Amy lived a life where she constantly deceived herself. In the guise of love and family values, she endured both physical and emotional abuse. No one knew about the hardships she was going through – not even her closest friends and sisters. It was too late when everyone learned of the atrocities.
You don’t have to be like Amy. You have an option. SAY NO TO ABUSE.
Abuse does not have to be physical. It can be emotional. In a world where masculinity and patriarchal societies exist, women fall prey to abusive husbands – or boyfriends. This has to stop. But we need you to help fight against this despicable acts.
If you are a victim
I met people who endure an abusive relationship. On one side is the person willing to endure hardships, physical abuse, sexual assault and emotional scars. For what? For love? On the other end of the spectrum are the ones protecting people they love. So how do you get out of this situation?
- Tell someone – it pays to have someone know about your condition and situation. More than just unloading your emotional burdens, it is an assurance that someone is there to listen to you. Whether it is a friend or a family, let them know what you are going through.
- Ask help – In the Philippines, there is a special program that deals with violence against women and children. They provide counselling, legal assistance and even rescues if needed. Another alternative is to turn to your spiritual or religious order for help. Just remember that there are people willing to listen and to help.
- Know your rights – a fundamental step in your emancipation is to learn your rights. More than that, you have to insist on these rights.
- Protect yourself and the people you love – if it warrants, get out immediately. You can ask the assistance of the police or different organizations to secure you and loved ones.
If you know someone who is a victim
It is your responsibility to help someone who is in an abusive relationship. But remember that this is a highly personal situation and meddling into it may have serious consequences for you and for the person you are trying to protect. As a reminder, be careful.
- Listen – an integral part of helping someone in an abusive relationship is to become a good listener. Let the person unload the burdens. But remember not to force anyone to divulge information. Moreover, it is imperative that you provide reassurance that someone can help them. Give them hope.
- Help inform – Become more than just a passive spectator. Help your friend or other people in the same situation become informed about their rights and the alternatives that they have.
- Provide assistance – when possible, go out of your way to help people in an abusive relationship. They are often demoralized. Many live in fear and this fear can be debilitating.
Not everyone is in a perfect relationship. But some are in a worse situation than you. And what’s great is that you can help.
Regardless whether you are a victim or not, we have to work together to fight abuse. Everyone deserves to be free from any abusive relationship. You can stop it.
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