Elise I. Antoine
What if your home is not your safe haven during stay-at-home orders?
While we are all practicing physical distancing do you know that people are uncomfortable with staying home because they are miserable in their own environment? Try to put yourself into someone's shoes. Imagine hearing that your friend is living in a toxic environment but never told you....would that bother you?
During this pandemic the rate for abuse has increased and its important to put the spotlight on
verbal abuse. People think “words won't hurt you” and in reality it can have a long effect on your mental and physical health. From a gaslighting partner having you apologize for something you did not do, your parents saying you should have never been born or you calling yourself ugly 💔.
Verbal abuse usually happens in private. Why is verbal abuse usually a family secret? When you are living with someone who has unresolved trauma that person may be projecting their emotions on you. Meanwhile you are the victim and it is not your fault!!!
There may be several reasons why someone would not disclose that they are being verbally/emotionally abused.
Did not realize that they are being abused, blocked it out or being in denial.
They want to protect the abuser.
Too ashamed to explain to a friend or loved one.
Don't want to be looked on as weak.
Believe they deserved it.
How can you help and create a safe space for anyone who may be experiencing verbal/emotional abuse?
Encourage them to call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233, which is free and confidential.
Listening to them without judging.
Offer to meet in a place they feel safe to talk.
Ask them if it is okay to give them a hug…
Tell them you love them. Saying “I love you” can help someone's life.
If you or someone that you know is experiencing any type of abuse please reach out for help, talk to a trusted friend or therapist. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Remember where you are living may not be your safe haven but if you can find one room to create a safe space...that is a start.