I am joining in a blog hop looking at the topic of violence against women.
I am doing this because I think whilst the statistics show so many women experience violence in their lives, we all look around in our cities, towns and villages and don’t really see it. It seems to me that those who have experienced it should talk about it to feel less isolated and when feeling stronger to reach out to others.
My grandmother was a victim of domestic violence. I know this because my mother told me all about it. Grandma used to lock the children upstairs so that Grandad would not hit them too. She put her children first and took many a beating. Then she would get up and look after 7 children with all that entailed. I loved my Grandad and I can see that his experiences in World War One may have led to him being very frustrated and angry at the world. This did not justify him treating my grandmother as a punchbag.
My mother brought me up with the mantra that if any man I was with hit me, I should end the relationship. I have not experienced domestic violence. I should perhaps thank my mother for setting those boundaries for me early on.
I was attacked on the street at around 8 o’clock one November evening when I was a student. Friends persuaded me to report it to the police but they never found the perpetrator. I remember him pushing me back towards the floor but the rest is blocked out and I have never remember exactly what happened. I became aware again as I raced towards safety. I was tearing at my hair and biting myself. I get very cross with myself for not remembering. Others say perhaps it is a good thing that I don’t.
I kept the attack secret from my family as I thought they might pull me out of college if they found out. Several months later and with a drink or two inside me, it came out in a conversation with my Mum. Imagine my surprise when she said she had a similar experience when she was about 14 years of age. A bigger shock was seeing that she had never told my Dad about this till then. At that time, they were celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary.
I don’t have any clever answers about how we stop men attacking women whether in the home or on the street.
I do think it is important that we talk about the issue and do what we can to tackle it.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, it is not your fault and there is a life on the other side. Please seek support.