What do you do when your conversations change from planning a getaway cruise for just the two of you to continual criticism, degrading name-calling and constant yelling?
When sharing your home with friends around the pool enjoying a late cookout with fun and laughter changes to being put out of your home in the middle of the night with your children in their pjs and their world turned upside down?
When sharing an evening out with the girls at the mall shopping, getting your hair done, or visiting with friends turns into isolation from family and friends, being told what you can do, where you can go, and whom you cannot associate with?
When you are outgoing, and your confident personality changes to hopelessness, depression and withdrawal?
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When your joint account at the bank is now his money, he gives you an allowance and whatever your allowance doesn’t cover you have to ask him for, even though you’ve worked throughout the marriage contributing to the financial gain?
When making a quick trip to the grocery store to pick something up for dinner becomes taking a trip to the emergency room for broken bones and bruises and making excuses for your injury?
When you no longer speak with pride about how well the children are doing in school or excelling in sports? You are now visiting the school because your children have developed destructive behaviors and attitudes. They are depressed and have very low self-esteem. Your teenagers are sexually active, experimenting with drugs and alcohol and committing criminal acts. They have learned that violence is an effective way to control others.
What do you do when domestic violence comes to your home? Domestic violence does not discriminate its victims; you may be from any income level or educational background.
The writer lives in Georgetown.