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Thursday, 21 July 2011

You may be a million miles away, but you’re still close to my heart.

Pain always seems to pester the nicest, strongest, most inspirational people you could ever hope to meet… have you ever noticed that?


Nice people shouldn’t be nice purely because they know the terrible effects that mean people have on the world.


Strong people shouldn’t be strong purely because they have had to face many fierce battles throughout their lives.


Inspirational people shouldn’t be inspirational purely because the pain they have had to overcome is so immense, you wonder if you could have managed to overcome it yourself, or if you would have just crumbled, if you would have just given up. 


Pain doesn’t seem to affect the cold-hearted criminals, the terrorists plotting to kill thousands of innocent people, the dictators who exploit their country for their own selfish needs… why must pain choose to attack the same, wonderful people that epitomise everything that the human race should (but would never) stand for?


Karma is fairytale. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.


What has me so riled up?


Domestic violence. 


Domestic violence and the insane expectations that parents have for their children.


Over the past couple of months, I’ve gotten “talking” to a girl from Hong Kong on twitter. Every time I’ve chatted with her, she’s been nothing but jokes and inspiring messages. 


But last night was different.


She got one B, meaning she didn’t make the A-honor roll, and her Mum (who suffers from Bipolar disorder) wasn’t pleased. She grabbed a knife, threatened her with it and punched her daughter in the nose. Terrified, she ran into the nearest room and locked herself inside.


You guys should know me by now… This deeply affected me. Here’s someone, a friend whom I’ve never met, and never physically spoken to, who is hurting. Who is hurt. All I want to do is hop on the nearest plane to Hong Kong, climb into that room and act as her shield. No-one deserves to be abused. No-one deserved to be abused by their own family. No-one deserves to be abused by their own family, in their own home.


If your home is not a place of safety and tranquillity, than where is? If your own Mother cannot protect you, than who can? 


The poor girl couldn’t even phone for help, because there was no phone in the room she locked herself in.


When it comes to the child victims of domestic abuse… what can we do to help them? What can they do to help themselves? 


I’m suddenly reminded of a fact that we learnt in P.S.E earlier this year, a shocking percentage of domestic violence victims end up taking either their own life or their abusers to escape from their torment.


She tweeted “I just want to die…”


It makes me annoyed. Not just that there are people out there, right now, putting on a brave face, covering their bruises and lying to people closest to them, merely to protect their abusers, but also that there are people like me, like you, sitting at our computers, with absent minded grins and petty problems, whilst our abused counterparts bleed. Whilst they die. That’s not right. That will never be right.


Her followers huddled round her, tweeting words of support, of concern, but no amount of characters will ever erase the bruises, no amount of “stay strong”‘s will ever cure that girl’s mother of her illness… 


God, I hope her Dad got home…


Parents? Grades are not as important as your child’s love and respect. They try their best.


Kids? Don’t worry about your grades. Your parents just want to see you do well. They try their best.


When young people say that they don’t feel “good enough”, failing to meet their parents expectations of them is one of things they are referring to. 


Here’s a message to the abused:


You are unique, beautiful, intelligent, brilliant and above all, strong.
Don’t you give up. They want to hold you back, but keep on fighting. One day, they’re grip will weaken and you'll break loose... you’ll move on with your life. You could be the president. You could be a superstar. You could be anything you want to be. Your life could equate to something truly extraordinary, something that your abuser could only dream of. Don’t. Give. Up.


You are not just good enough, you are better than you'll ever realise. You might just be the greatest there ever was.


I can’t say that the same for your tormentor.


If you (or someone you know) is being abused, please, check out some hints on what you could do below.


How to help abused friends/family:

  • Listen to them and make sure you are willing to be there if they need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. Domestic abuse can go unnoticed for years because the victim feels as though they have no-one to talk to.
  • Don't gossip or tell anyone that cannot help your friend/relative. This will only make matters worse.
  • Offer them a place to stay for the night/weekend. Allow them to keep an overnight bag in your house so they do no have to go back to their own household to collect items or clothing, as this might be a bad idea if their partner is in an angry or irritable mood.
  • Take them out, even if it's just for a walk or a trip to the cinema. As long as you get them out of the house and get their mind off of the abuse they have sustained.
  • Do not force them to talk to you about their abuse, but ask them to talk to someone, even if it's not you, about it. Make sure that you do not force them into doing so however, the choice to get help must be their own decision.
  • If nothing can be done to prevent the abuse (i.e. Children cannot move out of home, friend cannot break up with partner) then ask the victim to get in contact with the police, or help them do so. It's the most difficult thing to do, but it's sometimes the only option. Reassure the person that they are doing the right thing, and the abuser was wrong to have ever harmed them.
How to help yourself

  • Pack a bag with enough clothes and toiletries to last you a weekend, and hide this in a friends house. If you need to make a quick escape, then this will benefit you greatly.   
  • Do not listen to your abusers pleas for forgiveness. They said they wouldn't do it again, well I'm sorry to tell you, but they would, and if you allow them, they will. It's a problem they have, and they need professional help for it. Once you leave, it may be the warning signs that they need to get help for their problems and get their life in order. Leaving them does not make you weak, if anything, it makes you strong.
  • Get in contact with one of the numbers (or log onto one of the websites) below and get some professional help. You have done nothing wrong. You do not deserve the pain you have put up with. Please, get help.
Childline: 0800 1111
Get Connected (16-25 year olds): 0808 808 4994
Broken Rainbow: 0300 999 5428 / 08452 60 44 60

NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
National Association for People Abused in Childhood
Men’s Advice Line (for men experiencing domestic violence): 0808 801 0327

And remember, you may be a million miles away, but you’re still close to my heart.

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