I'm inspired to respond to ignorant comments made to an abused victim's brave story. As we end Domestic Violence (DV) awareness month, here's ways we can ALL make a difference:
»»Asking a DV victim 'what did you do? is an insensitive way to help. Asking her to adjust 'herself' or do some behavior modification does not address the root cause and places responsibility solely on the victim.
»»Just telling her to 'run' sounds great on paper, but doesn't offer practical immediate help. It doesn't tell her HOW to go about it if she's unemployed, without close family or helpers etc.
»»Any statement that doesn't deflect the pain or impact of abuse on its victim is unfair & unkind. It promotes a false assumption that the victim somehow contributed to the abuse. The issue is not to blame her, judge her or tell her to divorce him, BUT to focus on the abuse.
»»When a bloodied battered helpless woman cries out for help and all we offer is distant unsympathetic lectures on her 'praying more', 'taking it', 'being better', that's not love. Without compassion, we give biased judgment and this is not the heart of a 'god' we claim we represent.
»»The reason people die in their pain rather than ask for help is because of unsympathetic vibes from people around them. Why not offer support even if you don't have all the facts? Offer kindness. ASK what kind of help she needs?
Religion without Social Justice is at best Cold religion and 'Me-Worship'
- Eden Onwuka
Dear Abused Victim,
»You are beautiful, worthy and you are a Queen. »You do not deserve abuse, irrespective of the facts leading to it. »You are not alone and you will yet overcome. »You will experience beautiful dreams beyond this drama.
»Yes, you can go against popular culture to save your life. You deserve to Live.
»There are unbiased professional agencies that can help you address this.
»You alone cannot change him, intentional intervention is mostly necessary.
»You already won because you cried out for help, it isn't shameful, it is Courage.
Dear Family & Onlookers of DV,
»Affirm the victim, don't endorse the abuse.
»Offer support or be a listener without asking dumb questions.
»Be their shelter and safety in this chaos.
»Offer help without bruising their boundaries.
»Empower them towards financial independence till they find their feet (some DV victims have no means to start a new life and are heavily dependent on their abusers for subsistence).
»Don't enable the abuser or disable the abused by your action or words.
»Take a stand against violence even if the perpetrator is your brother, father, friend etc
»Protect the battered woman's honour. Gossip is a No-No.
»Pray for, and love them back into wholeness and confidence.