A Face of Domestic Abuse

Have you ever wondered what a domestic assault "victim" looks like? (BTW, I hate the word victim, but it is what it is.)
Bruises, blood, broken bones, stab wounds, bullet wounds... those are what came to my mind before it happened to me.

I was bruised. I sustained serious injuries. But I don't "look the part" of my own previous prejudice.

Domestic assault doesn't have a look. In fact, with appropriate clothing and keeping my mouth shut, no one would ever have known. But why should I hide it? Why are "we" expected to keep silent? Maybe I over share. Maybe I make you uncomfortable. I know it makes me uncomfortable!

But, if sharing my story gives even ONE other person the strength to speak up about their own abuse, then I don't mind the discomfort. If one life is changed, or one child is saved, or one perpetrator is caught and held accountable for their crime, then I feel like my assault had a purpose.

I need it to have a purpose. Because without purpose, it was just a horrific senseless act of rage. And I can't handle that.

Ladies (And gents!), if you are in a dangerous situation, please know that you CAN get out! You ARE worthy of peace, safety, and happiness! And most importantly, you are not alone. I love you. God loves you. Your friends and family love you. You matter!

So what does domestic abuse look like? A normal person that survived a terrible attack. The bruises have healed. The injuries are being treated and will heal in time. The emotional damage will forever live inside me, but you can't see those. You will never know if the person next to you is being abused, until we make it acceptable for them to reach out for help.

Love each other. Be kind. Be available. And NEVER shush a person that speaks out.

#stoptheshushing #domesticabuseawareness #wematter

Shawna Duby