Stereotypical Palaver


Over the past few weeks, information has been swirling around and hitting at strange angles. Seems stereotypes are all the buzz. More like buzzkill, to be honest.

Brass BellThe Kay Marie Sisto Memorial Walk began with a bell-ringing for all of those who were survivors or those who wanted to ring in memory of loved ones harmed or killed by domestic violence. Many mothers rang the bell for their daughters.

I rang the bell. For once in my life, I was not the exception to the rule. I rang it because I am a survivor. The ring was not for my solidarity with all the other survivors. Instead, it was a clearing of all the debris which naturally accumulates from domestic violence.

As I walked away from the bell, I thought about all those who were harmed by my victimhood. My grandparents. My parents. My siblings. My daughter. My unborn child. My friends. My employer. I could have rung the bell for more than 100 people before I got out of my immediate sphere.


Domestic violence is not between two people. Ever. Regardless of the minutiae, domestic violence touches all our lives. No one who will read this does not know at least one person affected by domestic violence. You either are or were a victim; you have a relation who is or was a victim; you work with someone who is or was a victim; you know the child of a victim; or you know or are or were an abuser.

Have you noticed the lack of gender? There is a reason. Battered women get the bulk of the news coverage. Battered men are dismissed as cowards or weaklings unable or unwilling to stand up for themselves. It is not true.

Psychological Warfare

Everyone can see the bruises, the casts on appendages, the bloodied faces, the disheveled hair, the torn clothing, the swelling, the tears. What you cannot see behind the haunting eyes is the destruction of self which led to the physical marks you can see.

Abusers are power brokers. Their currency is ego. No, not the grandiose inflation of their own sense of self; that comes as a perk. The ego they break into stackable coins is the sense of self which they should be building, coddling and supporting in their victims. Yes, victims. Each abuser gets a measure of power from all of the victims in the periphery.

357 BulletWhen a woman accuses a man of cheating because he is late coming home, he will cut short outings with the children to avoid her ire. The children are punished as a result of her accusations and what she deems necessary to prove the negative.

357 ShellWhen a man accuses a woman of choosing her family over him, she will withdraw from them. The family is punished with her absence because his demands are for all of her attention.

BulletWhen a wife tells a husband he will never be more than the paycheck he can bring home, he will forfeit his ambition and dreams of a better corporate future. He believes if he would gamble and lose, she would be right. Want to wager on where the world would be if he tried?

357 CartridgeWhen a husband tells a wife she will never be valuable to anyone but him, she will stop growing emotionally and focus on mastering the things she does for her husband. She believes if she can do what he needs, he will never leave her unloved. Want to tell her different?

These happen between same-sex couples in precisely the same manner.

Abusers use their victims’ love and desire for acceptance to destroy ego. In the end, victims truly believe were it not for their abusers, no one would ever love them.

After the exhaustion of the emotional abuse, the physical abuse begins. The victim does everything the abuser wants emotionally, sacrificing anything which resembles ego. All which remains is physical domination.


Abusers choose the peacekeepers as victims. Peacekeepers view their own discomfort (emotional and physical) as a fare to pay in lieu of their partners’ abuse of those they love.

There is no personality stereotype to the peacekeepers. They are meek, brash, soft-spoken, loud mouths, silent voters, activists. They come in all body styles, ages, races and both genders.

What do they have in common?

They care.

They are protective.

They are self-sacrificing, especially for the greater good.

They are the kind of people we want our children to grow up to be.

As we strive for a more sensitive generation, are we creating prey for abusers? If not, how not? If so, how do we stop it?

If you are in an abusive relationship or need to get help for someone who is or if you have been sexually assaulted, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit their site.

US: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) TYY (800) 787-3224

UK: 0808 2000 247 Website

Australia: 1800 RESPECT (727 732) Website

Canada: (800) 363-9010 Website

International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies (100 languages)

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  1. Thank you for this post, Red. I am a survivor, and my children are the survivors of an emotional abuser, too. They are grown and free and are strong and well. I only hope and pray there is no abuse in their households.

    Gail Thornton recently posted..The Girl in the Iron Lung Giveaway on GoodreadsMy Profile

  2. This is informative. I think some people are caught in abusives situations and they don’t even realize it, or they somehow rationalize it away. I have had some come to me over the years in ministry in that awkward place where they somehow think it is alright. It can be hard to turn the corner, but once they do you can see the chains fall off.
    Derek Mansker recently posted..Sin’s Ugliness vs. God’s GraceMy Profile

    • More people rationalize it. Many grew up with it and thought it was the normal course of relationships. You are right about the chains. It is so wonderful to see them slide off in pieces.

  3. Thank you my darling sister. This is so well done, so perfectly defined, how it goes how it works and why.

    As survivors, we do not always see the ripples our acceptance causes. Not until long after the fact. Yet they are there and sometimes the scars last long after we have left the room.

    • The hardest thing for me was seeing the equivocating my daughter tried when it was her turn at bat. I am so grateful it was short-lived, but regret it had to happen at all. xxx

  4. Abuse always casts a wide shadow and probably affects many more people than we acknowledge. It should have long ago been vanquished, but it probably never will be.
    Binky recently posted..The More You KnowMy Profile

    • I truly hope we can begin raising generations who stop this nonsense. Our education seems to be badly aimed. Society wants to teach adult women. I want to teach children what not to do. Until we are doing that, it will never die out.

  5. Thanks for this.

    If there had been help ‘out there’ for my mother and my siblings then I wouldn’t have suffered a tenth of the abuse I went through with my father who only knew how to dominate, kill and destroy.

    Walking out on him was the gutsiest thing I ever did and even to this day I have to be wary when out in the street because he has sworn to kill me on sight for ‘defying him’.

    Of all our extended family only my brother Keith has forgiven him and so dad has stolen our grandmother’s legacy to bribe Keith and his family.

    Harold is a bully, a coward, a liar and a thief who does not deserve to have a family.

    The only reason he did not kill me when I was a child was because mum stopped him choking the life out of me after I suffered an industrial accident while working part time during the school holidays and was unable to defend myself.

    He has not changed his attitude and continues to lie, dominate and bully anyone who is vulnerable and has something he wants.

    I do not think he’ll ever change… πŸ™

    Love and hugs.


    Survivor and proud of it.
    Prenin recently posted..Wednesday – Power Outage.My Profile

    • I have found abusers in advanced age reach out to their victims for love and support before they die, thinking if they get forgiveness they can forget the past. There is a large reason I do not tell my story. It does no good to put myself through the hurt of the past. It does my soul good to teach others how not to be sucked into what I was, how to find those to trust, how to escape and survive.

      • Good! πŸ™‚

        I’ve tried to help others too only to see them go back when their abuser swears he/she has changed and see it carry on all over again as it did with my mother.

        The worst part is that I have seen women break off toxic relationships only to find a guy with the same mindset and go back into a cycle of abuse and apologies. πŸ™

        I know what it does to their kids, but they really believe that they can get no better partner because they don’t ‘deserve’ to… πŸ™

        Love and hugs!

        Prenin recently posted..Wednesday – Power Outage.My Profile

        • That, Pren, is where empowerment is not about the things a woman (or a man) can accomplish others can see. It is showing them the power is inside them and how to release it.

          Abuse, giving and taking, is a mindset. For me, the sadness comes when the children ask the parent to abandon the relationship. Parents have this screwed up notion two abusive people together are better than one quasi-normal person on their own.

          • Lord ain’t it the truth! πŸ™

            I’ve seen single mothers bring up their kids well despite everything and couples who should have separated years ago for the sake of all concerned.

            I guess there are no easy answers, but I swore I’d never be the monster my sperm donor is and I know that I’m loved because of it! πŸ™‚

            Love and hugs!

            Prenin recently posted..Wednesday – Power Outage.My Profile

  6. My husband has never abused me physically, but I will have emotional scars that will never go away. I am not a victim though, I am a survivor.
    Wendy Reid recently posted..30 Day Challenge: Day 2My Profile

  7. This was REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to read.
    Not surprisingly, it made me cry (since I do so much of that lately) – for about a thousand reasons that somehow twist and turn and mutate into one reason in the end.

    Beautiful and powerful.


    Love you <3
    Candy recently posted..Flash in the Pan – ForkMy Profile

    • Sometimes it is difficult to look through the 20/20 glasses at the past. Chin up, my sweet. You survived. You have the opportunity to teach your Chickens. I love you. xxx

      • You are so correct. Looking back isn’t always fun, but it is a reality I am finally starting to delve into, you know, the “no sugar on top” version that doesn’t feel so great to admit to.

        And yep. I survived and my Chickens will be all the better for it.

        Love you, too <3
        Candy recently posted..Flash in the Pan – ForkMy Profile

  8. Melissa

     /  June 7, 2013

    abuse can come in so many forms… some don’t even know it’s happening… it’s good to talk about it so everyone knows just what it is and how it is effecting them… thx for doing your part

    • Welcome to M3, Melissa. Many have no idea it is happening to them until they are deep into the game. So glad you joined the discussion.

  9. Red, I admire you beyond words, for your spunk and courage and your clear-headed and uncompromising way with words. Bravo!

    • Thank you, Luci. Everyone we can reach will make the world a better place. xxx

  10. Excellent post, Red. I too am a survivor of abuse, and well as my children. One of them still suffers from PTSD as a result.
    The words you shared will hopefully open up the eyes to many victims, and call the numbers you have provided. I know, I’ve called numbers like these in the past, and they are a tremendous help…if one takes the advice and help.
    Deb recently posted..Flash in the Pan: ParboiledMy Profile

    • I cannot wait until the time when we do not need numbers because we have taught all our children not to engage in this sort of behavior. Bravo on the courage to get free for yourself and your children. <3 xxx


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