Are You a Battered Wife Crying in Silence?
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - September 18, 2019 - 12:00am

I felt nauseated upon seeing in the “Oprah Winfrey Show” a woman with a burned face inflicted upon her by her abusive husband. My heart bled for the pain and trauma that she went through. I asked myself how could a husband so physically strong could afford to harm his wife whose strength is no match to his.

How many battered wives in our midst are crying in silence with the pain that they are going through? How many wives and partners are holding on to the relationship despite the abuses that are inflicted on them?

According to Denis Rainey of the American Medical Association, there are husbands and boyfriends who severely assault as many as four million women every year. Many of these women feel trapped, anxious, afraid, and helpless. Some feel that they are to blame for the abuses that they receive. Others don’t know what to do and where to go for help. Most of them suffer in silence, hiding their situations from family and friends because of shame and embarrassment. However, there are also many women who have taken bold and courageous steps to seek help, to find freedom from abuse, and to begin the journey toward a new life.

There are many reasons why women stay in an abusive relationship. Rainey said, “She still loves him. She feels sorry for him and believes that she can help him. She feels the good times outweigh the bad. She believes that if she can work harder to please him, he will treat her better. She believes that she can’t financially support herself and her children. She has the notion that once the batterer is over with his momentary insanity, he becomes the opposite person.  He offers gifts and any forms of cajoling to win her back. He promises that he would never do it again, but in fact he can’t get over his battering nature. A batterer offers myriad of reasons, so the wife would not leave him.”

There are things that battered wives must bear in mind. Rainey enumerates these:

• Do you want to suffer in silence till the end of time? Battered wives must remember that an abusive relationship can cause trauma to their children and can affect the kids’ psyche. Children may develop problems such as depression, anger, and hostility, if they witnessed the battering of their mother. Children from abusive homes often have relationship and marital problems as adults.

• Boys who witnessed their father’s abuses of their mother are likely to become abuser too when they become adults.

• Stand-up and be counted. Defend your right as a human being from any form of injustice.

• Seek outside help and guidance. Do not try to make changes on your own. See a priest, pastor, marriage counselor, friends and others, or even a lawyer. These people are of great help to you. No one can abuse you without your consent. Take a bold step now before it’s too late.

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