I finally got a chance to catch up on some shows. I watched the Glee episode “Choke.” When I saw the title I assumed Chuck Palahniuk. I was a little off. I didn’t envision it guest starring Whoopi Goldberg, Kurt killing it at his NYADA audition and Rachel choking and ruining her audition. The episode lived up to its title and made me choke up about the message of violence against women and the struggle to get out of an unhealthy relationship. I was seriously heartbroken at the end when coach Beiste decided to give Cooter another chance after he blacked her eye. Unfortunately this is an all too common occurrence in the cycle of abuse. I know a bit about domestic violence but decided I’d educate myself a little further on what it is and why it’s so hard for so many women to just leave.
Types of Abuse
Physical-hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, choking biting, burning, shoving, using objects or weapons, locking up or confining, interfering with sleeping or eating, restricting mobility
Sexual- forcing sexual acts, sexual assault with/without weapons, assault for refusing to engage in sexual activity
Emotional- Repetitive and excessive criticism, humiliation and degradation, which can include swearing, name calling and put-downs, restricting or controlling access to personal or social resources or friends, homophobic, racist, misogynistic attacks, threats or harm to pets
Threats- Direct intentions to harm you, your family, or your friends
Economic-controlling finances, stealing money, creating debt, interfering with employment or education
Destruction of Property-destruction of property or personal items
Stalking/Harassing-following, appearing unexpectedly or waiting outside of home or work, repeated phone calls, emails, messages
I wonder if any of these things were happening to me would I be empowered enough to leave? I think I’d have a hard time shaking the opinion that what happens in my home and relationship is my business and that no one has the right to tell me how to live, but it’s important to confide in people that care. I know I have strong, positive people in my life that would encourage me not to accept any type of abuse. Fuck looking the other way like nothing happened or those that advise someone to stay because it’s best for the children. It’s not okay when your sons and daughters have to grow up learning that abusive behaviors are acceptable.
Women often feel isolation, shame, embarrassment & humiliation which can make it hard to leave. Although leaving is a positive step for a woman and her children it is still difficult. Here is a brief list of reasons why some women struggle to leave:
· Fear that the abuse could get worse
· Friends and family are not supportive
· Fear of being a single parent
· Limited resources(home, money, vehicle)
· During the period of calm their partner is loving and nurturing
· Internalizing or rationalizing reasons for the abuse(stress, work, finances, substance use)
· Feeling isolated from family & friends as a result of the abuser’s control & trying to hide the abuse
· Feelings of failure
These are real and serious reasons why women continue to give their partner just one more chance. Sadly one more chance could be your last chance. It’s important to be aware of our rights as women and not let anyone harm us. You are not a failure and don't deserve to be abused. If you are in Northern Utah a great resource is Your Community Connection.
All of this thinking from watching one TV episode. You should check it out; it’s filled with such strong emotion. Here are a few of the songs I really liked from the episode that related to this topic.