Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


4 Comments

Coalition Against Domestic Violence


 These are the Safety Guidelines written by the Coalition Against Domestic Violence.I do not claim any authorshipl

Hotline Number: 1-800- 799-SAFE (7233)
TDD Number: 1-800-787-3224

Domestic and Sexual Violence Research Group Safety Strategies Workbook http://www.dvsafetyplanning.org/.

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-800-656-HOPE

Personalized Safety Plan
Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe. The resources in this book can help you to make a safety plan that works best for you. It is important to get help with your safety plan.

If you are in an abusive relationship, think about…

  1. Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, hotlines, friends and the local shelter.

  2. Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises. If you have children, teach them how to dial 911. Make up a code word that you can use when you need help.

  3. How to get out of your home safely. Practice ways to get out.

  4. Safer places in your home where there are exits and no weapons. If you feel abuse is going to happen try to get your abuser to one of these safer places.

  5. Any weapons in the house. Think about ways that you could get them out of the house.

  6. Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house – taking out the trash, walking the pet or going to the store. Put together a bag of things you use everyday (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.

  7. Going over your safety plan often.

If you consider leaving your abuser, think about…

  1. Four places you could go if you leave your home.

  2. People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money. Make plans for your pets.

  3. Keeping change for phone calls or getting a cell phone.

  4. Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.

  5. How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house – taking out the trash, walking the family pet, or going to the store. Practice how you would leave.

  6. How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.

  7. Putting together a bag of things you use everyday. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.

ITEMS TO TAKE, IF POSSIBLE click here to print check list.

bullet Children (if it is safe)
bullet Money
bullet Keys to car, house, work
bullet Extra clothes
bullet Medicine
bullet Important papers for you and your children
bullet Birth certificates
bullet Social security cards
bullet School and medical records
bullet Bankbooks, credit cards
bullet Driver’s license
bullet Car registration
bullet Welfare identification
bullet Passports, green cards, work permits
bullet Lease/rental agreement
bullet Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
bullet Insurance papers
bullet Protective Order, divorce papers, custody orders
bullet Address book
bullet Pictures, jewelry, things that mean a lot to you
bullet Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)
  1. Think about reviewing your safety plan often.

If you have left your abuser, think about…

  1. Your safety – you still need to.

  2. Getting a cell phone. Getting a Protective Order from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time. Give a copy to the police, people who take care of your children, their schools and your boss.

  3. Changing the locks. Consider putting in stronger doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a security system and outside lights.

  4. Telling friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser near your home or children.

  5. Telling people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have a Protective Order protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy of it.

  6. Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls. If you have a Protective Order that includes where you work, consider giving your boss a copy of it and a picture of the abuser. Think about and practice a safety plan for your workplace. This should include going to and from work.

  7. Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.

  8. Someone that you can call if you feel down. Call that person if you are thinking about going to a support group or workshop.

  9. Safe way to speak with your abuser if you must.

  10. Going over your safety plan often.

WARNING: Abusers try to control their victim’s lives. When abusers feel a loss of control – like when victims try to leave them – the abuse often gets worse. Take special care when you leave. Keep being careful even after you have left.

 


8 Comments

Coalition Against Domestic Violence


I received a much awaited letter from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence in the state I am currently residing.

I joined the coalition back in January when I started my blog.

I want to share with you some of the advances made in my state.

1) The budget for 2013 did NOT cut funding for the the upcoming year for the Council for Women for the Domestic Violence Center Fund that is intended to be distributed to domestic violence programs.

2) Senate Bill 302 was RENEWED for teams dedicated to examining deaths caused by domestic violence and has also included an additional two counties.

3) House Bill 24 passed (finally), providing for notification to the DA’s office if an abuser fails to complete a required abuser treatment program.  (Although I do not personally believe that completing these programs prevents future abuse to future victims.)  It does however, serve to throw the crazies in jail who refuse the program altogether.

4) Now here is the real killer:  Adjustments to the funding for domestic violence programs (more cash) to the court and attorney’s fees in 50B cases- WERE NOT PASSED.

I will be posting a petition shortly asking you to participate in, for example contacting government agencies electronically and so forth to continue the fight.

As we all know, without the funding for the courts and the attorneys most victims of DV stand not a chance in the world.  Going it alone is as dangerous as staying with the abuser.

Thanks for reading about our accomplishments as well as our failures.

Tee.


22 Comments

Onslaught *Heavy Triggers*


I cannot force anyone to understand domestic violence if they have never experienced it. However, I can most assuredly give a sneak peek into the life of a DV victim/survivor and hope that someone will open their mouths or quite simply click the share button. To remain silent is to be complicit in this crime.  I’m just sayin’.  One more thing.  I lived for  nineteen years in domestic violence, I escaped, and I had to watch and think on these things as I made this post.  Remember that.

 

Now take a deep breath and move on to the next one.

 

Take your time, clear you head and keep watching.

 

Enraging isn’t it?

 

As painful as it is to watch this tragedy multiply that by infinity and you’ll begin to understand how painful it is to live it.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please visit http://www.nomore.org for a list of domestic violence centers specific to your location. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at http://www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you feel you are in immediate danger contact your local law enforcement by calling in the U.S. 911


81 Comments

No More Beatin’ Around the Bush


I hate making confessions; they are painful, ugly truths I’d rather not share with anyone, much less the world. I seem to have no recourse in the matter at all so, I’m gonna spill the beans if you will. I’ll do my best not to beat around the bush and get to the point.

The bare-naked truth is that when I’m left alone with my thoughts they wonder into places the hadn’t ought to go. I don’t hate *Jon* every day all day. I remember the tender moments, the laughs, the fun, and the over the moon intimacy we shared early on. These emotions are intensified when he calls at all hours of the night pleading for my forgiveness and I’m hovering at the brink of loneliness myself.  I know that makes me sound like I’m one brick shy of a load after all the things that I’ve already shared and maybe I am, but I also know that I’m flesh and blood with a heart that pumps syrup through my veins.

What saddens me the most is that I can’t pull the good parts that belonged to *Jon* out of the air and keep them with me and let the ugly parts float away.  The sad fact is that I had to take my heart and run.

I thank all that is good that these seemingly never ending moments of deluded memories are trumped by visions of the undeniable truth that he is a broken man that neither I nor anyone else can fix. His capacity for carrying goodness is tainted and there is no point of return to reference.

Because of the battle that takes place in my mind, I have to force myself to search out and see the brokenness of my children and the unwarranted guilt that they carry over the events that led to our final run for freedom. I have no choice but to counter that longing for his carefully constructed illusion with the lies, the condescension, the cruelty, the hate, the battering and the never-ending pain that resulted from it. Of all of the things that I have to remember and relent to, I have to remember and relent to that.

 

Whatever you do, wherever you are, whatever you think, when the longing for that illusion of love creeps in I hope you join me and choose to “Remember That.”

Side note:

Some folks think it’s unrealistic to strive to maintain my sense that good lives in everyone, that the road paved with a healthy amount of cynicism is the safest road to take.  Is there such a thing as a healthy amount of cynicism? Anyway, I have not one scintilla of a desire to be cold, hard and overwhelmingly disparaging, but I’m finding that to be a difficult task and if one such healthy balance does exist I hope I find it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1 Comment

Almost Forgot……


Say No More

Tap on the poster and go right to the link or reblog, retweet, FB or all three.  🙂

There is only one way to break the silence and bring this ever growing nightmare to the forefront of the minds of others and that is to SPEAK out in the capacity that we can.

 

 

 


9 Comments

Say No More


April is No more to sexual assault month.  Please feel free to reblog, retweet, FB or all three.

There is only one way to break the silence and bring this ever growing nightmare to the forefront of the minds of others and that is to SPEAK out in the capacity that we can.

Say No More

Say No More


16 Comments

No More


Love ya’ll.

Please feel free to reblog, retweet, FB or all three.

There is only one way to break the silence and bring this ever growing nightmare to the forefront of the minds of others and that is to SPEAK out in the capacity that we can.

Say No More

Say No More


42 Comments

Do Ya’ll Want To Know The Truth?


The day before my escape from the war zone that had been my life, I ran to my neighbor’s house with my children for safety.

The week prior to my court date I asked my neighbors to testify to what they’d seen.

Their answer?

“It ain’t none of our business, we remain neutral.”

My 12 year old son had to testify, because of course, I’m crazy.

Three months before abandoning EVERY fuckin’ thing, social workers were sent to our home to determine why our children hadn’t been to school.

His reply?

“I worked Black Ops, I don’t even exist. I know ya’ll have an agenda here, I’m a human lie detector, now what are you really doin’ here.”  The only black op he’d ever seen was in his own black soul.

The week prior to my court date I paid a little visit to said social workers and asked them to testify.

Their reply?

We don’t recall any such conversation.

Four months prior to my exodus, I hid in the bathroom to call my dad. I stood next to the door so I could hear footsteps. I didn’t, but he was there, listening to my every word, became enraged and kicked the door in. The door put a gash in my forehead. The phone flew from my hands.

His response?

“I told you your mama’s crazy, look what she did to herself, now she wants to blame it on me.”

My response:

W-A-K-E   T-H-E   F-U-C-K   U-P   P-E-O-P-L-E

You want to save the animals, the ozone, the economy,  the fuckin’ trees and while I agree with all that shit, how about you take into consideration that without the fuckin’ woman there’d be no one here to admire all the other shit you’re tryin’ to save.

Three women are killed by their husband/intimate partner/boyfriend EVERY single day.

LEARN SOMETHIN’ ABOUT THIS SHIT.  HUG A VICTIM INSTEAD OF A DAMN TREE.

 

 

 


15 Comments

Say No More To Sexual Assault Month


Please feel free to reblog, retweet, FB or all three.

There is only one way to break the silence and bring this ever growing nightmare to the forefront of the minds of others and that is to SPEAK out in the capacity that we can.

 

Say No More

Say No More


36 Comments

Trigger Warning


 

 

Does it bother you?

Do you think if you ignore it, it’ll go away?

Do you think abuse is the victim’s fault?

It happens to 1 out of 4 women every day and 1 out of every 6 men are abused daily.

Does that bother you?

It’s probably happening to someone you know right this second.

Does that bother you?

It that is the case, are you complicit by “walking on by” and minding your own business.

That bothers me.

If indeed you walk on by and mind your own business, do you think it’s the victim’s fault?

That bothers me.

Would you rather I not post such graphic content while you watch mindless TV/ Motion Pictures of a disturbingly graphic nature?

That fuckin’ bothers me.

Would you like to know who else it bothers?  EVERY LAST VICTIM ON EARTH WHO GETS TO SEE IT FIRST HAND.

 

 


14 Comments

Say No More to Sexual Assault Month Begins Today


I will be making this post everyday for the rest of the month as April is No more to sexual assault month.  Please feel free to reblog, retweet, FB or all three.

There is only one way to break the silence and bring this ever growing nightmare to the forefront of the minds of others and that is to SPEAK out in the capacity that we can.

 

Say No More

Say No More


23 Comments

Versatile Blogger and Very Inspiring Blogger


Versatile Blogger

Versatile Blog

I was nominated a while back by belsbror for the Versatile Blogger Award as well as the Very Inspiring Award.  If you have never read his blog you should go check him out.  His blog is awesome.

I am very honored and at a loss for words.  I want to thank those who read my blog and I pray that the words I share will in some way help others to be aware of the damaging effects of Domestic Violence and most of all I hope they help others to see they are not alone.  They have a voice and are free to share it.  I will listen.  I promise.

My nominees for both awards are:

http://sweetmarie9619.wordpress.com/

http://wonderfulshantelle.wordpress.com/

http://betternotbroken.com/

http://soulhealingart.wordpress.com/

http://onewayhealthier.com/

Very Inspiring Award

Very Inspiring Award


52 Comments

Yellow Roses


Yellow Rose Buds

Yellow Rose Buds

The yellow rose represents the sun, warmth, and friendships.

Last night I had a dream about yellow roses growing up from a concrete slab. I reached out to them to admire their beauty. My immediate thought was of the magnificent hearts at the Cut-Throat Clubhouse and the care we have for each other.  A new beginning beautifully hewn with delicate roses through our concrete prisons serves as a reminder that beauty springs from cold, dark places.

I am lost

At a loss

For real words

To express myself

Exactly the way

I really feel

Without the shedding

Of a tear

Ten thousand tears

A fountain flowing

Cannot control

Falling down

The darkest hole

Cannot run

Cannot hide

From the pain

That lives inside

A dream awakes

My darkened mind

Of yellow roses

At my side

Without thorns

In concrete slabs

In strength they grow

From tiny buds

I reach for them

And their love

Their Sunshine warms

They light the way

They lead me out

I live to fight

Another day


26 Comments

Quintet of Radiance


Picking up the Pieces  authored by Amy Thompson also found on twitter @AMarie nominated me for the “Quintet of Radiance award.  Amy is an unmovable advocate and support for domestic violence victims and survivors.  I am truly honored.  If you haven’t met her already please go by and pay her a visit.  You will be welcomed with opened arms.  Chances are, she has already found you.

According to the rules for accepting the award.  I must choose a word that describes me using the Alphabet.  A challenge for sure.

A-Activist

B-Blessed

C-Charitable

D-Decent

E-Engaging

F-Forgiving

G-Generous

H-Honest

I-Improved

J-Just

K-Kind-Hearted

L-Loyal

M-Merciful

N-Nurse

O-Open-Minded  (daughter says sometimes 😉  )

P-Playful

Q-Quirky  (says my daughter 😉  )

R-Responsible

S-Strait Forward

T-Trustworthy

U-Understanding

V-Valuable

W-Witty  (my daughter chose this one; I obliged)

X-Xtra-Special (made that one up   🙂   )

Y-Young’un (according to Lance)

Z-Zealous

My nominees are:

afterthepsychopath.wordpress.com

behindthemaskofabuse.com

Unload and Unwind

The Phoenix Again

The power of silence

Lady with a truck

My life a day journey

Finding my inner courage

nomore.org


16 Comments

No More Week


This week is no more week.  I’m asking sister survivors, fellow bloggers and friends to please help spread the word and stop the violence.  You can follow nomore.org on twitter @nomoreorg and FB.

Let’s join the thunderclap.  Raise awareness, raise your voice and stop the violence.

I say no more because for 19 years I didn’t.  This silence was a detriment to myself and my family.   It is my duty as a survivor to help others realize and understand domestic violence is a cancer that will continue to proliferate and destroy the very fabric of our society.

Why do you say no more?

nomore.org

nomore.org


13 Comments

Huffington Post Update on Paid Leave for DV Victims


In January Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to protect domestic violence victims from being evicted for frequent calls to the police. But when the Senate took up the bill on Tuesday, Republicans attached controversial language to the bill that would prevent city and county governments from passing paid or unpaid leave legislation…….

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/12/pennsylvania-paid-leave_n_4951673.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

What will they think of next?  SMH

Here’s another politician to shake your head at:

http://huff.lv/1h3cK0V


28 Comments

Lean In


Family

Family

I made a post a while back describing an incident I’d had with Jon in 2010 resulting in right arm paralysis. An all-out military assault of MRI’s, X-rays, poking and prodding rendered an ugly diagnosis. The physical therapy department had become a second home and the pain nearly insurmountable. When asked to describe the pain, the words always fell short. A brachial plexus injury is a devastating and crippling injury from which many never recover. Thunder and lightning had taken up residence from my neck rendering the arm and hand useless. The pain was a special kind of horror; however, the complete and utter betrayal in its ability to function caused the most heartache.

Working tirelessly, wearing a special *contraption* and the unwillingness to accept this as a permanent disability excited the required drive to beat the prognosis. Following nine months of intense therapy, function slowly returned and the pain receded. Unexpected jerking movements resulted in dropping, or randomly flinging whatever object I was trying to control across the room. The unadulterated hilarity of the Freddy Krueger splint coupled with the identified object and its unidentified destination kept me sane.

Fortunately, I retired the splint to the Freddy Krueger hall of fame, however, the daily exercise and muscle stretches continue to this day.

Last week started like any other abnormal, PTSD ridden week with a twist of bitterness and a healthy dash of straight up disgust. However, Wednesday’s flavor of the day changed rapidly from vanilla to rocky road when a sudden severe onslaught of sharp pains traveled between my shoulder blades. The excruciating pain and inability to breath drove me straight to the MD. He examined me thoroughly and had me carted off to x-ray where they discovered I had multiple fractures in the vertebral body of my spine.

Dazed and confused, I proclaimed the impossibility of the situation, followed by a ‘what the hell are you trying to say’ stare. There had been no hideous falls or car accidents; therefore, I was hard pressed to come up with a plausible explanation for the injury.

It was obvious the Doc had been in deep thought over the cause of the injury before spilling the diagnosis onto my lap. It would appear, to the best of my understanding, that there had been significant damage to the cervical and thoracic vertebrae in 2010 along with the brachial plexus injury. The vertebral body had developed multiple stress fractures last week for reasons I cannot explain causing the severe pain I am currently experiencing.

Once I returned home, drugs in hand, shaken to the core with anger, and weeping like a newborn baby, I headed for my room. I could not hide the tide of emotions from my children and of course, they followed in behind me. It pains me that my children are forced to see me in this state. Once again, I failed at being the rock, the fortress they need. However, they do not complain, they are champions. They each take time to lean in, give me hugs and whisper in my ear, “I love you.” I do not have to ask, they instinctively act. When they least expect it, I lean in, give them hugs and whisper in their ear “I love you.” They do not have to ask, I instinctively act.

We are a family, strengthened by our past, weathering the storms of the present, and reaching into the future as we learn that we already instinctively know what it means to lean in.


14 Comments

Social Media Safety for DV/Stalking Victims


Here is a list of some things you can do to try to stay safe:

  • For any account that you create, use a strong password that no one could figure out and keep it private.  To read more about this, please see What safety steps should I take even if I think the abuser does NOT have access to my email account?
  • Limit the amount of identifying information you use, like your birth date, address, full name, etc. (This step can also help prevent identity theft.)
  • Be careful about what you post!  Consider the articles you post to your profile, the pictures you put in an online album, or any status updates that indicate where you are at the moment (such as “checking in” at a restaurant) or where you are headed (such as a vacation destination).  These types of posts can reveal a lot about you: your interests, your whereabouts, and your future plans, which can lead to someone finding you.
  • Log out of your account by clicking “log out” after each session on your social media page.  Do not simply close the browser, as it does not always log you out of your account, which would then be viewable by any other user of the computer.

womens.law.org


4 Comments

I’m A Member of the Cut-Throat Club


Thank you Americana Injustica for inducting me into The Cut-Throat Club.  I can say with complete clarity that you are a force to be reckoned with and I look forward to joining voices with you here at WP.

Americana Injustica, founder of The Cut-Throat Club is a fighter kick ass survivor.  Her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. 


57 Comments

Silence Is Deadly


http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=death%20clock&pc=conduit&ptag=A8FE4BCE7BDDC43E78BF&form=CONBNT&conlogo=CT3210127#view=detail&id=31FCA0540D1DE21718F3F1445A01A8A469D4C71F&selectedIndex=6

Silence is Deadly

As a newborn, you cry loudly with your first breath and grip your mother’s hand for the first time; your first bond continues its formation. As an infant, you absorb the world, learn and grow. You learn to roll over, pull up, crawl and walk. Your first birthday is celebrated with grandeur. Your relationships expand as you explore your great big world. You change, adapt and weave yourself into friendships.

Your voice is heard.

At 13, you are officially a teen. At 16, you are now a licensed driver. At 18, you are now officially an adult and graduate from high school and go to college.  At 21 you can go to a bar or club, join the military and vote.  At 22, you graduate from college, get your first job, and become a contributing member of society.

Your voice is heard.

In this short span of time, every achievement is met with jubilance; shouts from the mountaintops pierce the veil of silence as you are celebrated for each accomplishment. Acceptance is your reward.

Your voice is heard.

You have discovered right from wrong, the things that are accepted, and the things that are not. You have experienced, in relationships with others, that some will thrive and some will fail. You will feel the sting of rejection, heartache and pain. You will know what it is to succeed as well as fail.

Sometimes silence is preferred.

Failure elicits disappointment while ability is met with credence. Grievances, undoubtedly meet with disdain, while molding into your surroundings connects with respect.

Silence is beneficial.

You never desired to see the person you confide in reflect any sort of disappointment or derision.  You never made it your life’s mission to display your dirty laundry, your insolvencies or your mistakes.

You are silent.

Tell me, when you feel intimidated, do you speak up? When you are bullied is speaking out your first course of action? Let me ask you this. When the one you love and trust, the one you give yourself to with complete abandon tells you that you are no one, nothing, mental or unstable, do you believe them? I mean really, you have never known this degree of evil.  Will you be able to recognize it when you see it?  Are you confused?

Silence.

In any case, let’s bring the deadliest enemy to the forefront. Suppose you have voiced resistance to intimidation, bullying, shame, violence, hurt or pain, did your confidante really listen? Did they believe you? Did anyone offer viable solutions?

Silence is solidified.

Your heart, mind, body and soul is caged like a wild animal and you reciprocate by acting like one. You know nothing but obedience or reprisal. No one hears your cries of desperation; they turn a blind eye and may even take the side of your captor out of fear of retribution themselves. Your life’s spirit now sucked from you and into the vacuum of a soulless being, you give up the fight.

It is now time to die by either his hands or your own.

Silence is deadly.