Cynthia28's Blog

April 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 12:27 am

My dad is one of the most gentle souls ever. He is a big man, 6 feet 4 inches and broad in the shoulders. Yet, most people (with the exception of a highschool boyfriend) can sense his kindness. He is a social worker and does individual counseling. Many of his clients are women who have had abuse in their lives. They are not trusting of most people, let alone men, yet they are comfortable with my dad as a councilor. So, how is it I got hooked up with an abuser? I really have no idea.

There was very little yelling in the house as I grew up. I mean, my brother and I had the usual fights and sometimes my mom lost her temper with us (not that I blame her now for that. We were hell on wheels sometimes. Actually, I was hell and my brother was usually just sticking up for himself.) My parents never fought. They have disagreements, of course but fighting, yelling, and especially violence just didn’t happen in our house. We were rarely even spanked.

So, how could someone from a good family end up with an abuser? It happens all the time. Often, an abuser can appear very charming and caring to begin with. Once the victim is sucked in, the campaign to keep the victim off-balance begins. My ex showered me with presents and kindness until we signed the marriage certificate. Then, the problems began. I became a statistic.

I was luckier than most. I had a place to go when I finally left. I had the support of my community and my family. I had a good friend who gave me great advice and helped me with a safety plan. Still, it took me months to leave. My ex controled all the money, all the food, how much time I was allowed to be on the college campus, and who I talked to. The two things that pushed me to leave were the fact that I was pregnant and I did not want my unborn baby hurt, and he threatened to take my dogs (how had been with me for 6 years), and dump them in the desert. The night I left (actually, he kicked me and the dogs out, but refused to give me any keys to the cars), I got so mad I kicked in the door. I am 6 inches taller and 25 years younger than my ex. Yet, he scared me. I was right to be scared. He made good on the threat against the dogs.

Now, for some facts and stats. There are a few major reasons women don’t leave. Check out this article Why Don’t They Leave.  Society still blames the victim. Women are still a minority, so there are fewer resources available to help women and empower them to leave. There is always the threat to children, pets, and extended family that are all too often carried out. There are even fewer resources for women with pets. Most DV shelters do not allow animals, mostly due to licensing issues. Read about the numbers in this article pets sometimes keep them in the situation. This is changing, and there are ways to help women with pets. Some DV shelters are teaming up with local humane societies and other animal rescue organizations. The organizations will take the animal into the shelter or foster home for no charge and return the animal when the victim is set in a new situation. This gives them more resources and maybe empower them to leave.Border Animal Rescue, with whom I volunteer, is set up to help in this area. Here are some great videos about two DV shelters specifically for women with pets.

There are few statistics about extended family injuries and death, because then get counted under different stats. However, these deaths do occur. I am hoping to get that information soon. Maybe that will be my next blog. And, I will talk about how it affects kids.

Some other information about DV: (Interesting. The wheels look very much like the Ecological Perspective wheel. Again, the outer circle keeping the individual oppressed.)

 information on domestic violence. 

What it should be!

What it is:

Power and Control wheel.   Community Accountibility Wheel.   Imigrant and refugee power and control wheel.   GLBT Power and Control wheel.  Medical wheel



  1. I am so sorry about your dogs… that is horrible.

    I had never thought about the complication of leaving a bad relationship and not being able to take one’s pets. It would certainly stop me from leaving if I were in that situation. I would do just about anything to protect my dogs and horses, including putting myself in harm’s way. I’m grateful to live with a man who values animals as much as I do. Great topic, I’m really glad you wrote about it.

    Comment by joynhondosmom — April 2, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  2. Lovely blog about this important issue and how it creeps up on people. (small wins for the bad reason huh?)

    Comment by PROFESSOR — April 8, 2010 @ 12:34 am

  3. Good discussion on a complex issue. I liked the various wheels although the last three links went to the same wheel. I never thought about pets in relationship to domestic violence; you did a nice job tying everything together.


    Comment by coercedtoblog — April 8, 2010 @ 5:24 am

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