I told her she was standing between me and the door. I felt threatened.
She laughed and said, “You’re 6 foot 3 and 250 pounds! You can’t feel threatened by me!”
I said, “You just broke a glass on my chest and cut me. You’re standing there with the stem in your hands. Yes. I feel threatened.
She said, “No, you don’t.”
I asked her to move out of the way and let me pass. I didn’t want her to think I was pushing her or threatening her.
She held her ground, waved the broken stem and shouted, “Go on! Leave! I’m not stopping you!”
After I asked her repeatedly, she finally moved a bit and I left, carefully stepping over the broken glass.
I have posted this here as evidence, and to help those who may think that size and gender make a difference when abuse is concerned. People who, like my estranged, think some have permission to feel threatened and some don’t.
Abusers come in all sizes and genders.
She and I went to a half dozen therapists over the years. At each initial session, every therapist took a look at me, then at her (5’4” 150 lbs.). Then he or she would gravely ask my wife, “Do you feel safe?”
None ever thought to ask me.
Thanks for listening.
Recently, there’s been a local tragedy. A shot and killed the mother of his child and then critically wounded the victim’s mother.
Charles Godspower has been accused of murder along with other charges. You can read the rest of the article here .
It says at the bottom that the victim, Briana M. Brown, had an order of protection issued against Godspower in June. This leads me to believe that this woman was ultimately a victim of a long-term build up of domestic violence that ended in a horrific, deranged act of murder.
Please keep all involved in this tragic event in your thoughts and prayers.
A lot of people ask me what they can do to help out Haven House besides volunteering their time. I empathize, because not too terribly many have a huge excess of availability to come help out at the office or shelter. It would be a huge benefit to all victims at the shelter if people would donate any of the following:
- Large Canisters of regular roast coffee
- Family-Sized Canned Goods: Green Beans, corn, pasta sauce, baked beans, carrots, soup, chicken, tuna, etc.
- Family-Sized condiments: Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Mustard, etc.
- Men’s body wash and deodorant (for teen boys)
- Women’s body wash, deodorant, shave gel, hairspray, mousse
- Women’s Underwear sizes 5-16
- Hair Brushes
- Liquid Laundry Detergent
- Mr. Clean Floor Cleaner (for special Vinyl flooring)
- Toilet paper
- Toilet bowl scrubber
- shower curtain liners
If anyone has any of the following, simply give us a call at 865-982-1087. We appreciate every little bit and all of our supporters!
I know a lot of times it’s easy to read this stuff and have the mindset of “Oh, that’s horrible, but thankfully it’s all off in these bad, far away places”, but it happens every day in our own cities and homes.
Here is an article about Janet Buchanan, a woman who was murdered this past weekend after a domestic abuse. Apparently there was a heated argument, and the shooter, Brent Israel, took her life.
I think every person should see his face and know that he’s been charged with first-degree homicide. Domestic Violence ends lives, and it’s a tragedy.
May Janet rest in peace.
I think a form of sexism would also entail a serious moral assumption based solely on a gender characteristics, especially if the moral assumption would trump a decision in the justice system.
See, a young lady might wear some less than revealing clothes if she goes out for a night on the town, but often this is for comfort and/or fashion. It’s certainly not fair to assume that she got what was coming to her if she was raped with the justification that “well, look how she was dressed!”
That’s obviously a sexist bias against women, but even men too. That takes the perpetrator and uses him as a blanket model for all males. When someone says “She had it coming, look how short her skirt was”, that, to me, also implies a mindset of “and men just can’t help themselves. We all know they’re dogs and if you don’t cover up, they’ll lose their inhibitions!”
I think we can all just agree that demonizing someone for coming forth and claiming they were raped is wrong.
I think this week is going to focus on sexism. This may ruffle up some feathers, but it’s a problem that can often correlate with domestic violence and affect both women and men.
I’m sure many of you have heard those silly little “Hey. Woman. Get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich” jokes
Some find it funny, some find it offensive, but there are some that just seem to take it too far and honestly take that mindset to heart. That “If your woman talks back, raise the right hand and let her know who’s boss” mentality.
Nearly every day I peruse a website called Reddit.
It’s pretty much a site where users submit their own pictures, comments, stories, or links, and then other users can “up vote” or “down vote” them and the ones that have more upvotes usually hit the front page for all to read.
There are different “Subreddits” or categories of content.
I usually skim the front page, but mostly I read the AskReddit section, where people often engaging in humorous and/or thought provoking conversation.
There are many others, depending on what you like, but some like to push it to the limit and see exactly how far they can go with their freedom of speech.
Just recently I came across a nasty little subreddit called Beating Women.
I’d post a link to it, but it’s all pretty adult content. There are a lot of extremely offensive pictures, jokes, and comments, so it’s not really suitable for our blog, even just to link.
These guys may just be internet trolls (users who are purposefully ignorant, mean, or silly just for the sake of starting controversy. It humors them, I guess), but it’s still just really dark and inappropriate.
I’ve never been abused and have never experienced someone close to me being physically abused, but imagine if a victim of domestic violence came across that page. What sort of reaction do you think they’d have?
See, a violent event can traumatize people for years, or even for life, and I can’t imagine how it must feel to see an entire category of a site dedicated to making light humor or support of something that hurt them so badly.
I’d like to say that it’s not Reddit that’s to blame, but the user(s) who created, and add content to, the subreddit.
Apparently the guy who started it is trying to prove a point about his American rights, but it still bothers me.
You’re protected under Freedom of Speech, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re a bad person.
This is similar to the teen dating abuse questionaire we posted on Monday, but more serious. These questions are from a Domestic Violence Lethality Screen for first responders.
I’d check these out and answer them, because the more “Yes“‘s you get, the more likely it is that you’re in danger.
1. Has he/she ever used a weapon against you or threatened youy with a weapon?
2. Has he/she threatened to kill you or your children?
3. Do you think he/she might try to kill you?
4. Does he/she have a gun or can he/she get one easily?
5. Has he/she ever tried to choke you?
6. Is he/she violently or constantly jealous or does he/she control most of your daily activities?
7. Have you left him/her or separated after living together or being married?
8. Is he/she unemployed?
9. Has he/she ever tried to kill himself/herself?
10. Do you have a child that he/she knows is not his/hers?
11. Does he/she follow or spy on you or leave threatening messages?
Obviously not all of those questions correlate with domestic violence, however the less serious ones add up if you answer “Yes” to the more blatantly dangerous ones.
As always, if you have more questions you can always call the national hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you feel like you’re in any sort of serious danger, call 911.