The term seems rather subdued for what actually happens. The reality is that one person physically beats up another person. There is physical violence against another human being. There are other forms of abuse – emotional, mental, etc. But today I’m focusing on physical abuse.
A person beating up another person. Let that sink in.
Often its men doing the violence to women – women who are close to the men. These are wives, girlfriends, daughters, etc.
Often the men are alcoholics or abusers of other drugs. Often the people have been in some kind of relationship for a long time and the abuse and violence has taken place over a period of time.
And the women stay. That’s always the part that doesn’t make sense to most people. Why would someone stay in an abusive situation?
For some, it is shame – what would people think if they knew what was happening? For others it is protection of people or things – what will happen to another loved one or something cherished if they leave? For others it is feeling trapped – where will they go. They have no one to turn to.
If someone opens up and tells you they have been hit, beaten, injured on purpose, or abused by someone close to them – be present for that person. Often they won’t want to call the police. Another option is Domestic Violence Services – or some equivalent in your community. Do a google search – I’m willing to bet there is something like this in your area. They can talk with someone who is trained, and should be able to get the person to some kind of emergency shelter to get out of the abusive situation.
Domestic violence happens for a number of reasons – all complex. It’s a combination of a thirst for control over another human being – mostly from people who have little control over their own lives. It comes from alcohol and drug abuse. It comes from people who are jerks and worse. It is the epitome of broken and sinfulness.
And it shouldn’t ever be tolerated. No one deserves to be beaten or abused. At the very least, establish communication with someone who is being abused if they won’t accept help. You may be their only link to safety and sanity. Use it to keep urging the person out of the abusive situation. Be their advocate. Show them that you care about them. Domestic violence happens way too often. It shouldn’t.