Domestic Violence Happens To Powerful Women Too
On June 24, 2006 I did a Domestic Violence segment on my online radio show The No More Drama Hour of Power. I interviewed a panel of social workers, advocates, and two women who had experienced violence at the hands of their intimate partners. As I listened to their stories of survival as well as heard the stats and facts from the practitioner's point of view, I began to reflect on my relationship with my son's father whom I am currently estranged from. And although I did not disclose it during the show, I too had survived domestic violence and in many respects I am still healing. The ironic thing about it was as a professional trainer and consultant with a background in social work who is educated, respected and conscientious as hell, I still had my preconceived notions about the prototype of women who "allowed themselves," to be victimized by their partners. That is? until it happened to me.
So often, when people think of domestic violence they think it only happens to women who are weak, passive or insecure. But this is not true. Domestic violence happens to powerful women too.
And in many instances, these women are the silent victims because the same ironclad image, keen resourcefulness and credible reputation that has served them well in their professional and social networks are the very same characteristics that prevent them from asking for help. Why? Because they do not want other people to know that they are in the midst of a crisis and that their lives are not as perfect as they seem. Thus, the cycle of shame and blame continues.
Now, not only have they cut themselves off from people who can help, but without even realizing it, they also give the abuser room to continue his reign of terror. How? Because he is banking on her need to keep up appearances to prevent her from reaching out for support. And nine times out of ten, it works. But always remember that perpetrating has its price. He knows that she doesn't want any drama on the job, nor does she want to become the neighborhood soap opera and this is what he uses to silence her.
To keep her from gaining access to the resources that she needs.When I was in the thick of my domestic turmoil, my greatest fear was that my son's father would show up at one of my public speaking engagements or book signings and go on one of his tirades. I envisioned this scenario time and time again and tried to prepare myself for what I might do should this occur. Do I tell the people who hired me to present a motivational keynote or empowerment seminar that I have a restraining order against my son's father and in the event that he shows up I'd like them to call the police? And what would happen if he refused to leave politely? Any woman who has traveled down this road knows, that no matter how sympathetic people are, there are some people who will not want to get involved in your domestic matters, especially if they have the potential to get ugly.
Would I be seen as a business liability? Would word get around with my top paying clients? After all, as fearful as I was I still had to pay the rent and take care of my son and I needed consistent income to do this. Do I ignore him and wait to see if he follows me out of the building? Gosh.I think the thought of him showing up was just as stressful as actually seeing him.After months of dealing with this issue on my own, I took a deep breath and told friends and family members what was going on with my son's father. Then, I told the people in my professional circles on a need to know basis.
The good thing about admitting that I could not bear this burden alone is that I now have many sets of eyes watching out for me?making sure that I am safe. Sure, they recognize that I'm a powerful, mess-with-me-if-you-dare, conscientious sistah, but they also recognize that as powerful and pulled together as I appear to be, like everyone else, I too need support and assistance.If you are in an abusive relationship there are people and organizations that can help you. Two helpful organizations are: The National Domestic Violence Hotline at: (800) 799-SAFE or www.ndvh.org and The National Resource Center On Domestic Violence at: (800) 537-2238 or www.
nrcdv.org.Copyright 2006 by Cassandra Mack.
.Cassandra Mack, MSW is the author of "The Single Moms Little Book of Wisdom," "Cool, Confident and Strong: 52 Power Moves for Girls" and the CEO of Strategies for Empowered Living, a New York based seminar company that offers professional development training and personal empowerment workshops.
She is the producer and host of The No More Drama Hour of Power, an online talk radio show of: Caribworldradio.com. Visit her on the web at: http://www.strategiesforempoweredliving.com.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.
By: Cassandra Mack
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