Don’t Turn The Other Cheek
Thank you Black Dot Campaign for offering solutions for awareness. Is this campaign an authorized program suggested by health care authorities to assist in resolving domestic violence? Not yet. It’s called “a good idea”. Like most important and ground breaking ideas — it begins somewhere. I wanted to send the brave Thought Pioneers of the BDC a bouquet of money for production assistance! It cannot be easy to carry on when there are so many who want to find fault with a possible solution.
For example, claiming that the abuser will notice the black dot and step up the abuse is true. The abuser will step up the abuse for any reason, though.
The sky is blue: Whap!
The carpet is dirty: Whap!
Your mother, friend, sister, brother, someone called? Whap!
The abuser is hungry: Whap!
Whap! Smack. Smash. Words of Hate. Violence.
The police, the emergency rooms, the mental health facilities, they all know the signs.
I’ve been on the curb, sitting in shock while my abuser was being detained because a police officer witnessed me slamming on my brakes when I was slapped so hard by my offender my head hit the driver side window.
I had a mark on my face.
They let him go — possibly because I was too terrified and spun out to say anything; perhaps because the laws were different 25 years ago. The point is: They. Let. Him. Go.
I had a black dot then too. It was on my eye. My arms. My legs. My back. So many black (and blue) dots. He finally quit beating me up when he woke up in a jail cell and couldn’t remember if he’d finally succeeded in murdering me, and the authorities wouldn’t tell him anything for nearly 24 hours. He did not stop beating me up because he loved me, he stopped because he loved himself. He did not stop beating me up because he finally succeeded in hospitalizing me and there was evidence he couldn’t dispute. He stopped beating me up because a narcissist will do everything in their power to remove themselves from responsibility or the burden of shame.
Once he stopped beating me with his fists, the psychological beatings began in earnest. The emotional turmoil was disastrous for our entire family.
I could handle the physical pain, but not the mental sabotage. To this day, he claims he is innocent. To this day, people believe him.
The Black Dot Campaign has come under scrutiny from several sides. There are detractors and fault finders ringing alarms; perhaps because they didn’t think to do something similar first. Have they forgotten this is a campaign about raising awareness regarding domestic violence and letting those who are so traumatized they can’t even THINK to ask for help, get help?
When I became a minister, one of the programs I completed for my ordination was a certification workshop to learn about assisting victims of violent crime. For my final project and part of the Cosmic Triage™ healing modality I developed later, I came up with three carefully worded, important questions for those in my potential congregation whether or not they said they were being abused. If I suspected or had proof of cruelty in the environment of a fellow human, it was my responsibility to determine how to help if I could. The questions are designed to inspire conversation and communication for resolutions, and to learn more about the situation without shame or blame.
You must be feeling overwhelmed with the stress of trying to make a better life each day, and it’s got to be tough when you go to bed each night thinking about how to become successful when you’re constantly told you can’t do anything right. What have you decided works best for you?
• This might give you insight as to how your friend is coping, and give you an opportunity to share better strategies, ideas and methods of healing without saying, “Hey, it’s not working, get out!”
Has anyone ever told you how remarkably strong and amazing you are because of your ability to survive the kind of emotional terror you must be feeling?
• Is your friend aware of how frightened and traumatized they are? Get them to think about it, without diminishing them.
How do you find the time to take such good care of [the children, the parents, the animals, the household — and/or applicable daily interactions with other people] when [the abuser] is so demanding?
• Your abused friend/acquaintance may never quite understand or know how incredible they are. More than likely they’re being told and shown by their abuser how “horrible” or “stupid” or “ugly” they are among other demeaning terms backed up by violence. Inspiring confidence in something that is true and verifiable is a first stepping stone into freedom for many of these people.
Please do not ask your friend who is or might be experiencing abuse “Why don’t you just leave?” Do your best to offer solutions and if you’re able to offer sanctuary without putting yourself in the way of danger, be consistent with your compassion. Most of all, stay informed about local shelters, programs and opportunities to be part of the solution to end all domestic violence like The Black Dot Campaign.
• Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE); it’s available 24/7, is totally confidential, and is completely free.
• Find sexual assault service providers near you using RAINN’s database.
• Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hours per day, every day of the year, to speak to highly trained expert advocates available to talk confidentially with anyone affected
by domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or, for Deaf callers, 1-800-787-