Today kicks off Domestic Violence Month. This is an issue that comes close to home as I have been in a physically abusive relationship in the past. I want to encourage you to speak out if you or someone you love is being harmed. Domestic Violence is not just a physical beating. It can also be sexual, emotional, and economical. Whether s/he beats you with their fist or beats you with their words, it’s still violence and unhealthy for you. You have a right to be happy, so please seek out help immediately!
Some tips to help if you think you are being abused:
1. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and share your story. They will help you come to terms with your situation.
2. If you feel at all unsafe, get out of the situation immediately and call 911.
3. Check with your local community resource hotline by dialing 211, often they can connect you to a local Domestic Violence Hotline whom can help you find a local shelter.
4. Seek counseling. You may think you’re crazy and your partner may tell you that you’re crazy…..but you’re not. Get the validation you need! Counselors specializing in domestic violence can help you get on the right track to a healthier and safer you.
5. Know that you deserve a happy and healthy relationship. You are not worthy of being mistreated in any way.
For those who have suffered or are suffering, a poem by Maya Angelou
Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.