Why They Stay

stayingMany ask why a victim of domestic violence stays. This is not an easy question to answer. There are a number of resources which help make sense of domestic violence situations. An excellent one is Hidden Hurt, which contains much of the information below. My next post will deal specifically with how to help.

I have been told many times that victims should “just get out,” and that there is nothing that outside parties should do to interfere until the victim asks for help. But it is not that easy. Abusers have waged a long war to convince their victims that they have no choices, or that they are the ones who cause the problem. Some of that emotional mess has to be detangled before victims can extract themselves from the situation.

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–Ans, –Ites and –Isms

Political ButtonsFor a long time, I have wrestled with the notion that I need to commit to a political party. Every time I have gone to declare an allegiance of one kind or another, something has stayed my hand. I have been ashamed of this for some time, thinking that perhaps I was too wishy-washy, too uncommitted, too weakly opinioned. I have been enticed by several political ideologies, most notably feminism and libertarianism, and have come close to choosing one on several occasions.

But again, something has kept me “aloof from all these parties” despite engaging in their several discussions as often as I felt drawn to them. Finally, I believe I have reached the root of the issues I have with choosing a political party.

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Just a Purple Ribbon

Domestic Violence AwarenessToday, I am wearing a purple ribbon. Two years and eight months ago, my husband left me. It was not unexpected. He had threatened to leave me many times. This time was different. This time, he had told me weeks ago he was planning to leave me, and this time I had decided to let him go. I couldn’t continue trying to do everything I could to keep him. This time was also different because this time, three months pregnant and constantly nauseous, I refused to leave the house to give him some alone time with his movies. This time, he decided to try to make me leave by grabbing me around the waist, dragging me across the living room, and trying to force me out the door in front of my two-year-old daughter.

But what I lived through that night was physically quite minor, and it was the first and last time he put his hands on me in anger. I am not wearing the purple ribbon for me. I am wearing it for the three women and one man who will die today because of intimate partner violence. I am wearing it for the more than 20,000 people this year who will be hospitalized because the one person in their lives who should cherish them the most believes that frightening them, and even hurting them to get what they want is acceptable.

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How I Almost Left the Mormon Church; the Second Time

The following guest post is from SilverRain, a frequent M* commenter.  SilverRain blogs at rainscamedown.blogspot.com.

We like to think of the Spirit as a feeling that leads us to find lost car keys, bless the lives of the people around us, and lead us down a spiritual path of happiness. But the Spirit is not always so comfortable. Abraham was guided by the Spirit to sacrifice his son. While he was provided an escape in the form of a ram, the Spirit does not always provide a comfortable alternative. Christ himself was not delivered from His calling to the Atonement.

When my ex-husband left me, I was still determined that Satan would not succeed in having my marriage. I had made covenants and I intended to keep them. Slowly, as I went through counseling alone and with him, the Spirit began to teach me that it was time to divorce. Continue reading

How I Almost Left the Mormon Church; The First Time

The following guest post is from SilverRain, a frequent M* commenter.  SilverRain blogs at rainscamedown.blogspot.com.

First, I want to say that these events are presented how I remember them. I may not be completely accurate, and this certainly sounds more polished than it was when it happened. I am not filling in all the sordid details, and there is some explanation here that I did not know or connect at the time of the events. But bear with me, please.

I come from a long line of Mormons. My parents are both from Utah. But they both taught me to look deeper than the standard Sunday answers. One of my earliest memories is coming home from Church and reporting on what was taught in Primary. As a Sunbeam, I eagerly told my parents, “Jesus and Heavenly Father love me!” And my dad asked me, “How do you know that?” I think I responded with something along the lines of, “because my teacher said they do,” and my dad said, “That is how SHE knows. But how do YOU know?” When I couldn’t answer, he suggested that I figure it out. I was only three or four years old.

Some years later, when I was six or seven, I remember bringing a question to my mom. Though I don’t remember what the question was, I remember her answer. “Did you look for an answer in the scriptures?” I hadn’t. But I went back to my room and read and prayed until I did. Continue reading