THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE
Breaking the Silence of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse, and intimate partner violence (IPV), is a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.
During this month of September the Crisis celebrates healing for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. This started with a walkabout where handouts were given on domestic abuse, violence and sexual assault. The purpose of the walkabout was to educate the community on how this behavior affects the entire county and how to both recognize it and protect you from it.
Being a very small nation, the Bahamas has a very high rate of domestic violence per capita, some of which is reported and most of which is not. Many persons might not know that more than 50% of homicides and deaths are the result of Domestic Violence. Everyone has a right to be treated with respect and not abused or made to submit to violence against their person.
A big road block in solving the problem of Domestic Violence is when victims of the same keep silent and others who know of these circumstances simply ignore the situation. It has even been assumed that individuals simply want to be abused or in an abusive circumstance.
However it has been shown that the cycle of violence is the key factor in understanding why a lot of victims remain in an abusive relationship where they maybe experiencing domestic violence or even sexual assault and abuse.
Healing the Nation
What is the cycle of violence?
The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge. The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship. Each phase may last a different length of time and over time the level of violence may increase.
What does the cycle of violence look like?
A cycle of abuse generally follows the following pattern:
• Abuse – The abuser initiates aggressive, verbal or physical abuse, designed to control and oppress the victim.
• Guilt – The abuser feels guilty for inflicting abusive behavior, primarily out of a concern of being found guilty of abuse rather than feelings of sympathy for the victim.
• Excuses – Rationalization of the behavior, including blame and excuses.
• “Normal” behavior – The abuser regains personal control, creates a peaceful phase in an attempt to make the victim feel in the relationship.
• Fantasy and planning – thinking of what the victim has done wrong how he or she will be punished and developing a plan to realize the fantasy.
• Set-up – the plan is “put in motion.”
A cyclical nature of domestic violence is most prevalent in intimate terrorism (IT), which involve a pattern of ongoing control using emotional, physical and other forms of domestic violence and is what generally leads victims, who are most often women, to women’s shelters. It is what the definition of domestic violence was traditionally and is generally illustrated with the “Power and Control Wheel” to illustrate the different and inter-related forms of abuse. Intimate terrorism is different than situational couple violence, which are isolated incidents of varying degrees of intensity.
The cycle of violence goes can be broken into three main phrases:
• Tension Building Phrase-Woman can sense irritability. Feels she can and must resolve situation. Withdraws from partner. Partner senses her withdrawal. Tension increases. Sometimes a woman may ignite situation to get it over with.
• Explosion Phrase-Shortest of stages lasting from 5 minutes or 5 days. This is usually the stage where the abuse will occur. Abuse ranges from pushing, shoving, kicking, punching, to the use of weapons.
• Honeymoon Phrase-This is the part of the entire cycle where many persons are caught up in the cycle. This makes it difficult to break away from the abuser. During this phrase the abuser usually says, “I’m sorry” and “It will never happen again.” They give assurances of being penitent and regretful. They give you flowers, gifts and usually anything to appease you. The abused gets caught in a cycle of denial of the incident and minimizing the hurt inflicted and they experience.
Due to this repeated cycle many persons are lulled during the honeymoon phase when the persons is acting normal and treating you like a king or queen into believing everything will be ok or it will not happen again.
Many persons have never even been made aware of the following which is the bill of rights as it relates to abused women or anyone who is abused in general.
Bill of Rights for Abused Women or Abused persons:
• I have the right not to be abused
• I have the right to be angry about past beatings
• I have the right to change the situation
• I have the right to request and expect assistance from the police and social agencies
• I have the right to share my feelings and not be isolated from others
• I have the right to be treated like an adult
• I have the right to privacy
• I have the right to leave an abusive environment
• I have the right to express my own thoughts and feelings
• I have the right to develop my individual talents and abilities
• I have the right to legally prosecute an abusive partner
• I have the right not to be perfect
Until more persons speak up about domestic violence and abuse, it will continue and there will be no end to it. It will take both the victims and those who support them to change and break the silence on domestic violence.
No One Deserves To Be Abused
We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to Heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.
If you would like to talk to someone about anything that is bothering you, please call 328-0922 or 322-4999. For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us.
Please support this annual event so we can make sure it is a success and the children have a wonderful time!
THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE
Bully Proofing Your Children
As we are approaching a new school year and are making preparations for our children to go back to school, we must also prepare them mentally and emotionally as we prepare them physically. Having a nutritional and good balanced breakfast and lunch is very important. However ensuring our children have the necessary self-esteem and confidence to succeed is just as vital, so they can progress, learn and be successful in their education. Apart of this is ensuring that our children feel safe, comfortable and happy in their learning environment. This can be in school, church or anywhere our children go to learn, socialize and that contributes to their overall education.
Amongst a number of issues our children can face on a daily basis that can inhibit their growth and development during their educational experience one of the major problems is the problem of bullying and being bullied.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
How does bullying affect children?
Bullying can make kids feel hurt, scared, sick, lonely and sad. Bullies might hit, kick, or push to hurt people, or use words to threaten, tease or scare them. The affects of bullying in a child’s life, if not addressed, can lead them going through life being bullied by others even in their adult life or becoming bullies themselves.
Mark was a happy little boy going into grade four at a new school. He was excited because his family had just moved to a new neighborhood and wanted to make new friends as soon as possible. Mark was not a shy child but was usually very friendly and happy. A month after attending Mark’s new school his mother noticed that his behavior had changed slightly. Instead of the happy loving child she was use to seeing, Mark became very jumpy and isolated.
When he came home from school instead of going outside to play he would usually stay in his room for hours until dinnertime. He never wanted to talk about his day and would just stay to himself. When asked about his friends in school, he would simply say they were ok and end the conversation. After watching him a little longer, his mother decided to visit his school and talk to his teacher about him. Upon further investigation Mark’s mother discovered that he was being bullied. His teacher said he had told her about it, but asked her not to tell his parents.
Just like Mark many of our children experience-bullying daily and do not inform their parent’s of what is going on. As parents we have to be diligent, although life can be very demanding, to ensure our children are happy and safe.
SIGNS OF CHILDREN WHO ARE BEING BULLIED:
Children coming home from school with damaged or missing clothes.
Children who come home with bruises and scratches.
Children having trouble with school work for no apparent reason.
Children deciding to use a different route between home and school or deciding to avoid their usual route.
Children having nightmares.
Children who start to become or feel irritable easily, upset, or feeling emotional.
Thoughts of going to school become terrifying. Child pretends to be sick or just does not want to attend.
PARENTS IF YOUR CHILD IS BEING BULLIED, HERE ARE SOME POINTERS:
Listen to your child-allow them to tell their story. Do not respond by telling then it is a part of growing up.
Children should not have to put up with being hit or assaulted when they go to school. If your child has gained the courage to tell a teacher that he or she is being bullied it can be a crushing blow to be told that you are being silly or the other students were just teasing.
If you suspect that your child is being bullied but is afraid to say anything, find a way to raise the subject or ask one of your child’s friends if something is wrong.
If your child refuses to talk to you, suggest that they talk to another adult such as a family member or a teacher.
If your child discloses that they are being bullied do not rush in demanding to see the teacher, the bully or the parents. Doing that is the very thing that your child fears.
Talk to your child about what they want to happen next. Suggest that they keep a record of the incident so that you would have concrete information to show the school.
Make an appointment to speak to the class teacher or guidance counselor.
The bullying might not stop right away; however, encourage your child to keep being open by telling you what’s going on.
Parents should not give up. Remember that the welfare of YOUR child is at stake.
BULLYING EFFECTS CHILDREN MORE THAN WE AWARE OF…
Bullying consists of the following:
Being teased, or called names.
Being hit, pushed, pulled, punched, or kicked.
Having money or other possessions taken.
Receiving abusive text messages or emails.
Being abused or attacked because of religion, gender, sexually, disability, appearance or ethnic or racial origin.
REMEMBER—BULLYING IN ANY FORM AND AT ANY AGE IS UNACCEPTABLE.
We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to heal our families, communities, nation, world and ourselves.
If your child is being bullied, we can help too. Call THE CRISIS CENTRE 24-HOUR HOTLINE: 328-0922 or 322-4999.
If you would like to talk to someone about bulling, please call us or for more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or email us at email@example.com.