A Matter Of Trust

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No one wants to get bashed for sharing their opinion on a blog or waste their time in pointless debates about who or what is to blame for the current level of violence on our planet and when everyone has their guard up, it becomes even tougher to tackle a difficult topic. So, I thought maybe instead of channeling my inner linebacker it might be better to try an alternative method. Summoning the strength to keep writing about a topic that people would prefer not to be reminded of is a challenge.

I’m always up for a challenge.

On February 14th, Safe Haven, a movie based on the book by Nicholas Sparks, opens in theaters. From the trailer it appears to be a love story. The fact that it opens on Valentine’s Day and the lead actors are both hotties isn’t lost on guys willing to sit through a chick flick for a chance to make a love connection or some facsimile thereof.

Girls, this story is worth your attention.

Movies based on books rarely capture the level of intensity of a subject with the same depth as a book. It will be interesting to see if this movie treats the psychological trauma inflicted by a domineering husband with the attention it deserves. The tagline ‘trust your heart to keep you safe’ lends itself to the notion that there’s more to this love story than meets the eye, but what?

Domestic violence, that’s what.

I read the book. Yes, I admit I’m a sucker for Sparks. Mainly because his stories are set in North Carolina, but partly too because he uses the experiences of real people to create fiction that is some of the most popular chick lit on the market. The Notebook for instance was a story inspired by the lives of his wife’s grandparents.

The Notebook is a love story. Everyone loves a love story, but not all loves live happily ever after. Some end after years of domestic violence. Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner. It affects one in four women regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.

Politics, pulpits, and pundits are not going to get the job done. The time for debate is over. What we need is cooperation, support, access to resources, intervention, advocacy, compassion and healing to break the cycle. So, why not do something, really do something?

If you have a resource that has worked for you or someone you know, please share it in the comments section. A good way to start is by sharing information about resources that work in your local area like a website or the number for an active helpline that someone can share or call for assistance.

Please only share information that you know is valid.

You might be saying, “Can’t people just Google that stuff if they want it?” The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, if you have knowledge or experience that can possibly help save a life, just share it. Otherwise go visit the Kardashian’s blog. Comments will be moderated for crap. So, bots and trolls take a hike or whatever it is you do when you’re not skunking up the place.

Air Freshener
Air Freshener

American Woman Gives Domestic Abuse A Face, And Voice, In China

When I took a closer look at the story of Kim Lee, the American woman who gave domestic abuse a face and a voice in China, I saw what reality looks like for millions of women. Authorities too ready to look the other way, families too ashamed to offer support, society too distracted to care. Women too drained of their dignity reaching out for help. We cannot stand by and allow this to continue. If you write letters, that’s great.

SateFE

If you stand shoulder to shoulder, that’s great.

Three Little Maids From School Are We

If you believe it is time to say enough is enough, share these resources with someone who needs them. A neighbor, a co-worker, a sister, a daughter, a mother, a friend.

1-Such A Girl

MenCanStopRape.org

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

For more information or to get help, please call: at 1-800-799-7233
THE NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE AT 1-800-656-4673
THE NATIONAL TEEN DATING ABUSE HOTLINE AT 1-866-331-9474

Here’s is a question. If Not Now, then when?

Related Information:

Outside The Big City, A Harrowing Sexual Assault In Rural India

Steubenville rape case: Online petition, 70,000 strong, seeks justice

Teen Dating Violence Awareness

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22 thoughts on “A Matter Of Trust

    1. I know Val, and you are right, there aren’t a great deal of resources out there. I think that’s why it is critical that we continue to raise awareness and remain vigilant in the pursuit of justice to make certain perpetrators of violence against women are not allowed to go unpunished.

  1. Honie, great post, such a pervasive problem that then affects the children and takes it into the next generation.
    In my experience with emotional abuse, it’s not having the boundaries that means first of all you don’t realise it’s abuse, it feels normal, because that’s how it’s always been even as a child. . And then, you still don’t know how to defend yourself to put an end to it…
    Until you’ve done deep work on the self, and recognised that you are and have always been a victim, and explored all the ways in which you’ve played this out, and then begin to find ways of creating safe boundaries for yourself, you remain a victim and open to every sort of abuse.
    Been there, done that… I think we can help all women by talking about and exploring boundaries … admitting you’re victim feels shameful, but learning about boundaries feels positive.

    1. Thanks Valerie. It’s true, domestic violence is a pervasive problem. One for which there are no simple solutions nor is there a full appreciation for what ignoring it means. Boundaries seem so fundamental and yet evidence supports that there is a large portion of society for whom boundaries have no meaning.

  2. This is a link to a self-defense program that is offered in the U.S. and a few other countries. Check out the R.A.D. site to find a location near you.

    The average cost for the Basic Physical Defense program for women is about $25. Some instructors offer this program as a community service through the local police department. Many colleges and universities also offer the RAD program as a credit course. Check with the instructor in your area for more detailed information.

    This information was provided to me by a participant in another class I am currently taking through our local police department. I plan to attend the next session of this program.

  3. When I was in my abusive marriage I was too beat down (emotionally) to wonder where I could get help. I just wanted a hole to crawl in and turn my emotions off for a while. Then after the divorce I was stalked for 5 years. All this happened in Texas, and Wisconsin. It’s been a few years, but I still remember the fear and the hopelessness of it all. I didn’t trust anyone but one friend. It’s hard when you are smack in the middle to reach out for help. Even if I had a 800 number or knew of a safe house, I probably wouldn’t have gone. Why? Because I felt ashamed. I was/am a smart woman, who didn’t feel very smart. Now I’m in Canada. Feel safer because my ex doesn’t know where I am. Drastic? Oh yeah. But just didn’t feel safe in the states anymore. Sometimes these women just need a friend, a real person, not someone behind a phone. But I’m all for helping if I can. I will see what I can find out here and post it later. Thanks Honie.

    1. Jackie, what you are saying is so true. In the middle of crisis there are many reasons why people don’t reach out for help. It could be like you said, they feel ashamed. It could be that they’ve been in crisis mode for so long that they don’t believe there is a way out.

      You are also correct when you say women in abusive relationships need a friend, a real person. Crisis hotlines are often times staffed with people who have experienced abuse in their own lives, that’s what drives many volunteers to offer assistance.

      Please don’t feel compelled to provide a resource. Share this post if you want to. We all need to feel safe. The fact that you now have a safe haven may be all it takes to give someone else the courage to leave an abusive relationship. Thanks for your comment.

      1. I believe I will share this Honie, thank you. Women have long been taught ‘not to rock the boat’. This needs to end. I hope the movie you speak about doesn’t “romance” abuse like some do. I don’t read the author myself and I don’t see movies. You will have to let me know how the movie is. Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront where it needs to stay.

        1. This is an issue near and dear to my heart. My book was an outpouring of grief, much of it because women I have known suffered so much. We need to support each other, lend our strength and be the powerful people we are meant to be. I don’t go to the movies so if you wait on me for a review, it will be after it comes out on demand.

  4. Hi Honie. I also don’t have any resources but this is a very important issue that can’t be swept under the carpet. No one deserves abuse of any kind. I hadn’t heard of this movie’s release but will go see it. Thanks for reminding us that even if we are not subject to such abuse we should take a stand some how.

    1. Thanks Fransi. I checked out the site. There is some good info there, it would be nice if they added some links to organizations where people could do the things that are suggested, such as become an advocate, become a certified rape crisis counselor, and volunteer to help out on hotlines. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. I don’t have a resource to give you off hand, but I’ve seen the previews for that movie. I didn’t think I’d go to it, because personally, Sparks is a bit saccharine for my reading tastes, but now you’ve got me thinking I might have to check it out. Great and important post, Honie.

    1. Thanks Carrie. It may be that not a lot of people do have a resource to share, and that’s fine. We never know when me might find ourselves in a situation to help someone and if by just posting this helps one person, well, that’s something.
      I agree there are elements Sparks uses that are not to my taste either, but he’s sappy all the way to the bank and aside from the Harlequinesque-ness of his storytelling, the stories ring true. We want to believe love conquers all, we want to believe in happily ever after, we want to believe in second chances.

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