Change Starts With Our Attitude

As this video depicts, domestic violence does happen to anyone –men and women, children and seniors. The “automatic” or “socialized” response we have, given the gender of the “victim” and “perpetrator”, needs serious revision. When we see or hear about domestic violence, we may either over or underreact, either one being potentially hurtful to both the person whose rights are being violated and to the person behaving in a violent manner. In fact, our thinking about and approach to domestic violence can perpetuate violence itself when we inadvertently convey narrow and misguided perspectives about this important social issue to our loved ones, our children, friends and colleagues.

Physical violence is the intentional use of force against a person without that person’s consent. *** It includes, yet is not limited to, hitting, slapping, spitting on, pinching, punching, hair pulling, kicking, cutting, pushing, shoving as well as sexually aggressive acts.

All sexual contact without consent is a crime!

Psychological abuse (also known as emotional abuse) is often overlooked. Although this form of abuse is not considered a criminal act, it can be as destructive as and, at times, even more destructive than physical abuse. Behaviours associated with emotional abuse may include: yelling, name-calling, shaming, blaming, intimidation, isolation, lude and rude comments, withholding the necessities of life and other hurtful and controlling behaviours.

The initial step to ending an abusive relationship is acknowledging that it exists. Sometimes this is very difficult to do, especially for those who have been suffering in this kind of relationship for so long. The following examples can help clarify;

It is still considered family violence when . . .

▪    The incidents of violence seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television or heard other women talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical violence; you can be severely injured as a result of being pushed, for example.

▪    The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely it will continue and even get worse.

▪    The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for not being assaulted!

▪    There has not been any physical violence. Many women are emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be equally as frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand making it difficult to reach out for support and find resolutions.

Source: Adapted from Breaking the Silence: a Handbook for Victims of Violence in Nebraska (helpguide.org)

A professional counsellor can provide a safe environment for you to identify the severity of abuse and/or violence in your relationship, assess whether you require other supports to develop a safety plan and explore steps to help you move into a safe and secure living situation. Counselling sessions also provide you with the time to consider how to adjust and move forward, how to cope with stress and change and how to create healthier and more satisfying intimate relationships.

Counselling provides you with the hope that you can overcome the impact of domestic violence and abuse. You can learn more about yourself and regain your confidence. You can find the support to help you rebuild your life and enhance your well-being. Call us today!

*** For more information on family violence, please follow the Government of Canada link at:

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/fv-vf/about-apropos.html

 

“How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You”

Sound too good to be true, impossible or unlikley? I’m here as a witness that the “Truly, Madly Deeply” lyrics can come true. Is that just too many trues in one paragraph already? In a world where we hear of so many tragic endings in relationships, sooooo much drama and innumerable breakups, what can be so wrong about hearing about a relationship soooooo right?

I finally regained the courage to go out again after a few years of not really bothering; just going to work, seeing family and maybe having the odd “not-amounting-to-much” date or two. I set a goal to meet “Miss Right” only to realize a short while later, I required much renovation and repair to become the “Mr Right” that might have a chance of attracting such a young lady. One wonderful night I, along with the neighbour guy (didn’t really know him), went off to the Warehouse; a local bar.

Within minutes, as the Beatles say, I saw her standing there. From a glance to the request to dance took only a moment. She and I set out to dance the night away (Van Halen), exchanging humourous quips, flirtatious eyes and stimulating conversation… yes conversation. Three splendid hours later, having barely stood in the presence of the friends we arrived with, we danced out to “New York, New York”.1383267644h2fym

As she “left the building“, not unlike Elvis, I revealed puppy dog eyes politely requesting her number. She, ever so apprehensively, called it out from across the room and I immediately began repeating it over and over (no cell phones back then eh!). As I sit here on the eve of what will be our thirtieth Valentines Day, I shudder to think a few “what ifs”. You know, those negative thoughts we sometimes call the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” or “Stinkin Thinkin”.

No… I’d rather dwell on the positives. True romance is possible! It begins with a spark that you carefully build into a flame. It can then, with regular tending, develop into an all-encompassing bonfire. A magnificent romantic relationship truly does require consistent care, work and a great deal of support and learning (kind of like adding new logs to the fire). Romance, like a great bonfire, requires tending so it neither burns out nor burns so out of control that it burns those involved. Happy Valentine’s Day!Flames