The Travelling Pixie in London
Salvation Army Campaign against Domestic Violence
Last week (or two)’s frenzy about the blue and black dress – or was it white and gold? sparked a huge controversy over the internet. Utilising the media frenzy, the Salvation Army came up with the following campaign against domestic abuse.
This campaign has certainly raised awareness on the issue of domestic violence. But I feel that not only being aware is sufficient, we should also delve deeper to understand why individuals would stay in their abusive relationships in order to offer more direct and proper help to the victims of DV.
Having once upon a time been in an abusive relationship, I have often been asked the question of why I stayed.
Back then, it wasn’t really a matter of choice, the first few year of the relationship he isolated me from my family and friends, he gradually dehumanised me by constantly brainwashing me with thoughts that I am worthless, that I would be worthless without him. He made me believe that it was my fault that he yelled at me, that it was my fault that he hit me, hurt me and threw me around. Everything was my fault. Everything would be fine if I hadn’t said things that would anger him – such as wanting to break up.
Now, stop for a moment, who would believe in that crap? – but I did. I believed him right up to the moment when he dumped me for another girl, when he kicked me out of the house. Then I snapped awake. It was like for three years, my mind was completely clouded with a veil, that I was under a spell, and now the spell is broken.
I was lucky. That eventually he dumped me, that I got away on 17 September 2010. For every day that has passed since that day, I am grateful for.
The other day I was browsing on Twitter, where I found #whyistayed – a collection of the variety of reasons on why DV victims have decided to stay in their relationship. Reading their stories reminded me a lot about what I went through those three years, but I’m also glad that I am now able to look back and laugh over it.
I believe that through sharing our experiences, we do not only convey our stories to others, we are also empowering them to make their own choices in life, to end the brutality they’re facing.
Share your story on #whyistayed, and voice your support to DV victims out there.