Imagine being ‘homeless’ on Christmas Day without food, Christmas presents and worst still you have to hide for fear of being killed!
16 years ago at 2.15am I had to flee from a violent husband. I spent that November night freezing in a car till 7am before going to wake my friends next door to me. Two days later I ended up in a Sheltered Housing with my three children who were then three and half years old, two years and 5 months old.
Yes, we spent Christmas in Sheltered Housing away from the comfort of our home without friends knowing where we were for fear that my abuser would find me and kill me. I was fleeing an abusive husband and had to take my children to safety to prevent him abusing them too.
For Christmas that year, my children got presents from Barnados Charity which my Health Visitor brought to us three days before Christmas. For Christmas dinner all we had was rice, I don’t remember if we had any form of meat. For drinks we had just water. There was no luxury of Christmas crackers, pies, puddings, decorations etc.
I didn’t get any Present that Christmas but I was glad to be alive and safe.
This Christmas many women may not be so lucky. Many women will be abused this season even on Christmas Day.
This Christmas as you are buying, giving and receiving gifts and cards remember all those families at war. There will be women and children who have to seek refuge to get away from domestic violence the ‘hidden plague’.
It is good to do something different this Christmas by helping families by donating to Women Refuge Charities, helping out when you can and better still to be there if any woman needs your immediate help while being abused. The immediate help you can offer is to dial 999 and ask for the police when you hear disturbance or suspect a woman is been abused. You can also find out other ways you can help by visiting http://felicityokolo.com/blog/. For more detailed information and tips on domestic violence awareness, coping, surviving and leaving domestic violence, dealing with your emotions, increasing your safety and improving your self-esteem and self-confidence visit http://survivingdomesticviolence.info/ to download a FREE ebook.
Now as a Life Coach, Transformational Speaker and Author working with women, I come across many women who have or are currently experiencing domestic violence. If you are one of them or know someone, I want you to know that help is available: online, offline – Citizens Advice Bureaux, Women’s Aid and in emergency call 999 in UK or 911 if in the US.
Domestic violence ignores all limitations. It is no respecter of age, race, culture, religion or position. In the United Kingdom alone, two women are killed a week by a male partner. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute. These statistics are in accordance with the findings of the Women’s Aid Charity.
Domestic violence is called by many names. It is referred to as:
· domestic abuse
· intimate partner violence
No matter what name you give this ugly violence you must know this one thing. “It is a pattern of controlling and aggressive behaviours from one adult towards another within the context of an intimate relationship.” It can be physical, sexual, psychological or emotional abuse. Financial abuse and social isolation are also common traits that can be found within domestic violence.
In the United States also one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime according to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Also according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), a domestic violence act occurs every 15 seconds in the United States resulting in about 2.5 million women experiencing domestic violence each year. On average three women are killed every day in the U.S due to domestic violence according to The National Organisation for Women.
STAY SAFE THIS FESTIVE SEASON