In light of some recent developments in a friend of mine's life, I really feel like getting this in writing.
I can hear the collective groans from my intrepid readers :)
Domestic violence and abuse is an extremely sore subject with me and never fails to really just tick me off. Slight background on the subject, my dad grew up in an abusive home and I've dealt with enough kids through high school that I'm familiar with the signs and the inevitable escalation that occurs whenever a woman or man gets involved in this situation.
One of my best friends recently became engaged to a man who she's known for several years. I had only met him once before and she was bouncing back from another toxic relationship, (can you see a pattern yet?) one which resulted in my nephew who is now almost two.
It started out great, like always, he was considerate, sweet, caring and then the verbal abuse started. He became aggressive, controlling, and manipulative. He wanted to know who she was talking to, ordered her to not have any contact with any male friends, barely tolerated her talking to my brother. He would bait her into arguments while at the same time talking to other women who were co-workers and just friends. It went from verbal to mental abuse very shortly thereafter, he would belittle her weight, and when she began to lose weight became threatened by this, wanting to keep her on a tighter and tighter rein.
I tried, believe me, I tried my hardest when this all started to convince her that it would end up being physical, she told me that if it ever became physical she would leave him. I told her she wouldn't, that it never happened like that.
Less than two weeks later she calls me while I'm at work asking to talk to me. I was training at the time and told her to stop by. She's crying and tells me that they had gotten into an argument, which resulted in her trying to walk away and him grabbing her hair and yanking her back. This was witnessed by people in the parking lot and the guy nearly got himself stomped.
I asked her then if she believed me yet and she said yes. Unfortunately, the relationship did not end. They "talked" it out, and he swore he would never touch her again. So far, after my conversation with her yesterday, he hasn't. But now, hopefully, she's starting to understand what I tried to tell her three months ago.
It has been so frustrating for me, I deal with people in these situations, more specifically women, I deal with it at work, yet I can't even convince one of my closest friends that she needs to get out of this relationship.
It's definitely opened my eyes to the need for women's shelters and domestic abuse training. I only wish there were more resources.