Patricia McKnight's 'My Justice'
Founder/Advocate/Author/Speaker/Writer/Talk Radio Host/Survivor
If you have been attacked please follow these few important steps:
1) If you have just been harmed, physically or sexually attacked, please call 911 in the U.S. or your local emergency response number if outside the U.S.
2) Remember that your body is now EVIDENCE!!! Do not shower, Do not change clothes until you have been checked out by a medical forensics team and they have collected the EVIDENCE your offender has left on your body!!!
3) It is important to make a full police report of any attacks you suffer!!! This gives photographed and recorded proof of the attack so the offense can be charged and prosecuted. If we do not report these acts from our partners, parents, others who are close to us, then there can be no prosecution or end to these crimes.
**Call one of the HOTLINE NUMBERS above to reach a counselor immediately**
Most of us have seen some form of Interpersonal Violence/Dating Violence/…….Perhaps as a child or teen you may have seen this within your home, your family, your parents. It’s not a joke when there is control in a relationship through degradation or fear. As an outsider to this demonstration of power over another, we only see the mild part of this violence. When the family or couple is within the privacy of their home it can explode into severe physical battery, verbal intimidation or degradation; perhaps weapons may be involved or other acts of attempted murder. Unfortunately, there is an average of at least THREE women murdered by husbands or boyfriends each day, according to hotline.org. What if this is just from what is written up on the police reports? What if this is based on just confirmed cases of Interpersonal/Domestic Violence to Murder? I believe there are many more cases, because as we know; there is not always a murderer found to charge in the crime!!!
Many of us who accept this type of behavior and control from others do so because it’s what we know as normal. There are many women who were abused as children who live in the trained pattern of accepting the verbal, physical and sexual attacks against them without ever reporting it to anyone, without seeking needed medical treatment, without ever displaying to their family and friends that something horrible is happening within their home or relationship.
What are some of the subtle signs you may see that warn you something is wrong:
1) You may see your friend or family member displaying signs of 'jumping into action' when their partner makes a request.
2) You may see that even though they are working they have no financial allowance for a lunch date with you or to go for evening of dinner or movie.
3) They may have financial difficulty in providing necessary items for any children or school functions
4) They may reject any time alone with you
5) Victims of these crimes will often have subtle changes in their habit of clothing or hair style.
6) They may demonstrate very little opinion or thought during discussions on virtually any topic
7) Victims are easily startled and may cower away when the abuser reaches for them
8) They may receive check in calls or make check in calls to their abuser
9) They may commonly demonstrate a need to keep all things perfect, all items in perfect placement, all children's items stored appropriately out of sight.
10) Victims usually adhere to strict schedules which are lined out by the abuser and will commonly show panic or unusual worry when schedules are impacted or delayed in some manner.
If you see a family member, friend, coworker, neighbor who seems to be displaying some or all of these subtle signs of dominance within their home, please offer your support, understanding, and friendship. It is important for these victims not to feel ashamed of accepting this control from their partner. Many victims feel trapped in accepting this control because of the financial support to maintain shelter, food, clothing and other necessities for their children. When we offer understanding, guidance, resources; we can then help them to rescue themselves from these types of relationships and begin their own future.
Your Freedom & Happiness Do Matter!!
More than not, according to Department of Justice reports and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; these crimes have increased from 19.3 per 1000 in 2010 to now 22.5 per 1000 in 2011. On average 1 in 4 women and 1 in 33 males are reporting some form of intimate violence or rape. In 2006, females were 84% of the victims in spousal abuse and 86% were victims of a boyfriend or dating partner. The Center for Disease and Control Prevention estimates that an average of $8.3 BILLION each year is spent helping victims of this type of violence and abuse rebuild and recover from the trauma.
When there is a dominating personality in the home, children will most often become victims from the emotional impact of fear and worry for the other parent, which is most often their mother. The children hear the fighting and will usually gather together in an enclosed area, such as a closet, so they can hide from the possible eruption of severe violence. This leaves an impression on them for a lifetime. The dysfunction in their own relationships with other children in school, with team mates on a sports team where there is rivalry, or in their dating relationships; they either fall prey to allowing others to control them or they become the dominating personality. There is no sure way to determine which outcome will play in your children; it depends on rescue, intervention, level of violence, and the child themselves.
As a society of neighbors, friends, family; it is our responsibility to be aware of how severe the emotional and verbal abuse can be to the victim and the children. We are responsible for calling or offering help when we suspect there may be some form of violence or control within a relationship or family unit. When we ignore the signs and the possibilities of Family Violence, Relationship Violence, Interpersonal Violence between our teens in their social settings; we become tools of this violence by permitting it to continue. Victims may often wonder why their family or close friends don't see what's happening and ask about their safety and welfare of the children. This deepens the feeling of isolation and control by the abuser, because the victim will be more convinced that there is no hope of rescue and that no one cares about the abuses against them. This in turn will heighten the instinct of submission to the abuser by the victim, which will often keep them trapped in a dangerous relationship and increase the possibility of them becoming a statistic of the murdered or missing by intimate partner violence.
As discussed on the ‘Generation No More’ page, we have been taught these violent, controlling, dominating, and deviant sexual behaviors throughout past generations of acceptance. Going back to the beginning of mankind there are no two personalities alike and in almost every relationship there is a more dominant deciding person in control. EXAMPLE; A wife doesn’t make dinner plans at a friend’s house without discussing with her spouse.
Another example to the extreme; ‘One person in the relationship is AFRAID to make any type of plans or decisions for the household without first getting permission to do so from the dominating partner.’ This could be as simple as what’s for dinner, what time the kids need to be in their room and out of the way, what type of clothing you wear, how your hair is styled, if the house is clean enough, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING CAN SET OFF A VERBAL OR PHYSICAL ATTACK. Victims of this type of violence and/or abuse will be very careful of what they share with the outside world; often too ashamed they are in this mess to ever admit the abuse or that they need help getting out. Most of these victims will suffer for months, years, decades before they ever decide to leave; it becomes a responsibility of human decency not to accept this type of behavior from anyone and don't be afraid to report suspicious actions or witnessed attacks to the police. You may save a life by simply picking up the phone. We, as human beings, all deserve to have our environment safe for us to live and to achieve our own possibilities.
Our country didn’t begin recognizing these violent and sexual attacks against partners/spouses/children until 1994 when then Senator Joe Biden presented to Congress the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This has gone through reauthorization in 2000; 2005; and is now being held up by Republicans wanting to reword and reduce benefits and services to victims. The written structure of the requested reauthorization of this act does include the ‘MALE’ victim and allows for resources specifically for men. It also allows for American Indian Reservations to have their own judicial ruling on these crimes against Native American Women and Children on their soil. It allows for immigrant women to seek out resources. However as of today, November 16th, 2012 and the upcoming end of year for this Congress; there still is no agreement reached between the parties which greatly reduce the available resources for victims of these crimes. It is vital for every victim of this type of interpersonal/relationship/dating violence or family violence within the home, to seek out their own plan for escape and live safely without financial dependence on said offender. We must learn to defend ourselves and our children; we also must learn the responsibility of maintaining a home, food, clothing, employment, day care and other needed living resources to remain free from any continued acceptance of these offenses.
There are millions of victims who remain in these types of relationships and living environments mainly because of the financial dependence on their partner and the responsibility of providing for our children. It is a very heavy load to think of doing this by yourself, especially when you have been physically or verbally beaten down to believe you are incapable of being independent. DO NOT BELIEVE THIS BRAINWASHING TACTIC!!! You are an individual, you have a brain, you can seek assistance with education and job training skills to allow you to develop the needed ability to live without accepting abuse. It is difficult, but it is your personal drive that will allow you to succeed. Never believe that you are trapped. It may take time for you to stash away some money, or to get enrolled in school or job training, and even to get through the legal process of separating from your abuser and the issue of child custody and support, but it is possible!!!
One of my most important mentors as I began sharing my experiences and knowledge of these crimes which I was trained to accept and viewed as normal, Ms. Susan Murphy Milano, was a true justice seeker for the victims who had no voice because they were either murdered or missing and the person suspected for their disappearance couldn’t be held responsible. This is because of our country's Sixth Amendment Right in the U. S. Constitution, which allows for the defendant of a violent crime against another to face their accuser. If there is no proof of violence against the defendant because of missing or murdered victims, then they can never be brought to justice for their crimes.
Ms. Milano developed many book guides and tools to give victims of Intimate Partner Violence the ability to build a plan of escape, rescue themselves and their children, live free of the abuser, and also an MP3 mode of Certified Recording of the violent and life threatening acts against them. This specific tool known as the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit allows a certified appointee to assist with documenting these attacks which will then be provided as testimony from the grave should you become one of those murdered or missing. It is highly recommended that you search through Ms. Milano’s books and the site http://www.documenttheabuse.com and become familiar with the dangerous warning signs of your own risk of death. Note; Only a CERTIFIED APPOINTEE WHO HAS BEEN TRAINED ON THE RECORDING AND DOCUMENTING PROCEDURES CAN PROVIDE A QUALIFYING EAA. Encourage centers in your area and your legal staff to have at least one person of access who is certified to issue this lifesaving device. If you live under the control of a dominating or life threatening partner, others may be able to help you get out or offer you resources,
YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN MAKE THE CRUCIAL CHOICE TO SAVE YOUR LIFE AND GET OUT!!!
Always remember, if you have children and you live in a violent, degrading, or other type of controlling environment, this will impact the lives of your children in their adult behaviors and in social settings; also there is a greater chance of direct abuse against the children when a partner is violent or abusive. Don’t brush away and ignore the controlling signs of violence. These small acts will escalate and you will find yourself constantly struggling to meet the ordered needs of this partner. However it will be increasingly impossible because the more they see you respond to their needs, the more needs they will develop. This is out of a need for power. Although they may blame it on your inadequate behaviors, (ie) “if you wouldn’t have done this, or if you would have done that"; type of reaction, "then I wouldn't have to hit you". Their need to see your fear, intimidation, or have you under their control; has absolutely nothing to do with your being or your ability as a human with a functioning brain and opinion. It is an escalating violence and control because of their enjoyment of your fear, submission and their desire for power. Perhaps they may feel insignificant in the outside or professional world, so they come home to intimidate and control who they can. Always remember; Once they hit you the first time, the second hit is much easier to inflict.
Some partners may even thrive on hitting you or degrading you. Again, it is a need for power and should never be permitted or ignored. If someone you know is showing signs they must follow their partners/boyfriends/girlfriend/spouses requests without opinion or voice; then you may want to speak with them about their safety. Usually once it has gotten to this extreme there has been some form of violent act or threat against them. Never ignore the screams of a victim; the strange bruises; the lack of opinion; the lack of connections with family members and friends. When you see these signs, offer help rather than turn away. It could be your daughter or your son; the residule outcome of living in a violent or abusive home will impact the lives of any children; consider your grandchildren, or your nieces and nephews; your God children. There are no boundaries when it comes to Relationship and Family Violence. This is a silent crime that impacts an estimated One in Four homes!!! Someone you know is living in some form of abuse or violence at this very moment. You may be the deciding factor on their escape and safety or their death!!!
Please be the one to make the call for help!!! Recommend to your friends, coworkers, families, neighbors; everyone to get involved tand help stop the growing rate of violence and deviant sexual behaviors and abuses within our homes. If we can help stop the issues of violence and abuse within the home, we all help make a change in how our children display behaviors in their social settings, which then reduces crime and gangs on our streets and bullying in our schools.
When young children are exposed to a violent environment; they become fearful of yelling, cower from anyone who reaches for them, they may demonstrate a stressed behavior of acting out or they behave perfectly. (ie) A three year old who lives in an environment where they feel afriad will control their behavior to not speaking around the abuser/agressor; they may have problems such as ADHD or other behavioral disorders; young children and teens show signs of depression or lack of interest in school activities, low grades on homework. This is typically because their mind is busy worrying about what might happen next. If there have been threats with weapons or verbal outbursts of death threats, then the child is left wondering if they are going to be killed. How can a child flourish in this type of environment? How can anyone live comfortably without fear or worries, when their homes are a terror zone? Teens, especially inner-city areas, will fall prey to gangs and our daughters become prey for pimps, rapists, even having their own boyfriends who have seen their father degrade and beat their mom, then strike out at them and degrade them.
**Stand up to protect and support your family, friends, neighbors who may be living with some type of violence or threatening control!! Offer local resources or hotline numbers for them to seek help. Never turn your back on a victim or blame them for staying in the relationship!!**
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
On this link you can find out how to make a safety plan and escape your violent partner. Please seek help and get out safely. If you don't do it for yourself, please do it for your children!!
All information on this website is licensed by the official copyright of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery "My Justice"
Author Patricia A. McKnight
All artwork on this website is licensed by the official copyright of "Michal Madison Art"
Child Abuse Survivor
Disfiguring Neglect, Trafficking
Sexual, Emotional, Financial, Control, Degradation, Captivity,
1) You have the right to seek your own goals and achieve them.
2) You have the right to be safe in your home.
3) You have the right to speak your voice without fear of attack.
4) You must believe in your own independence
5) You can find the strength to escape and be free!!
Wake Up Today and Chase After Your Tomorrow!!
Be A Voice for those who have none, this could be your Daughter, maybe it is your Son or it could be your Grandchild!! NO MORE!!
Surveys find that men and women assault one another and strike the first blow at approximately equal rates.
(Archer, J. (2000).