I don’t see myself as a victim of domestic violence but I am definitely a SURVIVOR of it. Through the brief period I was with my abuser I experienced physical, emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse. When you are in a situation of domestic violence, you are so dizzy from going round-and-round the “cycle of abuse” you no longer know who you are and have become a mere puppet of the abuser.
Something I try to always remind individuals of who know someone experiencing abuse: it is not as simple as saying to the person, “how can you let him treat you like that?” or “why won’t you leave?” In actuality those may be the worst things to say. You need the victim to know you are there and you care about them and can’t stand to see this happening. Even if she doesn’t leave immediately you have to constantly tell her you care about her and are always there. I am not saying it will work immediately, but it certainly can’t hurt to reach out.
Many people tried to get me out of the dangerous relationship over the 5 months I was with my abuser, but on March 24th, 2005 the right person was there at the right time and said to me, “I see what he is doing to you and he is going to kill you.” Somehow, at the very moment, I agreed and started the whirlwind of police reports, medical exams, protective orders, and therapy. Others, including my family, had tried to intervene on multiple occasions, but that one interaction helped me escape and live to tell my story. But one thing I always dreaded being asked was “how could you let that happen to you.” Well, that zombie who looked like me and what abused wasn’t the true me. It took getting out of that relationship to find who I really am.
The NO MORE symbol is providing unified recognition for all of us taking a stand against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This symbol provides the visual confirmation that Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault cannot be tolerated and never should be! The more people who take this stance the more people there are to support the survivors! Don’t let someone you know become another statistic, take a stand and say NO MORE!
Alexandra B. is a survivor and an outspoken advocate for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault. To see more about Alexandra and her story, you can check out her blog “My Tale of Triumph and Survival.”