Updated: Dec 30, 2019
“I can't believe that happened! You just don’t seem the type. You seem so…”
That sentence usually trails off, unfinished. I have heard it so many times. But I always wonder to myself what the ending might be.
So happy, perhaps? Or so unlikely?
Lines of questioning like this grow from a lack of awareness. Our experiences of social culture and popular media don’t teach us what a domestic violence victim looks like any more than they teach us how to prevent it. We clumsily assemble images of older women with drunk husbands or lower class men with anger issues.
Sadly, those are very real cases. But they are in company with many others. They sit closely with the relationship violence cases that exist out of view. The cases of unseen men, and the elderly.
There are also cases of young, bright women who don’t 'seem the type. You'll have walked past them or even worked with them without even knowing.
Perhaps you are one of them, which is what drew you to this article.
The truth is, if you are having relationships of any kind then you are a potential candidate for relationship abuse. It happens to every age, every gender, and every confidence level. Denial of this fact is one of the barriers to victims seeking the help they need when a crisis occurs.
Thankfully, most relationships aren’t ones to fear! We certainly shouldn't live in fear of it happening - that's not what awareness is about.
Being mindful of the warning signs is an important part of relationship health as a whole. In the same way that you would attend a check up for a medical, or you’d take your car for an MOT, similar perspective needs to be applied.
Relationship education and abuse prevention hasn’t changed enough since my own experience of abuse. Shockingly, it also hasn’t changed enough since two generations before mine, when my grandmother was murdered by her husband.
I believe that if my grandmother and I were fortunate enough to have had access to relationship health education then our lives might have been saved. Hers, certainly.
It wouldn’t have prevented us meeting our abusers. But it would have equipped us with the tools we needed to spot the red flags and to know who to tell and when. It could have made a significant to us - the same significant difference Living Liberté aims to make today!
We deserve to be loved in a way that makes us happy while remaining safe from emotional and physical harm. I feel strongly that by learning how to love healthily, we can empower ourselves to find the sort of love that will bring out the best of who we are.
I’m here to help that happen in any way that I can, via the journey we share here together as a community.
However you’re spending the festive season, I really hope it’s a peaceful one. I’ll be spending Christmas here in Portugal, surrounded by the dogs we’re sitting for and some very special family members. Oh, and as much delicious vegan food as I can possibly manage!
Most of all, do it all with love.
PS. If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy the free resource I have created to go with it!
The Living Liberté website has lots of free articles and resources that you can click and download any time.
Know a friend who would benefit? Pass it along!
Click here to download it for free.