Charmed & Dangerous
Understanding how you got here and how you may feel
Violence against women and children is not acceptable for any reason. Domestic violence victims not responsible for any form of abuse and are not alone with the pain and suffering that is experienced. Unfortunately, domestic and family violence is everywhere in our community, especially behind closed doors.
How Did I Get Here?
Do you deserve to be abused? The answer is ‘NO’
Did you ask for it? The answer is ‘NO’
Are you alone? The answer is ‘NO’
Victims of domestic violence may ask ‘how did I allow myself to get into this situation and what did I do?’ You did nothing; it has been a gradual process for you to be where you are today. It starts with subtle put downs until it comes to a point where you begin to feel unsafe for yourself and your children. You begin to feel isolated and alone; reinforcing the fact that you are to blame, which is untrue.
There is always the hope that the situation will improve and this keeps us locked into the abusive situation with our dreams of a happy and harmonious family life. To hold on to this hope and dream we will keep peace at all cost. This is where we start ‘walking on eggshells’ waiting for the next cycle of abusive behaviour.
Our hope is sustained by the promises by the abuser and the disappointments when the behaviour reappears. We begin to feel trapped and alone with no-one to talk to, there is a sense of shame as we believe it is our fault and that no-one will believe what we say. So we often suffer the abuse in silence.
How You May Feel
“If this is love, why do I feel so sad?”
Often the first indication that there is something wrong with the way you are being treated is how you feel. You may feel uneasy, tense, confused, like something isn’t right. Trust your feelings/gut instinct – they are important. Think about how you feel when you are with your partner.
If you are experiencing domestic or family violence you may feel:
- Constantly fearful and ‘on edge’
- Like you have lost belief in yourself
- Isolated and alone
- Like you are going mad
- Pain / suffering from physical injuries
- Shamed or embarrassed
- Guilty or depressed
- Exhausted and without energy
- Confused about what is real and what’s not
- Sad, angry, tearful and fearful
- Pressured and uncomfortable
- Humiliated and confused
- Restricted and controlled
- Full of self-blame and self-loathing
- Confused about what to do
- The effects of violence on women can include:
- Feeling trapped
- Increased use of drugs and alcohol
- Sleeping problems
- Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
- Self harm or suicide
- Nausea or headaches
- Violence against children or partner
- Losing touch with who you are
- Feeling alone, confused and afraid
- Not feeling like you can trust anyone
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Emotional distressYou DON’T deserve to be treated this way! Domestic and family violence is a crime. There are many excuses that can be used to justify violence but it is important to remember that people CHOOSE to be violent.
The above content is adapted from the Charmed and Dangerous: A Womens Guide to Reclaiming a Healthy Relationship, has been developed for women by women. This booklet was the initiative of the Tweed Shire Women Services Inc.