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For years, my family have been torn apart by the repercussions of domestic violence. For the past few months, I've been struggling to accept the reality of our situation. It's 11 years on, and I often feel like a failure because I still feel no closure after everything that has happened.When I was at school, teachers that were aware of what was going on would tell me that one day I would end up writing a book or doing something positive with my own experience. As the years have progressed, this has become harder and harder to motivate myself towards. I have had numerous conversations with social work regarding my concerns, written a lot of letters and even started a petition at one point. Each time, I have been pushed back or made to feel like a crazy and traumatised child. I am an adult now, but after being silenced and ignored so many times, it has become harder and harder to fight back and I have questioned my own sanity over the years.

1,031,120 - is the number of domestic violence incidents reported in England and Wales during 2016. Just ONE year. I’m always uncomfortable sharing personal things, but when there’s a chance to make a difference and bring about change by telling a story I think that’s more important than my own fears. Some of you might remember a petition I created years ago, I must have only been about 14/15 at the time. My brother, sister and I were placed into the care of my grandmother after living in a home of domestic violence for several years. I started a petition because social work wanted to send my brother and sister back to live with my mother and her partner as they said they had no evidence the violence was still ongoing. The reason they had no evidence it was still ongoing is because my mum was under his control and would cover up what was really happening and I had hoped they would listen to my concerns and acknowledge the risk in sending my extremely young brother and sister back to live in this home. I was thrilled when my petition gained 1495 signatures and a lot of support from the public and messages from people opening up to me with similar experiences.

Sadly, social work ignored my petition and I was told that I could be in trouble with the police for my petition if I didn’t take it down and shortly afterwards social work went through with their decision to send them back to live with my mother and my violent step-dad. As a young teenager it took a lot of courage to speak out and I think having my concerns ignored by professionals for years and years has made me more fearful of speaking out as an adult and eventually I lost faith in social work’s ability to protect children.

Sadly, earlier on this year it was revealed that the violence has in fact continued on for years. However, my mum finally made the choice to leave my step-dad and charge him for everything he has done. The police have had the polar opposite approach of social work. Now there is a chance he may go to prison for the things he has done.I think it speaks volumes about the system that the police can hear about the horrible things this man has done and think there is a chance he could be locked up because he is a dangerous man whereas the social work department seen a suitable home for children.

Their decision to send them back allowed this violence to continue on in the presence of my younger brother and sister for years. It’s time the social work department stop playing happy families and putting their targets/budget before the well-being of the children they are supposed to protect.The whole system is a disgrace and it has taken a lot of courage to share this story but I hope if enough people speak out then it will bring about change and encourage people who have been in similar circumstances to speak out and get angry until it can’t be ignored. If you see/hear something that makes you worry about somebody’s wellbeing then don’t ignore it - report it to somebody.

Things can’t go on like this.I am hoping by starting this blog and sharing my own concerns and experiences over the years, I may not only raise awareness and help someone else but may find some closure through writing about it.

EDIT: Grabbing a cup of tea and then I'll work through all the questions and make sure I answer everything. I'm not feeling well so will be spending the night in bed with my laptop so keep the questions coming, I'll be here all night to get through them. :)

EDIT 2: I am so overwhelmed by this response, I was not expecting this kind of feedback and all of you have made my evening and made me feel even more confident that I'm doing the right thing by starting this website. Like I mentioned in a lot of my comments, I am very new to all this and still getting used to things but I hope you'll all keep up to date with my posts and remember, if there is anything you would like to share then you can get in touch. Also, if anybody has any tips for building up a regular readership, that would be great.

Comments: 432 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

destructioncentral255 karma

How many people’s stories do you get that involve alcoholism? My dad is currently in a turbulent relationship where my mom drinks like a fish and abuses him. Edit: I forgot to mention I love and respect what you are doing. Edit 2: Oh man, this blew up. I didn’t expect a comment like this to blow up. Thank you to u/writeforadifference1 for the answer.

writeforadifference1262 karma

I’m so sorry to hear that. That’s actually one of the things I’m in the process of writing about and researching at the moment is domestic violence with female perpetrators, because I think a lot of people have the misinformed opinion that it’s not as common or it’s not as bad or damaging. There are 2.2 million male victims of domestic abuse yet in the UK there are only enough spaces in refuge for just over 100 males. Also, 52% men in relationships like this are too scared to leave because they feel embarrassed. It’s a massive issue. Alcohol is a poison and can completely change someone, I know a lot of similar stories. Alcoholism is a demon and I’m so sorry to hear that your mum is struggling. If you feel like writing about it could get things off your chest you’re more than welcome to. You can stay anonymous too.

DarthCerebroX135 karma

domestic violence with female perpetrators, because I think a lot of people have the misinformed opinion that it’s not as common or it’s not as bad or damaging. There are 2.2 million male victims of domestic abuse yet in the UK there are only enough spaces in refuge for just over 100 males. Also, 52% men in relationships like this are too scared to leave because they feel embarrassed.

As a former male victim of DV, it really means a lot to me that you are highlighting this issue. A lot of DV advocates only focus on the “wife beater” narrative and all but ignore male victims and female perpetrators (just look at the last DV advocate we had do an AMA. She said there wasn’t enough research to comment on female perps and her organization actually supports the obscenely sexist Duluth Model).

Most people don’t realize that men make up roughly half of all DV victims and when it comes to unreciprocated violence (meaning only one person is being violent), women are actually the aggressors and men the victims in 70% of those cases.

So again, thank you! I really appreciate someone like you that wants to address both sides of the issue instead of focusing only on female victims. Our support structures for male victims are extremely poor and it feels like our governments aren’t interested in doing anything about it.

Take for instance, the Violence Against Women Act. Most people aren’t aware there was already a gender neutral version of this Act that covered both male and female victims. Unfortunately, the National Organization for Women, and its associated legal foundations, successfully lobbied to replace the gender neutral federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act of 1984 with the obscenely gendered Violence Against Women Act of 1994. The passing of that law cut male victims out of support services and legal assistance in more than 60 passages, just because they were male.

EDIT: Incase people want to see exactly how bad our support structures for men are, here are some statistics.

Men who are abused and seek help from shelters and hotlines- --were told that the service was only for women (49.9% shelter / 63.9% hotline / 42.9% online) --were accused of being the abuser (40.2% shelter / 32.2% hotline / 18.9% online) --given a phone number for a men's service which turned out to be a program for abusers (25.2% hotline / 27.1% online) --were actively mocked (16.4% shelter / 15.2% hotline)

Men who contacted police --were arrested 33.4% of the time --their abuser was arrested 26.5% of the time --were placed in jail 29% of the time --their abuser was placed in jail 20% of the time --faced criminal charges 22% of the time --their abuser faced criminal charges 13% of the time

Men who sought help from a mental health professional --were taken seriously 68% of the time --were given information on resources 30.1% of the time

Men who sought help from a medical professional --were given information on resources 14% of the time

Our support structures are so bad that men who sought help from any of the above experienced a higher rate of PTSD than men who didn't.

The positive experience rate for men seeking support is only 25%, with a negative experience rate of 67%. Women committing the same study had a positive rate of 95% and negative rate unmeasurable.

Compared to men who didn't seek help, men who did and had a positive experience displayed a 40% reduction in self harm, drug and alcohol abuse, and incidence of PTSD... But a 37% increase per negative experience... but remember, the negative experiences outweighed the positive 67% to 25%.

Meaning that, on average, the support men are offered is so bad, men are better off with their abusers.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3175099/#!po=56.7961

writeforadifference164 karma

It is such a massive issue, and one that I care about very deeply. It angers me the naivety that exists when it comes to male victims, and it only makes it harder for them to come out with their stories and escape abuse. The amount of female perpetrators has increased seven fold since 2004 and if we don't solve the attitude of only "wife beaters" existing then that number is just going to keep growing. I'd love to share a story like yours on my blog, because I think it could really be eye opening and give strength to a lot of men also going through DV. Would you be willing to write something for my blog? I could help if you needed it, and you could stay anonymous if you like.

DarthCerebroX25 karma

Yeah, I’ll definitely consider it. I’m at work atm but can I PM you later on? (I know, I know... get off reddit while I work. :p)

writeforadifference118 karma

Brilliant :)

019283745658947854 karma

That being said, I don't think alcohol is ever an excuse for domestic violence. It is often used as a justification, or an explanation: "I am not an abuser, it is simply the alcohol!".

writeforadifference166 karma

Absolutely! There is no excuse for domestic violence. Yes, drink can change you, however if you know you get out of hand under the influence and still choose to drink then it’s inexcusable.

IceburgSlimk43 karma

A few years ago I was closely involved with changing the CDV laws in SC. I worked with a local politician Larry Martin who introduced it. Nikki Haley eventually signed it into law.

SC was closely behind LA as the deadliest state in CDV related deaths. We pretty much copied their blueprint from what changes they made to make the punishments more severe. Adding enhancements such as children being present, prohibiting the victim from reporting it and having a weapon present.

One of the more controversial points was taking away the rights of firearms temporarily based on repeat offenses and degree of the charge. In the deep South that was a huge hurdle even for me bc I'm a gun owner and advocate. But it wasn't permanent, just a cooling off period. And after hearing victim stories and listening to law enforcement statements, it was very clear that most CDV cases were repeat offenses and they are also the most dangerous calls for an officer to respond to. Taking a gun out of the situation helped keep a violent situation from becolming deadly.

Didn't mean to get so long winded. Just wanted to share that information.

writeforadifference19 karma

Thank you for sharing :)

Little_Tyrant176 karma

In the years since your original experience and now, do you feel that there's been any notable progress in either the way society looks at the problem of domestic violence, or how seriously it's taken by the police and social services? Have the type of responses and reactions you get varied over the years when you recount your story, or have attitudes largely seemed to stay the same? Do you feel that your issues with growing up in such an environment still affect you on a daily basis, or have do you feel that you've found relative success/stability with any particular types of therapy or meds? Fellow survivor here wondering...

I commented on an AMA being done by some domestic abuse experts a few weeks ago and wanted to share, since we had such similar stories despite age difference and country of origin: I’m a mid-thirties male who witnessed and lived through some pretty heavy and long-running domestic abuse as a child in the US. Small rural town with zero awareness and support at school or amongst outside family, so I chalked the depression, anxiety, and mood swings I’ve experienced for much of my life up to some undiagnosed bipolar disorder. When I finally went to a therapist for help, he diagnosed me with PTSD and it was extremely jarring.

Since being diagnosed, I’ve met with a lot of resistance from outside family, friends, and the general public about being open about what myself and my mom went through. Even my siblings, who are a few years younger and don’t have strong memories of most of the abuse, question the validity of the issues my mom and I are still suffering from. They even refuse to see their respective issues with alcohol and drug abuse, depression, anger, and anxiety as being at all contributed to by the environment we grew up in...I see them beginning to treat their spouses and children in ways that border on abusive and don’t know what to do about it.

I try to talk about this stuff openly with my main account because I’ve met with a lot of resistance and have felt heavily stigmatized as a dude looking for help after witnessing and being subject to domestic violence as a child; I still watch my mom struggle to this day with the violence and the memories of the officers who always sided with my dad. I’m not sure why I feel so ashamed about being open and honest about this but I really, really appreciate the opportunity to do so.

Your story is so inspiring I don’t really have words— I couldn’t figure out how to help my family when i was 14 as you describe— I was barely able to survive. To attack a situation that is so innately frightening for the sake of others is something a lot of people will never understand, but I do because I was never able to find that strength. I can also say as an adult who didn’t address these issues soon enough, you have really opened up your life to some wonderful possibilities by handling and owning this so early in your own journey.

So thank you so much for helping to raise awareness and visibility with this AMA. It’s very inspiring to see someone using a traumatic situation so similar to mine as a point of strength. “Bravery” doesn’t begin to describe what it takes to fight back at that age, or what it takes to continue being proud of who you are when you come from that kind of environment.

writeforadifference177 karma

I have no words to even write back to your comment. This has made me feel so emotional. I almost teared up. I'm so sorry you've had to go through it too and I'm sorry you're seeing your siblings mimic that behaviour, it must feel like history repeating itself. I really do wish you all the best and I know for myself, writing has given me a lot of strength so if you do want to speak out and share your story at any point you are more than welcome to do so on my blog and you can even remain anonymous if you like. Thank you so much for your comment. It really touched me.

ThatBitchMeredith86 karma

I'm currently dealing with domestic violence, we found out a few days ago that my sister had fled her husband's home with the children, and that it had been abusive for the last year. None of us had any idea. My mom visited them about a month ago and came back with worries but before that we had never suspected anything.

Some of the signs, isolation, mainly was already a part of her personality so it wasn't surprising when she drew further into herself.

The only signs my mom noticed was the lack of food and children's clothes in the house, and a recent change in my nephew's behavior.

I've studied dv in undergrad and law school, but I somehow missed the signs or they weren't there.

Is there anything that you would say are the most important red flags? Things that should trigger you to immediately start investigating the relationship from an outsider's point of view?

writeforadifference172 karma

That's the hardest thing about it. Don't blame yourself for seeing the signs. I lived with it for 3 years, would visit my grandmother every single weekend and she has always been the closest person to me, even before she took me in but she even had no idea. The control aspect makes it so hard to spot, it's literally like brainwashing. I even wrote a letter to social workers telling them my step dad was like a dad to me and proclaimed how much I loved him. I had been forced to do it obviously, but that's what makes it so hard to spot. I wrote an article on the warning signs etc. You might find it a helpful read, but don't beat yourself up. I'm so sorry to hear the story but you should be so thankful that your sister is out, there are a lot of people that never escape. Have a read here. https://writeforadifference.com/2018/01/02/why-you-may-be-in-an-abusive-relationship-without-knowing/

CatchingRays86 karma

How do you feel about reformed abusers sharing their journey?

writeforadifference1121 karma

I’m totally open to it, I want people to learn and grow from reading my website and the way to do that is by sharing information from all perspectives, and I think it’s rare to find a reformed abuser willing to share their journey so I think it would be really valuable and a good insight from the other side

sexyjeremypharoahwiz53 karma

How do you feel about the way Domestic Violence tends to be turned into a gendered issue despite it not being a gendered problem?

<--am Male domestic violence victim at hands of Female ex-partner.

writeforadifference133 karma

I feel very strongly about the way male victims tend to be ignored or not taken as seriously. I will copy & paste a previous answer I have given when it comes to male victims.

It is such a massive issue, and one that I care about very deeply. It angers me the naivety that exists when it comes to male victims, and it only makes it harder for them to come out with their stories and escape abuse. The amount of female perpetrators has increased seven fold since 2004 and if we don't solve the attitude of only "wife beaters" existing then that number is just going to keep growing. I'd love to share a story like yours on my blog, because I think it could really be eye opening and give strength to a lot of men also going through DV. Would you be willing to write something for my blog? I could help if you needed it, and you could stay anonymous if you like.

That’s actually one of the things I’m in the process of writing about and researching at the moment is domestic violence with female perpetrators, because I think a lot of people have the misinformed opinion that it’s not as common or it’s not as bad or damaging. There are 2.2 million male victims of domestic abuse yet in the UK there are only enough spaces in refuge for just over 100 males. Also, 52% men in relationships like this are too scared to leave because they feel embarrassed. It’s a massive issue.

sexyjeremypharoahwiz4 karma

I live in the US, but I've sent my story in via your blog's share a story feature.

writeforadifference13 karma

Thank you so much! Can I ask if you would like to be named or if you would like to keep it anonymous?

sexyjeremypharoahwiz6 karma

Anonymous preferred as I don't like the idea of people getting so much personal information with a simple google search, but I included my name in the submission form itself. You could list me as just "Jeremy" though, to more humanize my story rather than "anonymous."

writeforadifference14 karma

Okay :)

BrocanGawd2 karma

Firstly let me say i completely agree with you about male victims and the sick lack of empathy our society has towards them. That's why, although I hate to say this, but I feel I should warn you that you are venturing into dangerous territory when you openly advocate for male victims in your program like you are doing.

I'm sure you've noticed you are already getting pushback from feminists in this post like:

u/legalalien420

"This makes me very uncomfortable, it feeds into the male victim MRA bullshit, and nothing drives abuse like 'entitled victim' mentality. The fact is, serious violence in relationships is almost always male perpetrated and women abusers very rarely kill their partners. This isn't nit picking, it's about protecting the vulnerable against abuse"

These people despise any effort to raise awareness or help male victims of anything. Especially if it means treating male victims equally to female victims which they interpret as taking attention away from female victims...somehow. I'm warning you about this because all it will take is one of these toxic feminists to right an article on huffpo or xojane to start a huge campaign against you and your efforts. Smearing you day and night and making your life hell.

If you don't believe me just take a look at what they did to Cassie Jaye

Take steps to prepare yourself

Good Luck my friend

writeforadifference113 karma

Thank you for warning me, but I am very strong in my views and I will be sharing them regardless of what people may think. I am a strong feminist, but to me feminism is equality and male victims of DV being ignored and not taken seriously is not equality. Abuse is abuse, it is inexcusable from both males and females.

NeenerBeaner35 karma

Thank you for sharing. I lost a dear friend to domestic violence 2 years ago. She tried to leave. Changed the locks, got a restraining order. He came to the house when he knew she would be alone. He shot and killed her then shot and killed himself. Thankfully, he did no harm to her children. So my question is, how do you safely leave an abuser? We thought she did everything right. And she still lost her life.

writeforadifference126 karma

I'm so sorry to hear that. That is so awful. To be honest, I don't want to lie here. I'm not a professional in this matter, I'm just here to share my own perspective on things and encourage other survivors to feel strong and share their stories, but every situation is individual. Leaving an abuser is such a complex subject and I don't want to pretend that I'm equipped to answer it.

MTV_WasMyBabysitter28 karma

How do we overcome this stereotype: if a person stays in the abusive relationship after recognizing they are being abused then they either deserve what they get, must somehow enjoy the drama, or must not want help?

I am currently dealing with a close friend whose spouse is abusive: she knows it's wrong and she keeps talking about leaving but doesn't. I am also a survivor of domestic violence and understand the excuses one makes for an abuser and the twisted rationales for staying and yet, when I tell her her life is more important than her marriage and she doesn't leave, I find myself falling back on the old stereotypes about women who don't leave. This frustrates me greatly.

writeforadifference114 karma

I totally understand what you mean here. I struggle with my relationship with my mum because of this. I know she is a victim and has been through hell, but at the same time it's hard to look past the fact that she abandoned me for my step-dad and ignored every time I begged for her to take us away from him when we were staying there and I was a child. It's so complicated, it frustrates me too. I'm sorry I don't really have a solid answer to your question, but know that I feel your frustration about this too.

Alysazombie25 karma

Thank you for posting this. I really appreciate your strength and ability to overcome the inability to react and actually make a difference. I hope you don't mind, I'd like to read your input and any guidance you may have for me.

When I was in highschool, my counselor called CPS because of the bruises I had all over my body. My stepmom had been abusing me since the day after my 5th birthday, this was the first time (I was 15) it had gotten physical. She held me up by my throat against my bedroom wall and slammed my body around a bit.

She has two other children. The cops and CPS both inspected my body, all the marks and bruises as well as interviewed her, my dad and me.

Nothing happened. I eventually got kicked out of my father's house because he finally gave in to her wishes. Every time she got mad at me and couldn't "deal" with me, she'd scoop up her other two kids and stay in a hotel, until I wasn't there anymore. After her third attempt, it worked. My dad dropped me out of highschool and bought me a plane ticket to fly me out to live with my mother the very next morning.

I'm 26 now and I'm still struggling with navigating my perception and how I think and feel about everything. I recently stayed with my Dad (and his wife) over the summer and it was okay at first... But then it seemed to turn into how I was "ruining their family" all over again. I have a lot of different mental health issues and honestly life has just been overwhelming. Now, I can barely handle my own head most days. I'm still recovering from this past Summer's experience on top of all my confusing feelings and thoughts surrounding my family and myself.

What can I do to start healing, understanding and moving forward? I don't have any health insurance and feel so stuck.

Thanks

writeforadifference111 karma

I'm so sorry all this happened to you. I know it's easier said than done but remember that it's not your fault. I'm not a doctor or a therapist or anything like that, just someone that has also experienced domestic abuse so I don't feel like I'm a position to advise on how to get better, but I can tell you the things that helped me outside of the medical aspect of things. Writing is obviously the thing that has helped the most so like I have said, if you want to speak out or share something for my blog you can stay anon and I can even help you write if you're not too confident. I also find hypnotherapy videos on youtube to be really helpful for getting sleep and they build up confidence in your subconcious, and there are loads of them on youtube completely free. Exercise also helps and giving yourself something to aim towards. Finding hobbies or something you're good at build ups your self esteem too and gives you something to be proud of. I'm not perfect though and I do still struggle. Just don't blame yourself. It hurts like hell but it's not your fault.

Spiggy9313 karma

Thank you for sharing and for the work you are doing. I was in an abusive relationship, the relationship itself was 3 years and the physical abuse was for about 1.5-2 years of that. I just hit my one year mark of being free of him and have been in therapy working through everything for about 6 months now. One huge fear for me moving forward has been dating. I've been seeing someone and I feel like I over-analyze everything he does. I worry a lot that I'll miss some red flags, to the point where I wonder if something is actually a red flag in a healthy relationship or if I'm being paranoid. Or getting over the expectation that I will be yelled at for every little thing. I know I still sometimes get surprised at things that he'll just brush off, but my ex would have been pissed about for days on end. It's hard to trust not only other people, but also your own judgement.

Anyway, another struggle I have had is sharing my story with others. I've told less than a handful of friends, and none of my family. One of those "friends" I told responded with, "Well why did you let him do it?" so I think I have been afraid of receiving more reactions like that. How long did it take you to open up to other people who didn't know what was happening?

writeforadifference18 karma

It took years and years for me to open up. When I was living through it all, nobody knew outside of my family. I would sing my step-dads praises and say he was amazing. If you get reactions like that, then that is other people's issue, not yours. You are a victim. Unless you've been in that situation yourself, then nobody can comprehend it. You are out of it now, and that is amazing. Praise yourself for that, a lot of people never escape. You should be proud, and if you have any friends and family that aren't proud of you for it then they aren't worth worrying about (I know that's easier said than done). Be proud that you've went through hell and managed to break free. You are strong.

metal_herbalist13 karma

Survivor here as well - what does "raising awareness" actually mean to you? What impact will raising awareness have for victims? In my opinion, it's a phrase that gets tossed around a lot in the name of good intentions, but doesn't actually MEAN anything on its own. So people are aware....now what?

Also curious what your background is, other than being a survivor? Are you a counselor or therapist, or have you had any training in working with survivors of domestic violence?

writeforadifference121 karma

To me, raising awareness is finding the strength to speak out and in doing that, encouraging others to speak out. Like the me too movement for example, one person created a catapult of other stories being shared. Speaking out can give so much strength and empowerment and make you feel in control. I think writing is so therapeutic and I also think there are a lot of misconceptions to be addressed when it comes to DV (male victims not being as important, that only physical violence counts as abuse) etc. So to me, that's what raising awareness is about. Empowering survivors and at the same time, educating people on the matter.

I am not a counsellor or a therapist. I am just a survivor with a love for writing and I'm combining the two with this website.

GauntletPorsche11 karma

How many stories do you get from male abuse survivors? And to be specific, Latino male abuse survivors? I'm not racist; I'm a Latino male who has been physically and verbally abused for 20 years and have heard that male abuse survivors get no support whatsoever compared to female abuse survivors, so knowing I'm not alone through this would help

writeforadifference17 karma

I have received a couple of stories for male survivors and I would love to get more! I really really want to break the stigma that it only happens to woman and think it's such a huge issue that male victims are put in the dark and ignored. I would love to have your story and I have had another story from a male survivor tonight, and there is also another male survivor that says he is going to submit his story too. Would love to share them all together along with the research I've done on male victims to create a really hard hitting piece.

GauntletPorsche5 karma

Like I said, this has went on for 20 years. It would be a very long story if I were to submit it. Speaking of which, where would I go to submit?

writeforadifference17 karma

That's okay! you can submit at www.writeforadifference.com/contact or drop me an email at [email protected] :) I can help you write too if you like!

vaevictis2110 karma

Glad that you're raising your voice for this issue. There are a lot of times when people feel repressed and in the fear of not having enough support, they continue to suffer.

What are some ways people can report such abuse to the relevant authorities?

writeforadifference114 karma

It totally depends on the country you’re in. Scotland have just passed a bill that means emotional abuse can be prosecuted for under domestic abuse in court, which is brilliant. However, in Russia you can’t be arrested for domestic abuse unless there is a visible injury, so basically as long as abusers are careful they can get away with it. It’s very sad. Some countries are very advanced at dealing with domestic abuse, and sadly others are very backwards.

l_hutz8 karma

Thanks for posting this. In your opinion, how can someone who’s not sure decide whether “the line” has been crossed?

writeforadifference19 karma

Could you elaborate please? Do you mean you are unsure if you’re a victim of domestic abuse?

l_hutz2 karma

Thanks for your reply. I just wanted to gauge responses, open the discussion and hear what you and other people think.

writeforadifference13 karma

You are welcome :)

mmatiasn7 karma

Why does your site have so many ads? Hosting a wp site doesn't cost a fortune...

writeforadifference17 karma

Like I’ve said, I’m clueless about with all this stuff. I’ve picked a theme and I write the posts and that’s about it! I’ve only been doing it for a month :)

Cowlump6 karma

Would you consider other types of abuse, especially psychological abuse, to be equally reprehensible, and do you cater to the needs of those suffering from nonviolent abuse at the hands of an intimate partner?

writeforadifference13 karma

Domestic abuse is not just violence. That is something I am hoping to address with my blog too. I think so many people have the misinformed view that violence is the only form of abuse which isn't the case. Psychological abuse can be just as damaging, if not more so. I'm very proud to be from Scotland, where just yesterday we passed a bill through parliament that allows prosecution for psychological and emotional abuse as domestic abuse. There are many forms of abuse and just because there is no violence does not mean it is not domestic abuse. Have a read here. https://writeforadifference.com/2018/02/01/scottish-parliament-just-passed-a-revolutionary-bill/

greatfrog2575 karma

This’ll probably get buried but What’s the accuracy of the circle of abuse theory? Are victims of abuse likely to abuse people themselves in the future or is that rumours/speculation?

I ask because I grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father. He was never violent but would be incredibly aggressive verbally and shout/smash things. Now that I’m older I find myself mimicking his behaviours when I’m stressed. At first I didn’t want to admit it and put it down to getting little sleep combined with other people winding me up. I had to have a hard look at myself but I’ve come to realise that my reaction to annoyances are completely over the top, and when I “see red” I completely lose control of myself which is terrifying. I’m an otherwise calm, friendly, and nice person, but I have a real bad dark side that I don’t know how to change. I’ve been meditating a lot, and finally gotten a solid sleeping routine down, and I’m better than I was, but I’m still struggling to contain my anger

My ex left me 2 years ago because she said it was like dating a landmine, everything would be fine until you stress me in the wrong way and I explode. We had a lot of problems and it wouldn’t have lasted anyway, but it’s been two years of me working on this and I’m still near enough the same, the main difference being I can see now just how abusive I can be. Am I doomed to repeat my fathers mistakes? Or is there hope for me yet?

writeforadifference13 karma

I really don't know. I'm not a scientist or have done any studies myself but I can say from personal experience that I do know quite a lot of abusers have been abused themselves. You are not doomed to repeat your fathers mistakes. You are your own person and you are the one responsible for your actions. Being abused yourself isn't an excuse to abuse others. Rise above it and be the man your father never was. It's good that you are aware of your behaviour and that you obviously want to work on it, so keep it up until you find the things that work for you. You cannot change the past, but you are in charge of your future.

bladesman3935 karma

Thank you for having the courage to share your story like this, and for working so hard to make change happen.

My question is, what (or who) is the biggest source of failure towards victims (or those close to them) trying to get help? i.e. is social work underfunded? Are they just negligent? Do more people need to learn about how to spot signs?

writeforadifference18 karma

I think there's so many issues that are failing victims. Social work is definitely a big aspect, as it takes for something life-threatening to happen before they will take action most of the time. I don't blame the social workers themselves, but there is a chain of command that is putting pressure on them and making it hard for them to do their jobs (funding, etc). I think it's very helpful to know the signs and a lot of people think that it takes violence for a relationship to be abusive which isn't the case, there are a lot of different forms of abuse and often emotional and psychological abuse can be even more damaging than violence. However, a lot of people think as long as there is no violence that it's okay and this attitude is failing victims too. In addition to that, male victims are being failed horrendously. The attitude that it's not as bad for a female to be abusive and that only "wife beaters" exist is extremely damaging. The amount of female perpetrators has increased seven fold since 2004 and like I said in a previous comment, 52% of males are too embarrassed to leave abusive relationships. So, there are a lot of different things failing victims. And that's just from the UK, in Russia domestic violence is legal as long as there are no visible injuries from the beatings. So it's truly a massive issue with loads of complex factors failing victims. Have a read of my post here which goes into detail about some of the signs. https://writeforadifference.com/2018/02/01/scottish-parliament-just-passed-a-revolutionary-bill/

tonetonitony5 karma

Do you (or anyone else reading) have any advice for an adult learning to recover from growing up in a household with domestic violence? Personally, I struggle with getting close to people as well as a lot of anxiety issues.

writeforadifference17 karma

I also struggle with anxiety & PTSD and had a lot of trust issues for a long time. I found medication from the doctor & therapy to be helpful, along with writing. A combination of all these things is helping me at the moment, but I do still struggle at times. You can't erase the memories so I suppose we need to find a way to process everything that we witnessed, as when you're a child it's extremely difficult to deal with it and so I think it just ends up being carried with you into adulthood because you don't have the tools to cope at a young age. Again, like I've said to most people on here. If you think you could benefit from writing about your experience or sharing your story then you are more than welcome to submit something for my blog, or drop me an email and I can help you write something.

GuardianKing4 karma

Why did no one pay attention to me when it happened? Why does no one take me seriously when I tell them? Am I doing something wrong? Did it not really happen? Am I crazy? Am I just ungrateful that my parents didn't actually kill me?

How do I heal? How do I die?

writeforadifference15 karma

You're doing nothing wrong. You can't control other people's actions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad people in the world. You just need to grow from it and make sure you are one of the good ones.

lizzkhalifuh3 karma

How can a little person like me, who isn't in the financial state yet to donate, help a victim of abuse?

writeforadifference13 karma

Spread word. Break the taboo. Do research. Be switched on and start discussions about the matter. Be vocal. And give lots of hugs.

ForeverAMinuteLate3 karma

Thank you so much for sharing and opening up! I've been really struggling with that and am just recently getting comfortable sharing and realizing that I can possibly turn my story into something that can hopefully help other victims.

I was in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship during college and still have not shared that information with my parents or many friends. I still hold on to guilt and am afraid that they will always see me as the girl who didn't have the guts to just leave and be embarrassed that their daughter didn't stand up for herself or blame themselves. Do you come across guilt as a common issue for those have been victims of abuse?

writeforadifference13 karma

Yes, guilt is such a common thing. I felt guilt myself, wondering what I could have done differently. That is what relationships like that do though, they make you doubt yourself and take away your self-esteem. The fact you have left is amazing. So many people don't get out of those relationships and you should be so proud of yourself, and if you tell anybody about your experience and they aren't proud of you too then that is just because they don't understand. You are very strong for escaping and very inspiring. So thank you for sharing too! Stories like yours are empowering.

million_tiny_stars3 karma

I'm a bit confused on the "share your story" tab. Should we write out our story in the comment area, or just explain why we want to share our story? Thanks! I love seeing things like this.

writeforadifference15 karma

Sorry, still getting the hang of things with the website so thanks for the feedback. I’ll make it clearer for people on the site. You can write your story straight away if you like but I know there’s a lot of people that aren’t confident with writing so even just drop a message saying “hi, I have something I’d like to share” and I can email back and help you put it together and discuss things. Whatever you prefer!

red_panda233 karma

Wow this is amazing! I'm in a really similar situation and have had the same experience with the police and social workers! I really hope one day that my dad will have to face what he has done/is doing.

How have you coped with it? Does it get any better? I have PTSD and I hope it does. How do you think you can change things? I would love to do what you have done :)

Sorry it's a lot of questions.

writeforadifference13 karma

You can be a part of it too! The more people that speak up about the faults and challenges that exist the more effective it will be. I'm sorry you've had to go through something similar. I have good days and I have bad days but I have felt a lot stronger since getting back into my writing and starting my blog. If you want to share your story you can drop me an email at [email protected] or www.writeforadifference.com/contact and become a part of this!

mallchin3 karma

Writing is a great way to express inner emotions. I had trouble reading this though -- was there a formatting issue?

writeforadifference17 karma

Yes there was, didn’t realise the paragraphs didn’t work. Better now?

HalLogan2 karma

Thank you for doing this, following on FB and Twitter etc. What's the most helpful thing for someone to do who was around domestic violence decades ago? Is it sharing what it's like being "normal" now (to the extent that we ever get to be normal) or is it more recollections of what it was like back then?

writeforadifference12 karma

I think it's helpful to share both. To share your own experience of domestic violence and how you're dealing with things now and how you managed out of it. Any discussion as long as it's healthy, there are no rules on what to talk about and everybody has their own individual experience.

IllBePirateKing2 karma

Why the name pennyroyal tea?.. :)

writeforadifference13 karma

Nirvana :)

Katamug2 karma

Just to lighten the mood (but in no way undermine and disrespect the trauma you suffered) do you like fish and chips?

writeforadifference12 karma

I LOVE FISH AND CHIPS. With chippy sauce. mmmm.

Nova52691 karma

I really respect what you've done, I've convinced my girlfriend to browse some forums built to support the abused to see that people that have the same troubling thoughts and glass ceilings she does in her recovery. She's been through some really horrible things, but she's read other people's stories and feels that since others have it worse she needs to "stop being a baby" and she doesn't feel she deserves to complain. Did you ever have those thoughts? That someone has it worse than you so why do you have the right get help? I've tried telling her there will always be someone who has it worse so does that mean no one would ever get help? She sees my point, but I feel it's not as impactful coming from someone who hasn't gone through that.

writeforadifference11 karma

Yes I had those thoughts. At the same time you posted your comment, I'm also reading one that says "It seems that most, if not all, of the violence was directed towards your mother. I’m not certain, your post is slightly vague. It also occurred 11 years ago. So, my question is: If you and your siblings are safe now, why are you still distraught? It’s over. Move on." Everybody experiences things differently. It's like when somebody says "there are starving children in africa" when you complain you are hungry, it doesn't stop you being any less hungry. Everybody deserves help. You can't compare problems. You can't help what you feel.

meteoritemcgyver1 karma

Would you mind making a highly visible on your website that lists the numbers to national dv, suicide, and human trafficking hotlines?

writeforadifference11 karma

That is a great idea and I've already thought of that, but like I've mentioned a few times, I am very clueless with this website stuff and still getting to grips with it all so I'm not sure how to make it highly visible. I think I might create a page labelled "helplines" on the front menu so people can go there. Do you think that's helpful enough?

anevensadderperson1 karma

What’s your plan to expand your platform and do you have any social workers/lawmakers/experts on your team to help you out?

writeforadifference11 karma

I have no idea. This isn't my full time job, I am just doing this in my spare time at the moment because it's something I feel strongly about and I don't have much of a plan. I would love to be able to turn this into some kind of full time job but I don't think that's very realistic and I am still very new to this blogging/website stuff. I don't have anybody on my team to help me out apart from me haha. For now, the vision is just helping others speak out and empowering other people.

Rifleshoot1 karma

As someone who has no experience with domestic violence, why do you think it happens and how does it tend to start?

I apologize if this next question hurts to read, but what exactly is done to mean domestic violence? I understand that the euphemism of “domestic violence” is partially to be less offensive, but it is a very vague term that leaves a lot to be inferred.

writeforadifference11 karma

I honestly have no idea. I know there is some link in that a lot of abusers experienced abuse themselves but I don't think this applies to every single abuser of course. Each experience is totally unique, for some people it starts from the beginning and for some it can happen years in. It's a tough question to answer.

grantrunyan1 karma

Do you ever associate diet with healing? I've learned that having a healthy diet will help in ways that nothing else can.

writeforadifference12 karma

I am the world's fussiest eater, I literally eat no fruit or veg, and also struggled with an eating disorder at one point so I don't think I can offer any helpful personal tips, however I have heard the same :)

grantrunyan1 karma

Can I teach you how to eat? I do this for a living. And I have a really easy to understand method to help teach.

writeforadifference11 karma

Yes! I've always wanted to fix my eating.

AutoFocus1 karma

Is your twitter handle in reference to Nirvana's song?

writeforadifference13 karma

YES! I love Nirvana.

bladerunnet2631 karma

Omg thank you!!! I've been trying to find help for years. I escaped five years ago but like you am still struggling. Again and again they forced me to have contact with my kids dad for years during which he destroyed me. I was only able to escape once he got arrested for weapons charges.

Where is your blog?

writeforadifference11 karma

www.writeforadifference.com

I’m so sorry for everything you went through! I hope you find peace, and if you want to write something for my blog there’s a page where you can email me privately and share your story :) I could even help you write. Writing has really been helpful for me and I think I feel more powerful by speaking out!

Belrick_NZ1 karma

Until societies narrative acknowledges that women are equally participants in domestic violence society can never stamp it out.

How can decent fact based people over come all powerful Feminism and it's insistence that only men are violent and abusive and women only ever victims?

My ex wife was a violent thug and only luck and a single policewoman saved me.

writeforadifference16 karma

I am a very passionate feminist, but at the same time I feel very strongly about the way male victims are left in the dark when it comes to DV. I think feminism has a different meaning to everybody and each feminist has their own unique views and this is the issue. I'm sorry you went through this, and like I've said, I'm hoping to do a piece specifically on male victims of DV so if you would like to share your story on my website you are more than welcome, and you can stay anon if you wish.

FighterFay1 karma

How much do finances play into an abusive relationship? My mother was very emotionally (and on occasion, physically) abusive towards my father, and it really took a toll on him. He thought about leaving her, but she was the only one with a steady job and they had 2 kids to care for. Whenever my dad got a job, my mom forced him to take time off to drive her places (She was too paranoid about driving to do it herself), and she often caused scenes at the place he worked at. Since he got fired a lot because of this, he was very financially dependant on her. Is there any advice on getting out of a relationship like this?

writeforadifference12 karma

It's a tricky one, and like I've already mentioned I can only speak from my own experience, I'm not a professional, so all I could say is to try and put things into perspective and realise life is more important than money, and health and well being is more important than money. However, I know things aren't as simple as that.

EverydayImSlytherin1 karma

Do you accept stories where the abuser has been abused?

writeforadifference11 karma

There are no rules, I'll have a look at anything

thunderst0rms1 karma

How can interested fellow survivors share our stories?

writeforadifference12 karma

drop me an email at [email protected] or submit a message here :) if you need any help writing too I am happy to assist. https://writeforadifference.com/contact/

bananalaffytaffy14191 karma

Do you mind if I share your page on Facebook? Very proud of you for pursuing justice, even through all that's happened to you and your siblings.

writeforadifference12 karma

Of course! The more people that share the better!

Irishminer931 karma

Reporting this stuff to the police doesn't really help unless kids are involved. What can we do when kids aren't involved? As far as the law is concerned consenting adults and all that jazz.

writeforadifference12 karma

Like I've said previously, it totally depends on the country you are in what resources are available. Russia is very backwards when it comes to this stuff and it is extremely different to get help. Whereas there are a large number of charities that operate in the UK and USA to offer support for DV.

2001ws60 karma

Why are you so mentally soft?

writeforadifference11 karma

What does this mean?

2001ws60 karma

It seems that most, if not all, of the violence was directed towards your mother. I’m not certain, your post is slightly vague. It also occurred 11 years ago. So, my question is: If you and your siblings are safe now, why are you still distraught? It’s over. Move on.

writeforadifference11 karma

I want to use my experience to make something positive from it and share it so that people can learn and we can build a better future. I also witnessed a lot of failure from the social work department when it came to protecting me and my siblings, this all could have been prevented. So, I feel strongly that there is a lot of work to do with social work & a lot of work to do with DV and I want to offer my input so that people can learn & improve, whilst also giving strength to other survivors to come out and share their stories.

writeforadifference11 karma

So, if I may correct you, mentally strong :)

planetof0 karma

Do you think film and media can help raise awareness about domestic violence ?

writeforadifference11 karma

Film and media can raise awareness about anything. Film and media are the kings of influence.

Pandas_UNITE0 karma

Do you believe our society has a foundation of violence? From the way our country was stolen from the natives, to the very way we produce and slaughter billions of animals a year for our food. Does this not play a role in how we treat others?

writeforadifference12 karma

I'm afraid I'm not from the USA, I'm from Scotland. So my knowledge is lacking quite a bit when it comes to this.

Mantisbog-1 karma

Have you gone back to extract revenge?

writeforadifference118 karma

I used to dream of revenge and be filled with so much hate. It hurt me the most that he got everything that I wanted as a child. He was pure evil and yet my mum chose him over me, and then eventually he got my young brother and sister too. I used to have such low self esteem and wonder why an abuser like him seems to get everything he wants, whereas I had to move in with my gran and move school and my relationship with my mum is irreparable and I missed out on a lot of things when it came to watching my brother and sister grow up. However nowadays, I know I’m the lucky one out of us. My brother and sister had to grow up around the violence most of their life, and were at the receiving end of it sometimes. My mum struggles with epilepsy and is scared to leave her house and has extremely severe mental health issues. Whereas I got to live in a peaceful home with my gran and my uncle and focus on school and I’ve managed to build up a certain amount of strength. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with PTSD, and I am disgusted by that man, however I don’t let the hate and thoughts of revenge consume me as much as they used to. Instead I am focusing on the things I can do to raise awareness and help people that have been through similar situations.

firefly6345-4 karma

How do you make a website?

writeforadifference16 karma

I’m really not the best person to ask. I have started this from no experience at all. I signed up for a wordpress account and then I sort of winged it from there and I’m hoping I improve with time. It’s only been a month since I started. Wordpress make it quite simple, but there are a lot of aspects I’m still out of the loop with.

iimorbiid3 karma

I can help you, I work as a webdesigner on my free time. I can either help you with WordPress or do it from scratch, free of charge of course.

writeforadifference13 karma

That is so kind!! I am so clueless with all this, it takes me so long to even do one tiny thing. I could really use help. Do you know anything about SEO? That is the thing that is confusing me the most.