You’re sitting at a coffee shop with three of your closest girlfriends, chatting, catching up, enjoying some laughs.
Statistically speaking, one of the four of you beautiful women will experience abuse at the hand (or mouth) of an intimate partner at some point in your precious lives.
One of the four of you.
And that one blessed friend has a high chance of being sexually assaulted by that same partner.
And that same lovely woman will very likely never tell you that any of it is happening. She will hide her pain because she’s afraid. She’s ashamed. She’s humiliated. She feels powerless, worthless, hopeless.
One of these four amazing women who has endured domestic abuse will attempt to take her life. (Suicide.org)
Are you that person?
Are you the one at the table painting on a smile and pretending all is well?
Are you the one who’s secretly envious of your friend’s relationships? Do you cry at church when you see a husband tenderly reach for his wife’s hand because you no longer remember what that feels like and you’re pretty sure you’ll never feel it again?
Do you melt at the slightest compliment from anyone because you’re so used to negative words that bring you down–and positive words that lift you up are so rare but something you desperately crave?
Do you go to sleep (on the nights you actually can sleep) wondering how you got to this place in your life and why you deserve it?
You don’t deserve this. No one does.
Your life matters. You are needed.
Please don’t believe that losing your life is the end to your pain.
Leaving this world is not an escape. You will leave behind too many people who love, care for, and need you. You simply cannot go.
You have so much to offer this world. You’re still here because you’re supposed to be. Your life maters. You matter. You are needed and special and amazing.
Please reach out to someone if you’re in the midst of a battle like this. Please don’t feel humiliated to the point you just can’t talk about it and ask for help. Please don’t feel like you asked for this so this is your destiny. It’s not.
Please don’t buy the lie that you deserve this treatment. Even if you chose this man, you did not choose this abuse.
God does not approve of your abuse, even if it’s within a marriage.
You need to be safe. Your children need to be safe.
I can’t encourage you enough to please reach out to someone you trust. Your sister. Your best friend. Your pastor. Your doctor. Your therapist (if you don’t have one, seek one out as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid of finances as often they will charge based on ability to pay). Reach out to someone you can trust and talk about what’s happening and how you can find safety.
You are a statistic. So am I. We are in the one in four who are abused.
Do not be one of those who take their lives. It is not a solution. It causes pain and devastation for those left behind and keeps the cycle going. Be part of the statistic of those who survive and thrive. Join me in the number of those who live to tell their stories and encourage others and offer others hope. Join me in starting a new, better, healthy cycle.
Do not leave us!
You are not alone. There is help. You have hope. Grab hold of it!
I am praying for you. Share with me how I can specifically do so if you feel led to reach out in that way.
Here are some resources for you. Just because October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month doesn’t mean we stop talking about it now that we’ve moved into November.
No More (Look for the quick escape button so you can leave the site in an emergency)
The National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 800-799-7233
There is hope,
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