I have quite a few family members who've been through domestic violence, and almost all of them went back to their abusers. Some of them are still with their abuser right now. I never understood why they couldn't see what the rest of us see. They couldn't see that these relationships only lead to more trouble and more abuse.
Psychologists say one of the main reasons why some of these women stick around is actually for financial reasons. Many of these women don't have a home or vehicle of their own to get away. The women have no place to go and no way to get there. But when the news broke that pop singer Rihanna was beaten by her singer boyfriend Chris Brown, it gave this theory a new spin. Rihanna has money. She has a way to leave. She has someplace to go. Why was she putting up with this?
This national story brings to light that the reason for women putting up with domestic violence may have less to do with money than we think. There are lots of financially well off women who are dealing with domestic violence right now. And they're reasons for it most likely started where most of all our problems started- in childhood.
It is true that women who've witnessed domestic violence are at risk of being victims themselves. Rihanna opened up about how her father abused her mother in her 20/20 interview. Chris Brown opened up about how his step father abused his mother in his interview on Tyra. The thing is, we repeat what our parents do. Even though in the midst of childhood you may know that those things are wrong, you grow up and repeat them because it's all you know. It is basically how you've been raised. Just like you are raised to say please and thank you, and to say yes mam and no mam, you were also raised to hit others. Your parents exposed you to all these things-the good and the bad.
I also believe that this has to do with the amount of value a girl places on herself. We know that there is a lot of manipulation that takes place in an abusive relationship, but I believe that the things that these girls are being told in these relationships are things that some of them already thought about themselves anyway. For example, many abusive men tell their women that no one else wants them or they're not that pretty, or they're too fat, etc. Well, these women most likely felt that way about themselves anyway. They probably already had low self esteem before they even met that guy. That is why they are with that abusive man in the first place.
What we experience in our own households contribute to the way we deal with relationships, but I also think that society and the media has a huge impact on us as well. In my article Beauty or Brains: Which takes a woman further? I talk about how the media displays that the most "valuable" women are the beautiful ones-meaning the ultra thin ones with the long flowing hair, and perfectly sculpted body. All these images convince young girls that there is something special about looking that way, and that the rest of us are just ordinary girls. It's no surprise that when these abusive men say these nasty things to women, the woman believes him. It's not because he convinces her of it on his own, but because what he says is just confirmation to what society has been telling us all along.
When a woman doesn't feel valuable or desirable, she is likely to make disastrous relationship mistakes in her lifetime. Feeling worthy is what makes you raise your standards, it's what makes you expect the best out of your significant other. When you feel worthy, you feel deserving. When you don't feel like you're worthy of much, then the person you chose for yourself will be reflective of that. That person won't be worth much either.
It's going to take a lot of work for us to change this around. Many of us are already convinced that we're not smart or beautiful, and our self esteems are weak because of it. We can't sit here and think that we don't need a self esteem boost just because all of us haven't been abused. You may not have been abused physically, but you probably haveverbally. You were probably talked down to by your significant other. Or you've probably been abused emotionally. Your significant other probably played with your emotions by cheating, lying, or deceiving you. For example, they probably lead you to believe that they want a serious relationship when they really just want sex (speaking from experience here).
In order for us to make a difference, we're going to have to get our heads out of the sand. We need to be honest about what's going on around us, and what's going on in our own relationships. We are so judgmental toward each other on so many issues, we forget that these women may be going through things that are far more severe than it seems. The last thing they may need is for someone to point fingers at them and judge them.
We need to be more supportive and open to each other. Opening up dialogue can make someone feel comfortable with you and tell you what is going on in their life. This could be your opportunity to help. Many women just need someone to talk to. They need someone to care and to listen to their side of the story. And we must start paying attention to the fact that that there are men who are physically abused as well. If you are (or if you know someone who is) going through domestic violence, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you are a teen, call 1-866-331-9474.
Published by Beauty&Business
Writing is a hobby of mine, but I never really knew how much I loved it until I started writing on Yahoo Voices. It gave me the opportunity to express a lot of my feelings about different societal issues con... View profile
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