#WHYISTAYED, #WHYILEFT, #HOWIMOVEDON

WHY2

Ray Rice, Ray Rice, Ray Rice, that’s all we have been hearing on the news for the last few days after the video “leaked” of he and his now wife getting into what seemed to be an unfair altercation in the elevator in Atlantic City. But the bigger picture here is the domestic violence. I won’t disagree with anyone who stated he was wrong for what he did. I WILL disagree with those who say she played a part in it! That I will NEVER agree with!

You see I was that victim who repeatedly stayed after being “bitch-slapped”, after having tea thrown on me, after almost running head on into traffic after being slapped so hard I lost control of the car, and yes after having a knife a quarter of anĀ inch from my spine. That was at least four opportunities I had to leave and choose a better path. We won’t include the theft I incurred, the verbal abuse I endured, and even the sexual abuse I endured. Now if you add that up, that’s SEVEN times where I should have left. But did you know that the average victim leaves and goes back to their abuser an average of SEVEN times? Did you know it’s not as “easy” as some claim it should be to leave? Yea I hear the stories of how females wouldn’t let that be them and they would never find themselves in that situation because they don’t play that. Yea, ok, that’s what you say until it actually happens!

I was that same girl. My bark said don’t mess with me, but my bite said take my food in a sense. Often times I am asked the question of why I stayed. The answer for me is simple and you will hear the same answer from those who are survivors as well. I was deceived. I was mislead. I was afraid. I was battling low self-esteem. I was ashamed. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I truly didn’t know my own strength at the time. I wasn’t thinking about the consequences and what would it looked like to my kids who were right there in the house watching and listening. For me I figured staying was the best thing since my abuser told me if I left he would have someone kill me. I couldn’t think of what would happen to my kids, but now that I think about it, either way I could have ended up dead.

After a few years, I left! I left because of my kids. I left because I knew it wasn’t the life God planned for me. I left because I was TIRED of being the punching bag. I left because I was TIRED of being the one carrying the house AND the burden of abuse! I left because I wanted better for myself and my children. WE deserved for me to fight mentally and emotionally, if not physically. I had to make a change! It was not easy as I spent a many nights praying to God to give me the escape I needed and that HE did! He opened a window of opportunity and I took it and NEVER looked back! I had had enough and I was determined not to go back to that place of horror.

It took some time, but I finally began to see and know my purpose. It took one day at a time and God placing the right people in my life for me to get it together, but I did it. It took a few bumpy relationships, but I did it. I moved on by taking it one day at a time and trusting God even when I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing. Trusting was not easy at all. It’s not easy to pick up the pieces and start from fresh. It’s not easy to depend on others. It’s just not easy. It upsets me dearly when people talk about Domestic Violence as if it’s a curable disease! It’s NOT! It’s an epidemic that is just as silent as the NFL was about the Ray Rice video.Yep I said it! Trust me when I tell you they knew about this. They know about all the other cases of Domestic Violence that is going on as well, but because all they see are $$$, they are going to continue to sweep it under a rug. That is until TMZ releases it OR the victim involved begins to speak out and refuse to remain silent.

I close by saying this: don’t think Janay has not been hit, smacked, and spit on before. Don’t blame the alcohol. Don’t say she started it because a TRUE man can walk away. He doesn’t have to put his hands on her and vice versa as there are men who are, and have been abused. Don’t feel that Janay is only in it for the money, she’s not. Think back to what I stated on the average number of times it takes a victim to leave and go back before they truly leave. She has kids by this man. It makes it even harder even though it should make it easier. We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but I can tell you this, she’s being abused and is scared for her life. When he began to lose everything… that didn’t make it any easier for her. She is trapped and just needs someone to help her out. So I end on this note, if you don’t know, don’t speculate. It’s just like when you assume. Seek facts and sympathy instead of being so heartless and judgemental. It’s not always what it seems.

Paula

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