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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

No matter the time of the year it is important for me to create awareness for domestic violence. Domestic violence affects 20 people per minute this means they are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Domestic violence isn't strictly physical abuse. Abuse comes in all sorts of form like mental, emotional, financial and psychological. In many situations intimate partner violence affects more than just the victim, like children. Children in the home are subjected to the violence, this is about 1 in 15 which equals to 90% of kids being witnesses to the abuse. Economically this affects the abuse not only from direct financial abuse but also from loss of wages and work due to the abuse. Domestic abuse scope varies from verbal attacks to violent and sexual attacks. Rape is something that society may not consider when in involves a partner or spouse, but this does also occur often, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner. (Statistics - NCADV - Online)

As a domestic violence survivor, I want people to know that it is not easy to accept that the person you love or is supposed to love you can mistreat you in those ways. It is not easy to think logically when you are being love bombed and mistreated. You never have enough time to really analyze the situation because you are being controlled by your abuser constantly. You slowly lose who you are, you become small. You become voiceless. And fear consumes you. Fear is powerful, it can paralyze you, make you run and make you rise. Those are the stages of fear.

I remember being paralyzed for many years. I was paralyzed in my home, I could no longer be myself in fear of being beat, yelled at or insulted. I was paralyzed in my own mind and body. Every word, movement and thought had to be calculated. It felt as if he could read my mind my every thought and intention. I was paralyzed financially; I had no money or control over the money and nowhere to go. The military didn't make it easy to ask for help. Him going to the brig left me homeless and moneyless. I was paralyzed from embarrassment and shame. To have to tell my family and friends the reality of my relationship and life. To let them see me as weak. The shame of allowing someone to destroy me for so long and so badly.

At some point fear made me run. The fear of raising my daughter in a deathly environment. I knew a love so big, a love I never knew existed and I ran. I ran to give her hope and give her a chance to live. Growing up in an abusive environment I knew firsthand that it wasn't the life I ever wanted to live,

and it was too late for me, but it wasn't too late for her. I ran to save her.

Lastly fear made me rise, I rose up against him. I fought for my daughter and myself. And although I couldn't prove all the misery, he put me through I spoke up. I spoke up in court in front of the law, family and friends. Now, I speak up to the world. I rise above it all. I know that I am not worthless, disgusting, useless or any of the other things he told me and made me believe I was. Now I rise knowing my worth speaking my truth in hopes to help others like me. I rise and continue to rise, because this part of my life does not define me or my life. It made me learn that I should always trust myself. My intuition, my feelings, and my thoughts. It taught me that the only person I need is myself, because I am strong, I am smart, I am powerful, and I am worthy. No one can take that from me. Not a word, not insult, not a beating, not a threat, nothing and no one can take or define my worth. I will keep rising and so will you.

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