Children of Domestic Violence Champion
I feel very honored to be named a Champion by the Childhood Domestic Violence Association. CDV.org is a great organization working hard to prevent childhood domestic violence, and also to empower current and former victims.
I don’t often talk about the fact that in addition to being abused in my first marriage, I was also a victim of childhood domestic violence. Many people like me who grew up in abusive homes unintentionally choose abusive mates as adults. This is the way domestic violence passes from one generation to another.
For example, when my future husband yelled at me for ordering a sandwich at a “nice restaurant,” this felt normal to me. After all, being verbally abused by my step-dad was a regular occurrence at our dinner table. I should have told my future spouse to “hit the road Jack, and don’t come back.” Instead, I apologized! For what? I didn’t see anything else on the menu I wanted, so I ordered a sandwich. Why did he care? It cost him less than one of the expensive entrees would have cost him.
Later, when he gave me the silent treatment to punish me for something else I’d done “wrong,” I had another chance to escape before marrying him. Instead, this again felt “normal” to me, since my step-dad often gave us the silent treatment when he was angry. When this happened with my fiancé, I bent over backward trying to placate him, jollying him until he “forgave” me. This episode was a precursor to the later years of my marriage. During the last five years of my marriage, he took giving me the silent treatment to a whole new level. By that time, he would stop speaking to me for a MONTH at a time when I did something “wrong.” The last year of our marriage, he didn’t speak to me for an entire YEAR, unless he was raging at me.
If you would like to read the story about how my childhood abuse led to my being abused as an adult, click here.
I invite you to check out CDV’s website. On it you will find:
- A chilling 911 call from a 6-year-old whose parents are “having a fight.”
- The “Change a Life” program, an on-line interactive training program to teach you how to help a current child victim.
- Video and written stories of survivors (including mine). You can add yours!
- The latest research on the effects on children of living in homes with domestic violence.
- Ways you can get involved in fighting this epidemic in the media, and in legislation.
God highly values children. He says in Psalm 127:3:
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:10:
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
Lord, I pray for the millions of children affected each year by domestic violence. Please let them feel your presence. Give them a caring adult they can confide in. Bring healing to their hearts so they can grow into healthy adults who do not pass domestic violence onto their children. Also, Lord, please be with adult victims of childhood domestic violence. Help them to experience healing as well. Help me and CDV.org be a part of that healing. Amen.