Q:

Am I Safe?

Am I safe? My husband grabbed my arm and squeezed it hard enough to bruise last week, then got extremely angry with me in the car. I stopped and told him to get out when I saw the look on his face. He's been kicking my Maltese dog and grabbed her by the neck today and threw her off the couch. I promised him I wouldn't leave in my marriage vows six months ago. I'm worried about my relationship with my three adult kids if I leave, having hurt them many times in the past. I feel trapped but don't know how to get out, with no money, job or place to go - or a way to move my stuff either.


A:

Thank you for writing in and sharing. I appreciate your honesty and I hear what you are saying but please know there is nothing more important than your safety and wellbeing and I believe your children would understand if you left if they knew the circumstances. Also in regards to your wedding vows, as important as they are and the intention behind them at the time, they did not include you being abused and having to live in fear. Loving someone does not include hurting them through abusive behaviour.

May I suggest that you consider seeing someone in a professional capacity like a counsellor. You have been through a lot and this will help you deal with it and work through it. I would also like to suggest that you consider contacting a social service agency in your area - you can get contact details by ringing our 0800 456 450 number. Give them a call and share what is happening and they will arrange an appointment for you. They will either be able to help or know how to access help in the areas of support you need.

What is happening to you is not ok and not acceptable and you do not deserve to be treated this way. I do hear what you say about having hurt your children in the past but that doesn't mean you should put up with being hurt and abused. We all have a past and have done things that we may wish we hadn't or hurt someone but again that doesn't mean we should stay in a situation that has the potential to destroy us because that is what family violence does.

I do pose the question "what if you stayed and were seriously hurt?" How would your children feel then? I'm saying this because I need you to know how precious and important you are and that nothing is more important than your safety. I know what it is like to feel trapped, it's not a nice feeling, but please reach out and ask for help as there are many services and supports that will be able to help you.

I wish you well and all the best. If there is anything else I may be able to help you with please don't hesitate to write back in.

Jude

 

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