Why domestic violence victims don’t leave?

black-backgroundAfter this weeks revealing of the rest of the events in the Ray Rice case, I have heard and use to wonder myself – Why do they stick around, Why did she marry him anyway?  Having an understanding of the answer to this question is key to understanding abuse and the damage that is done.

Here is a link to a TED Talk that really helped me understand and appreciate the emotional and mental process that takes place.  I also came to believe even deeper that the targets of bullying are being abused also.  I talk about this in my bully prevention class  “The Truth About Bullying”.

Why domestic violence victims don’t leave?

The Similarities of Bullying & Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence and Bully Prevention Month.

abuseEveryone needs to be aware of these two very similar and related methods of ABUSE .  In both domestic violence and bullying, certain behaviors are used to control another person. The behavior may occur in either a married or not married situation, it could be heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or living together, separated or dating. The behaviors may be occurring at school with kids or at home between siblings or even parents bullying kids. It even has happened at time with teachers on students. Here is a list of just some of the behaviors that are abusive that could be domestic violence or bullying:

  • name calling or put downs
  • keeping a person away from friends
  • actual or threatening physical harm
  • stalking
  • intimidation
  • sexual assault

Anyone could be a victim.  Abuse that starts as bullying as a child may grow up and either be abused or become the abuser.   It may be male on female, but can be the other way around too or male on male or female on female.

If you are being ABUSED – Remember

  • You are not alone
  • It is not your fault
  • Help is available.

For assistance with bully prevention check out our coaching,  advocacy work, and school workshops.

October: Preventing Domestic Violence & Bullying

There are two awareness campaigns that take place annually in October that are important to creating a culture of peace in our community and the world.  First it is National Bully Prevention Month and second it is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

These two areas of needed awareness contain similarities and can even be related.

Domestic violence occurs when one person believes they are entitled to control another. 
Bullying occurs with a power imbalance and one person attempts to control another. 
Domestic violence may include spousal relationships, dating, children, elderly abuse
Bullying may involve children, adults, elderly, workplace or domestic relationships
Domestic violence may be physical, verbal, emotional
Bullying may be physical, verbal or emotional
Domestic violence victims may become fearful, depressed, withdrawn, confused etc..
Bullying victims may become depressed, physically sick, sleep deprived, anxious etc..
Domestic violence occurs at a higher rate to those with disabilities.
Bullying occurs at a higher rate to those with disabilities.
Domestic violence victims are many times slow to report their abuse.
Bullying victims are many times slow to report their abuse.


Children who witness domestic violence or are abused themselves in some manner, many times will learn the same behaviors and become the bully and or violent with others.  As they grow older those same children may become abusers in dating, spousal relationships, or even with their own children.

Included in domestic violence is teen dating violence, which is one of the major sources of violence in teen life.  Our goal of education in compassion, awareness and respect is needed in these areas of domestic violence and bullying more than ever – if we are to create a culture of peace in our community and world.  In this month ahead, what can we do to educate ourselves and our children on these topics?  Here at Balanced Life Skills I will be talking to our students and writing on our website about violence and bullying.  As always we are here to help families and individual children develop their own place of peace and be compassionate, aware and respectful of others.

Friendship: Manipulation is not acceptable

Here is the story of two individuals that were “friends”.  Their story line goes like this:

When we first met it was like she saw into me soul, I could say anything and everything thing to her we just clicked and it was just amazing!

After some time she started becoming really negative and forceful, she made me feel bad for certain ways I would feel towards the friendship.

Then she would constantly put me down in front of others and shut down my thoughts so she would be the main point of my life and nothing else.

Then I started constantly feeling unworthy of her friendship.

In our conversations she would always tell me how much she liked the friendship of others, making me think that I was a second rate friend.

I stopped talking to her at one stage and she apologized for what she was doing, but then a few weeks later she started acting the same and would put all her problems on me and make me feel bad.

Have you ever experienced this happen in a friendship?  Do you recognize yourself on either side of this description?  When things like this starts to happen in a friendship it is not a good sign.  In fact one of the parties is manipulating the other and this can lead to real damage being done.  There are three different kind of manipulators, those who need to be needed, wants to be in charge or wants to be pitied and manipulates by appearing to be weak.

Anytime manipulation is involve some one gets hurt.  Manipulation can be seen as early in life as in pre-school and the damage begins to take affect immediately.  It can lead to the victims being bully victims later in school and eventually into being victims of abuse in dating or marriage.  Here is a list of signs of manipulation or an abusive relationship.  This may be in a boy / girl dating relationship, marriage or in a friendship at school, the principles are all the same.

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