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GET OUT!

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You may have watched TV Shows like Cold Case, The First 48, or The Coroner, and many of those shows are based on real-life crimes. The investigation makes you curious and you hope that justice prevailed by the end of the episode. Well, recently, I wanted justice for two women. One was pregnant and murdered by her boyfriend and the other was pregnant as well and severely burned by her boyfriend. I said to myself, ‘why didn’t they GET OUT???’

After my anger cooled down at the men who committed these terrible acts, my mind began to analyze the subject of domestic violence. I realized it was probably not easy for those women to get out, and when one of them did leave, perhaps it was too late. I absolutely loathe domestic violence, and I hate the acts of men who abuse or even kill a woman, but it also saddens me that some women choose to stay.

Stand By Your Man sang Tammy Wynette, and many women do stand by their men— with a blacked-eye and busted lip. They will defend their man even til’ his death or her own. Why? Perhaps their mothers stayed in abusive relationships or maybe they feel like they’re not smart enough or have enough money to survive on their own or they’re too afraid to leave. To quote a character from my book, A River Moves Forward, “the only excuse for a man who abuses women are the ones we give him.” Pray for the courage to leave, educate yourself, learn to make your own decisions, and to say NO to others without regrets. The more a woman can do for herself, the less she will have to depend on a man. Gone are the days of yesterday when he once romanticized you in a cunning way. What’s the reality?

An abusive man may have seemed sweet, kind, and respectful, but if a woman plays the scenes of yesterday all the way through in her mind, she just may notice some red flags that she missed. What should a woman do when she sees the red flags? Should she wait it out? Time won’t change a man the man must change himself, and he can only do that if he recognizes he has a problem and is willing to seek help. Remember, an abusive man is a sick man. You cannot heal him. The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the harder it will be to leave.

Men who abuse women may have been abused themselves or witnessed domestic violence in their household. They may have also experienced a really bad break up and believe that if they allow themselves to be vulnerable again, that a woman will take advantage of him, so he becomes controlling. His control makes him feel powerful, and then he starts to become verbally abusive, and the verbal abuse leads to physical abuse, and ultimately the physical abuse leads to murder. Whatever other reasons psychologically or via his experiences in life, it is still NO excuse for him to abuse a woman, and he should seek help immediately!  In the meantime, be more concerned about your safety and your own life. Here is a list of some red flags you should not ignore.

  • Possessive and obsessive behavior – He wants to know your every move. Acts suspicious of others, especially other men. He isolates you from friends and family by having you cancel events or visits with them. He pays for everything including your rent, but it’s only to control what you wear or what you do.
  • Gets easily angry over little things.
  • Smacks you, because you made him jealous or didn’t do what he said, and then he showers you with more gifts and promises not to do it again.
  • He insists on having his way and does not compromise or consider your needs and feelings.
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol, and his abuse worsen while under the influence.
  • Threatens to kill you or himself if you leave.
  • He has a history of abusing women or violent criminal record.
  • He is always the victim. Nothing is his fault; it’s yours or somebody else’s.

GET OUT! Seek help from a family member or trusted friend. Call the domestic violence Hotline for professional guidance on this matter: 1-800-799-7233.

*This blog by Author Selena Haskins has been previously published and featured on Sistah's Place Magazine in Chicago, and as a blog on Maya's Blog Showcase.

Author Selena Haskins

Selena Haskins is the author of her best-selling book A River Moves Forward. In 2013, Authorsdb.com recognized Selena as a Top 100 Author.

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