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Domestic violence --Red Flags and action to take

When I look back on our dating, I realize that Chuck’s admission of hitting his mother should have sent up a red flag in my mind.  The only other sign of potential abuse before marriage was his anger, which he showed by throwing things, kicking vehicles, and other ways of displaying rage. 

When I said, “I do,”  I believe that in Chuck’s mind, I became his property and he had every right to abuse me. People wonder why I waited so long before leaving.  The first challenge would be getting help after the phone had been pulled out of the socket, or trying to leave when he had taken my car keys.  Where would I go when I walked out the door?   I had three children.  Should I take them with me or leave them with him?  I had no family to go back to, and neither the energy nor strength to deal with the welfare system. Looking back, I know it was my spirituality and belief in God that carried me through everything.

My advice to women who are being emotionally or physically abused is to get the appropriate help. By appropriate help, I mean a specialist in domestic violence.  Do not think it is only your partner who needs help, and that when they get it, the problem will be eliminated.  You need help, too, to feel better about the situation, and to deal with any issues you may have.

Bio: M'liss Switzer endured domestic violence for close to 20 years. Provided by: