Tonight’s post on Domestic Violence was written by our Savannah Divorce Attorney, David Purvis.
Domestic violence is all too prevalent in our world. It knows no race, ethnicity, age, or socio-economic constraints. Yet we hear about it in the news and often think: “that won’t happen to me” or “that won’t happen to someone I care about.” And then it does.
Abusers work under the cloak of darkness. They and their victims often show little of the truth of their situation to the outside world. They go to church with us, they go to work with us, they attend social functions with us, all the while on the outside presenting an image of a healthy relationship.
The abuse goes on behind closed doors and closed shades in the darkness and shadows of evil and often the result of the abuse is not transparent to an outsider: the bruises are covered with make-up or clothes and the emotional scars are covered by forced smiles.
This darkness creates fear for the victim. Fear to speak out, fear to defend themselves, fear to seek help, and fear to leave the relationship. Too often, the outside world does not find out until the worst has happened and it is too late to shine light into that darkness.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, now is the time to seek help and now is the time to let the light in. Now. As in today, this hour, this minute. There is a National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or www.thehotline.org. There are many local groups that seek to provide relief for victims of domestic violence. Sometimes the biggest step is letting the light into your darkness by telling someone else what is going on and asking for help.
There are tried and true ways of getting out of an abusive relationship, to do so with immediacy, ways of getting protective orders in place, ways of getting help and assistance and getting out of harm’s way now, not tomorrow, not next week, not when or if it might be easier. There are people: family, friends, and even complete strangers, that want to help you.
If you are in an abusive relationship, it is time to get out of the darkness, it is time to let your light shine, and it is time to let the light from others in.