Whenever I take the time to watch television, I often find myself indulging in one of my favorite shows, Law and Order SVU. I love watching Benson and Stabler catch the perpetrators who have preyed on innocent children, defenseless women, and unsuspecting neighbors. Even though this show tries to depict realistic situations, I know from experience that many victims do not get rescued by their police heroes, let alone report the violation of their basic human rights. It is very likely that they will go on existing with a deep hurt, guilt and/or shame about what they have experienced.
Just the other day I had to sit down during a phone conversation, while shaking my head in both anger and empathy, after I heard that a toddler had to inform another adult in the household that “daddy punched and choked mommy”. Anger became me as I could not believe that not only was mommy going to hide this from everyone, but she thought family and true friends would be upset with her if she took action against her abuser. The empathy came after the anger, because so many young women like her have no idea that what has happened to them is unacceptable.
In my previous experiences working in substance abuse and as a residential counselor for a girls group home, I cannot begin to explain how so many of my clients remained frozen in time, victims to their circumstances. Their only freedom from pain came through self medicating with illegal substances and alcohol dependence and abuse, as well as self-mutilation. It wasn’t until they risked losing their children to child protection services did they receive services for mental health. Of course by that time there were so many layers of pain to remove just to get to the source of their deep rooted problem.
Enough is enough! Temporary solutions do not fix deep rooted problems. You DO NOT have to remain a victim to your circumstances. One way to prove to the perpetrators that what they have done to you, will no longer hold you captive, is by declaring your healing, and taking the first step to reclaim your life back.
It is never too late to take back the joy that the enemy thinks he/she has stolen from you. For you were made to live life and live it most abundantly.
Imagine putting to rest those self-inflicted guilt trips of “if I had just done this or did that this would have never happened”. Finally being able to accept all of yourself conquering fears, being able to love and receive love, and not being so paranoid that you become extremely overprotective, possessive and downright codependent of; your children, or whoever shows any sign of interest your way. By taking action to take back your life, you gain support from many passionate individuals who are driven by a desire to empower those who have lost hope. By taking action to take back your life, you will no longer remain a victim, you will become a survivor.
If you or someone you know have been victimized by sexual or domestic violence there is help and support from people who will not judge you. Take that first step and remain a victim no more! Any reader who knows of more resources for New Jersey please feel free to leave your information in the comment section!
New Jersey Resources:
Services Empowering Rights of Victims-1-866-295-SERV(7378)
New Jersey Coalition For Battered Women-1-800-572-SAFE (7233)
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence