The Hurricane of Domestic Violence – 3 (2020)

the hurricane of domestic violenceA hurricane has hit your family and home. I pray that you prepared for the dangers and devastation that hit your family. I pray that no family member lost their life because of the hurricane.

When the hurricane is over we can finally get our lives back in order. The electric finally comes back on. We can then turn our air conditioning on and cool down from the sweltering heat that we had to endure while the hurricane was going on and deal with the aftereffects of the hurricane.

How does the information above and below represent a domestic violence relationship?
1. The hurricane/domestic violence hits your family/home
2. The abused starts to pray again and again that the family will be spared and that God will protect them again
3. Then the hurricane/domestic violence is over for this round and it is time to get back to business getting everything cleaned up. Whether the cleaning involves broken toys and chairs and dishes. Or a broken spirit from mental and emotional abuse. There is loss. Not just the loss of the abused but the children also had to endure the loss. If the children were not abused, they had to look on to see the destruction of the family.

DEATHS DURING A HURRICANE COMPARED TO DEATHS BECAUSE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Catastrophes

Hurricanes And Related Deaths In The United States, 1998-2017

Year Total
hurricanes (1)
Made landfall
as hurricane
in the U.S.
Deaths (2)
1998 10 3 23
1999 8 2 60
2000 8 0 4
2001 9 0 42
2002 4 1 5
2003 7 2 24
2004 9 6 (3) 59
2005 15 7 1,518
2006 5 0 0
2007 6 1 1
2008 8 4 (4) 41
2009 3 1 (5) 6
2010 12 0 11
2011 7 1 44
2012 10 1 (6) 83
2013 2 0 1
2014 6 1 2
2015 4 0 3
2016 7 3 36
2017 10 4 147

(1) Atlantic Basin.
(2) Includes fatalities from high winds of less than hurricane force from tropical storms.
(3) One hurricane (Alex) is considered a strike but not technically a landfall.
(4) Includes one hurricane (Hanna) which made landfall as a tropical storm.
(5) Hurricane Ida, which made landfall as a tropical storm.
(6) Excludes Hurricane Sandy which made landfall as a post-tropical storm.

Source: Insurance Information Institute from data supplied by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Hurricane Center.

iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-hurricanes

Deaths due to Domestic Violence
Three women are murdered every day, on average, by a current or former male partner in the United States. (Huffington Post)

365 x 3 = 1095

Are you going to be a statistic? There is a way to leave the hurricane of your life safely. You can read our previous blogs, look at our Facebook page, go to our website ReachOutSpeakOut.org. Or email us at ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com.

Reach Out Speak Out needs your help. Nothing is too small. Whether it is your time, talent or money, we can use it. When a hurricane of life/domestic violence hits someone in your community, the resources become used up very quickly. We don’t want to have to turn someone down. As an insurance policy may tell you that you did not have the right coverage to cover the loss from the hurricane. We at Reach Out Speak Out want to help be your insurance policy. We have helped many families in the seven years that we have been here to help the Tampa Bay area. We are a non-profit ministry and our focus is on those that are in our faith based community that are in a domestic violence relationship. 501(C)(3)47-1630804 Thank you in advance.

Remember, your time, talent and money can and will save someone’s life.

*To read additional information about the author of this blog, you may be interested in her book called, “It Started With A Hamburger”. It can be downloaded from Amazon.com All royalties go to Reach Out Speak Out.

 

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The Hurricane of Domestic Violence – 2 (2020)

the hurricane of domestic violenceThe hurricane of domestic violence has a pattern.

Waves, wind, calmness, waves, winds, calmness, waves, wind, calmness, waves, wind, calmness, waves, wind, calmness, waves, wind, calmness!!!!!!

There is another similarity between a hurricane and domestic violence. We prepare our home to be comfortable, loving, and something we want to call our own. We want to protect our loved ones, memories and our personal property. We would be very sad if one of our loved ones was hurt.

A hurricane comes in waves. The rain comes, and then the winds begin to batter against the house and the palm trees move around looking as though they are going to snap. The pool water even has waves.

There is a calm…a calm before the next wave of a hurricane. Just when you finally feel settled and you are getting back to the calm and sun and play…boom. The whirling of the results of a hurricane comes around again.

If you have never been in the middle of a hurricane, you may not understand the effects or how to prepare for a hurricane. But if this isn’t your first experience, you will understand that a hurricane warning is not something to ignore. It is something that you need to prepare for and accept.

You may get a reprieve, but as soon as you start feeling safe from the winds and flooding…BOOM…it happens again.

Does this sound like a domestic violence relationship that you or someone you know is in?

I am not saying that couples do not have disagreements or have times when they just are not connecting. But, to what extent are you willing to put your life and the life of your children in jeopardy.

Do you know some of the warning signs of domestic violence? Are you continuing to overlook or to cover up what is going on with the hurricanes of your life inside of your home? What do your friends know? What does your church family know? Are you being honest?

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you
  • Does not trust your and acts jealous or possessive
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Doesn’t want you to work or volunteer or get involved with a group
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money
  • Punishes you by withholding affection
  • Expects you to ask permission
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children your family or your pets
  • Humiliates you
  • Tries to control your life
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Expects you to be available for them all the time
  • Are afraid to express your thoughts
  • Makes everyone else responsible for their feelings and all problems are yours
  • Push for a quick relationship
  • Sees everything as a personal attack
  • Blows things out of proportion
  • Threatens to reveal personal or damaging information to others
  • History of abuse in family
  • Breaks or strikes objects near you, damages property
  • Pushes, slaps, bites, kicks or chokes you
  • Uses weapon to threaten or hurt you or loved ones
  • Prevents you from calling police or seeking medical attention
  • Physical force.

An abuser is like the hurricane that the weather stations report on. First they start by preparing you for the hurricane, and then they give you information that will help you get ready and tell you how many named hurricanes are expected this year. When the first warning or forecast is shown that your area and home may be in danger, they become more intense with the warnings. Then the TV stations give more air time to the weather reports and even cut in to your favorite TV show because there is danger ahead. They have warned you, they have pleaded with you to prepare.

What is stopping you from leaving your hurricane/domestic violence relationship? How many warnings do you need to hear?

Please, take heed. Do you see yourself or someone you know in the warning signs above? Don’t wait until it is too late. Please do not be a casualty.

*To read additional information about the author of this blog, you may be interested in her book called, “It Started With A Hamburger”. It can be downloaded from Amazon.com All royalties go to Reach Out Speak Out.

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To Leave Or Not To Leave… Part One

Woman with suitcase

To Leave Or Not To Leave is a series of blog posts submitted under the condition of anonymity for obvious reasons. It is, therefore, published under the Admin’s authorship.

Stay and Pray – Not To Leave

I have been married for several years. At least once during each of those years, I have gone through a prolonged period of wondering whether it would be best to leave or not to leave my marriage. The first time was the weekend we got married. Something had changed and I felt sick to the pit of my stomach.

Every instinct was screaming that I had made a mistake. The understanding I have from my Bible and many of my Christian friends told me that I had married him and that the right thing to do was to “stay and pray.” After all, he didn’t beat me or starve me or actually abuse me. If there are no marks, there’s no abuse, right? All the stuff you hear about mental or emotional abuse is really just women being hypersensitive and overreacting, you know. Especially if you are of a certain age.

So I stayed. And I prayed. Oh, how I prayed. At first, I prayed for him to change. And I realized that’s not really how God works so much. So I prayed for God to change me. To make me a better wife, a better person, a better Christian.

Nothing changed. Well, at least, not in the way I had hoped.

Waking Up Sad

I guess it’s not really true that nothing changed. Some of my relationships did. Fundamental parts of me did. I had mostly always felt kind of warrior-strong. I didn’t anymore. I doubted myself. I felt weak and unable to make decisions. I had always awakened happy. More and more, I started waking up sad. I wanted to stay in bed and not deal with the day. I did a poor job of staying in touch with my friends and family. To be fair, I can’t say that he isolated me so much as, because of how I felt, I isolated myself.

I was always afraid to have him around my friends, never being sure of how he would act or what he would say. Mostly, though, I had lost faith that I had any value. Under the weight of constant criticism and neglect, I was afraid that I was stupid and irresponsible and not at all worthy of  love.

I had so much to learn.

… more next week …

 

Photo Credit: Resi Kling

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt / Dating Violence #4

angry man pointing finger in blame

Love Shouldn’t Hurt

Do you or do you know someone that is dating and you just don’t feel comfortable with the relationship? Whether it is your own relationship or a friend that you see changing, take a moment to read some of the warning signs of dating violence below. You could save someone’s life from a relationship that is harder and harder to get out of due to the control of the abuser. Remember, an abuser wants to always be in control. If they feel they are losing the control of you or your friend, they will push a lot harder to keep it going. They do not want to lose.

Information from: www.ncdsv.org

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Teen Dating Violence?

Researchers who study teen dating violence have identified several early warning signs that a dating relationship might be likely to turn violent. These warning signs do not mean a relationship will definitely turn violent. However, if you notice several of them in your relationship or partner, you may need to re- evaluate your dating relationship. These warning signs include:

  • Excessive jealousy
  • Constant checking in with you or making you check in with him or her
  • Attempts to isolate you from friends and family
  • Insulting or putting down people that you care about
  • Is too serious about the relationship too quickly
  • Has had a lot of bad prior relationships – and blames all of the problems on the previous partners
  • Is very controlling
  • This may include giving you orders, telling you what to wear, and trying to make all of the decisions for you
  • Blames you when he or she treats you badly by telling you all of the ways you provoked him or her
  • Does not take responsibility for own actions
  • Has an explosive temper (“blows up” a lot)
  • Pressures you into sexual activity with which you are not comfortable
  • Has a history of fighting, hurting animals, or brags about mistreating other people
  • Believes strongly in stereotypical gender roles for males and females
  • You worry about how your partner will react to the things you say or you are afraid of provoking your partner
  • Owns or uses weapons
  • Refuses to let you end the relationship

What can you do if you notice these signs in your relationship?

Trust your intuition! If you believe there may be a problem in your relationship, you are probably right. Do not ignore the warning signs. Research has found that those who have a tendency to engage in relationship violence escalate their abuse over time. In other words, it gets worse over time, not better.

  • Spend time with people you care about other than your partner
  • Stay in touch with your friends
  • Keep up with activities that you enjoy and that make you feel good about yourself
  • You might consider looking into what help or resources might be available in your school or area
  • You might also want to consider calling a domestic violence hotline or shelter for more information before you experience a crisis

 

Reach Out Speak Out

www.ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com

Facebook: @ReachOutSpeakOut

A faith based ministry helping victims of domestic violence within our faith community.

501(3)(C)47-1630804

 

photo credit: Image by ashish choudhary from Pixabay

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt / Dating Violence Part 3

couple at a restaurant; he is kissing her hand

Before going out on a date with someone, think about these verses. If your date does not demonstrate and treat you like the Bible says they should, there shouldn’t be a second date.

1 Corinthians 15:33  (NIV)

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”[a]

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Stage 1: Have you heard anyone say…He’s/she’s great isn’t he/she? Do you mean they meet the standards above? Sweet, charming, cute, funny and so loving and I’m really in to them.

Stage2: Does your date say things like… “I’m just saying this because I am jealous of you and I really like you a lot. I’m becoming obsessed with you. Don’t get angry but I am not sure I can let go of you.

(Time to take a look at the motive behind their words and actions.)

Proverbs 4:23 NIV

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Knowing the warning signs may help you identify a friend or loved one victimized by dating abuse:

  • Intense mood swings
  • Loss of interests in things they used to do with you as a group and things they were interested in before starting to date this person
  • Withdrawal from friends and family and no longer has the time to go out with the group of people they used to hang out with
  • Signs of physical harm or wants to change their appearance or what they do and how they act with words and actions
  • Drug use, alcohol, eating changes
  • Unexplainable fear and withdraws from talking with you and socializing
  • Sabotage or discontinued use of birth control
  • Sexual activity
  • Won’t return your phone calls, texts, social media but is constantly in contact with the new dating partner

Galatians 5:22-24 English Standard Version (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

 

Reach Out Speak Out

www.ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com

Facebook: @ReachOutSpeakOut

A faith based ministry helping victims of domestic violence within our faith community.

501(3)(C)47-1630804

photo credit: Relevante design

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt / Dating Violence Pt 2

Desperate sad woman, head in hands

DATING VIOLENCE

What if we didn’t wait to tell people about the warning signs of domestic violence when they got married and in a legal arrangement. What if we educated everyone of the warning signs and what domestic violence is before our children start dating.

  • Did you know one in three teenagers in the United States of America have experienced teenage domestic violence in a dating relationship? (Physical, emotional or verbal)
  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner in 2019
  • 1 – 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend/girlfriend
  • 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship never tell anyone about the abuse
  • 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue

RESPECT

The definition of respect is….a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. To admire someone deeply.

  • Roughly 1.5 million high school students admit to being hit or physically harmed last year by someone they are romantically involved with
  • Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide and violent behaviors.
  • 50% of young people who experience rape and physical abuse will attempt to commit suicide

(Information collected by Domestic Violence Services, Inc. December, 2019)

Please help us to spread the word to teens about warning signs of domestic violence.

  • More than half of women (69.5%) and men (54.6%) who have been physically or sexually abused, or stalked by a dating partner first experienced abuse between the ages of 11 and 24.
  • 8.5% of middle school students report having bullied a classmate
  • Female and male students share the same unfortunate state of 1 in 4 high school students that have experienced sexual and physical abuse by a dating partner have seriously contemplated suicide.

PEOPLE, WAKE UP! THE TIME TO TALK ABOUT ABUSE IS NOW.

Reach Out Speak Out

www.ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com

Facebook: @ReachOutSpeakOut

A faith based ministry helping victims of domestic violence within our faith community.

501(3)(C)47-1630804

Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt / Dating Violence

Calendar, flowers, candy, Valentine's Day

February is the month that love is in the air. February 14th is recognized as Valentine’s Day. As you know, your lover is to shower you with flowers, greeting cards, chocolates, expensive dinners, spa treatments, getaways, etc. etc etc… Abusers are good at showering their partner with gifts and they make sure others know what they did for you.

Do Valentine’s Day Gifts Equal Love?

I remember listening to a person that had an above average income constantly telling others what he bought for his wife. He wanted everyone to know that not only did he buy his significant other an expensive piece of jewelry, but he would tell every detail of the gift and the cost of the gift. Who was he trying to impress? The person receiving the gift or was he trying to sing his own praises?

Many abusers need to be the center of attention and they beat their chests with the price for what they did for you. And, when the person that is receiving the gift (usually with strings attached), accepts the gift, they are expected to be overjoyed with gratefulness for the outward appearance that they are a great partner. You are so lucky to have them in your life!

Reality Check

But wait…is this the same person that two weeks ago said there wasn’t any money for you to spend on something you wanted, or you didn’t deserve to do this or that. That you seriously needed to figure out how to make the grocery money go further?

Happy Valentines —- What does it look like in your relationship?

Is your relationship like a trip to an amusement park and you are on a daily roller coaster?

Love Defined

We all like to receive something kind and thoughtful from our partner. We all like to be honored, respected and remembered in a positive way. Just a reminder.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

How is your relationship compared to this verse? How are you doing as the victim of domestic violence? How is your partner measuring up to this verse? And, we must look at the victim that can be overwhelmed at times…how are you measuring up to this verse. We do not have an excuse to continue to be in God’s will just because someone does not treat us correctly. God will settle the score, not us.

Reach Out Speak Out

www.ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com

Facebook: @ReachOutSpeakOut

A faith based ministry helping victims of domestic violence within our faith community.

501(3)(C)47-1630804

photo credit: @hudsoncrafted at unsplash; used with permission

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BE The Change Week 4

Do Something Great - BE the change!

BE THE CHANGE IN 2020

     What will you do to help Reach Out Speak Out?  You don’t know much about domestic violence and you have never experienced abuse?   Here are some statistics that will educate you to why it is very important.

  • 3 women die every day because of domestic violence
  • Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner.  

    Surprised?

  • The number of American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 – 2012 saw 6,488 people killed.  For the same period of time, 11,766 women were murdered by their current or ex-male partner.  Huff Post
  • Women with a disability are 40% more likely to experience intimate partner violence
  • Every minute 20 people are victims of intimate partner violence
  • Worldwide- men who were exposed to domestic violence as a child are 3 to 4 times more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence as an adult vs. men who did not experience domestic violence as a child
  • A women is beaten every 9 seconds in the United States of America
  • Women who are victims of domestic violence are 8 times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner if there are firearms in the house
  • Black women experience intimate partner violence 35% more than white women
  • Domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness among families. 

    Do you still feel that we should be silent about domestic violence?  Do you still believe it is a family matter and that we should not get involved with those that are in a domestic violence situation?  

    It is very important that we honor our military and they should be honored.  But, I personally feel that it is time to also do what God has told us to do and that is to honor our wives. 

         Ephesians 5:33, Paul writes, “let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” In addition to his command toward men, Paul says a wife should respect her husband. 

         Proverbs 3:27 Give Honor Where Honor Is Due. 

         Proverbs 3:27 – Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. If you have the power to do good, do it as unto the Lord.

     Don’t wait to send flowers to her funeral. 

Make 2020 the year that will be free of domestic violence!

ReachOutSpeakOut.org 

ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com

501(3)(C) 47-1630804

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BE The Change

butterfly in spring

BE THE CHANGE… Reach Out

Reach Out Speak Out encourages you to look at your own relationships and also look around you. If you have any question that there may be abuse with your family, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or that person that you see in church every week, please ask. Just as you hear in the school system…if you see something, say something. please do the same thing if you see any type of domestic violence. It is better to be safe than to let it go and then the person you know is now on the news as a domestic violence situation or even dead.

Remember that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men are in some type of domestic violence relationship. Do you know three women? Do you know seven men? Then you know someone in a domestic violence relationship.

In 2020 you can BE THE CHANGE in someone’s life. You could save their life.

BE THE CHANGE…Are you the abuser? You too can change. God is in the miracle working business. There are many outlets and faith based resources that will help you be the change in your family’s life in 2020.

See the warning signs of domestic violence on our website, ReachOutSpeakOut.org. If you see yourself in any of the warning signs, 2020 can be the year to change that. Can you really say that God wants you to treat your partner the way you are treating them?

2020 is not just another calendar year turning over, it is another decade.

James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

We need your help to spread the word to our community. If you are a church or community leader and would like more information about Reach Out Speak Out, please contact us. ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com.

Many in our faith based community do not know how to approach the subject of domestic violence when it comes from a Biblical perspective. We have board and advisory members that will be able to walk you through the process step by step.

Did you know that we have a card that we can give to you to hand out to those that you think may be in a domestic violence relationship. That can be the first step to showing the abused that they are in a domestic violence relationship. A simple card with the warning signs on it to keep and review. We have individuals that have had that card with them for a decade. Whenever they doubt and wonder if they did the right thing by leaving, they can look at the card and realize that the first step that lead to future steps to a world free of abuse.

Be the change in 2020. Be the voice for someone that feels they have lost their voice.
Make 2020 the year that will be free of domestic violence!

ReachOutSpeakOut.org
ReachOutSpeakOutDV@gmail.com
501(3)(C) 47-1630804

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