By Subashini Rajasuriah
Domestic violence is one of the worst forms of abuse imaginable. If you are being harassed by strangers, or being bullied and targeted at work, it is a matter of walking out and reporting it to the authorities before things go too far. It may be traumatizing but you are able to disassociate to a certain extent because these names and faces belong to strangers and the altercation soon becomes a distant memory.
But where do you go when the very monsters that hurt you and make you feel unsafe exist within the confines of a space you call home?
Living in fear every waking moment not knowing if today might very well be your last steals any hope that you might have had at a decent shot at life. Sometimes, breathing too loud, or even moving too suddenly is enough to trigger the monster wearing the face of someone you call family.
You could fight back, but if you fail, there is nowhere to run. How can you when you share the very same roof with a monster? So, you end up staying and lying there, taking every beating, and any form of abuse, until they have had their fill. You succeed in winning this battle, but this could be the tipping point that lands you a knife in your chest while you sleep one fine day. The truth that many find hardest to swallow is that when it boils down to it, if you ever chose to fight back, it is kill or be killed.
So, you do what you can to hide all the signs from society – buy longer sweat shirts, wear thicker face makeup, paint yourself to be an absolute clutz so that no one would blink if you showed up with a new injury every other week. You pray that no one notices, for behind your pain and fear, lies humiliation.
Domestic violence, in any form is not something one should experience, and the person who should feel any shame is the creature that takes pleasure in your pain.
As humans, we rely on the layers of our personality as a defense mechanism, but once that has been stripped down to the point of vulnerability, we find ourselves reeling from the trauma, angry and hurt, for being unable to protect ourselves.
The fear that this discovery exposes one’s insecurities and makes them look weak, is an ugly leftover instinct from our times as simpler mammals, that relied on portraying ourselves as tough and invincible for the sake of survival. Amidst all that, many succumb to their fates, with a suffocating numbness believing that there is no way out. This is where we come in. Sheroes.my.
As advocates, we play a crucial role in helping victims of domestic violence receive the resources and assistance they need to move forward as survivors. We believe in speaking up for those who can’t find their voice, and stand by them as they navigate difficult situations and justice systems.
Join us in spreading awareness, so that others out there know they are not alone.
Help them find themselves.
Help them to break free, and come forward to get the help they need.