Domestic Violence

I am a kind man: Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin

Here is a site I came across on the internet…

I am a kind man…

Taken directly from the site, it says the following:

We are Aboriginal men from across Ontario who are very concerned about the problem of men’s violence and abuse against women in Aboriginal communities. The overall purpose of the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin Initiative is to engage the men of our communities to speak out against all forms of abuse towards Aboriginal women.

1. To provide education for men to address issues of abuse against women;
2. To re-establish traditional responsibilities by acknowledging that our teachings have never tolerated violence and abuse towards women;
3. To inspire men to engage other men to get involved and stop the abuse;
4. To support Aboriginal men who choose not to use violence.

I think this is a great site especially that it appeals to kids, youth, and grown men.

Check it out by clicking on the link above 🙂

A poem dedicated to fear…

This is a poem I wrote after an abusive relationship ended that I was in for about 1.5 years. Before this relationship, I used to be one of those girls that would wonder why girls stayed in abusive relationships, and ask those same girls… “What don’t you just leave?”

An abusive relationship is more than just waking up and leaving the next day. He hits you, calls you names… Then he tells you he is sorry, and will make it up to you. You spend days and nights in bliss and masked happiness. Then, it happens all over again…He hits you, calls you names.

You just hope one day that it won’t happen ever again and that you give him one more chance. You begin to believe that maybe he is right: everything is all your fault. His bursts of anger, really are your fault. You become so broken that you don’t even know what the difference between right and wrong is anymore. You used to believe that violence against women is wrong, but now that you are the one being hit, dragged, pushed, spit on… you believe that what you are experiencing is not as worse as what other women are experiencing–others have it worse. You begin to make excuses for his actions, reasoning with yourself. Yet, little do you know, is that he has you right where he wants you: boxed up, in the corner all alone, no where to go.

I knew that this relationship had a hold onto my life even after it ended. I knew this because living in a small community, we would run into each other every now and then (even if we didn’t want to) and I would experience anxiety each time. My heart would race every time I saw him, and not the romantic-movie-heart-racing type. This would happen even if I thought I saw him, and in the end it was just a stranger that looked like him. I remember one incident, when he came into one of my places of employment. He said to me, “It’s okay, you don’t have to be scared.” Then he smiled at me with a wink. It sent chills down my spine, and still does to recall that incident. He knew. He knew I was scared, and he knew I was still scared of him.

Even after I moved away to a different city, I would sometimes feel my stomach turn over when I see a vehicle that looks like his. I was still scared even knowing that he physically wasn’t around me. Today, I have worked through this hard time and have been able to move forward in a positive direction. This poem I wrote and I dedicated it to fear.

A poem dedicated to fear.

Reaching towards you
In the pitch darkness,
Feeling nothing,
Hearing nothing,
Knowing your there,
Standing,
Watching,
Your eyes piercing,
My chest.
I feel it tightening,
Wanting to run,
Feet glued to the ground.
In one spot,
No where to go,
Fear.

Note: I write this post to anyone who has experienced violence…whether as a witness or a victim/survivor. Male, female. It doesn’t matter. Violence against anyone is wrong. I share my story and my experiences because I want others to know that it is okay to get help, and that any amount of violence no matter how many times it occurs or how many times someone says sorry, Violence is not okay.

John Martin Crawford

Working on an essay on Aboriginal women and gender violence.

I was speaking with another student today at the school about my topic.

He shared with me, this name: John Martin Crawford.

I have never heard of him, until now. He is a serial killer that preyed on young Native women.

Gives me chills that I never heard of him, and I am an Aboriginal woman.

The student said to me before he left, “Makes you wonder why you never heard of him.”

Makes this essay I am currently writing even more important to me.

A Statistic

Seven years ago, I was a statistic. In my sociology notes, I recorded from the lecture that “Aboriginal women under the age 25 years” are considered one of the two groups that is more likely to experience domestic abuse (the other group were women in common law relationships).

It amazes that one ethnic group can outnumber any other group. To me, it raises a lot of questions. The most important question is, however, why?

On Monday February 14, at my school, there will be a presentation that is titled “Remember our Sisters, Stop the Violence.” This presentation, as taken directly from the event page on facebook, asks people to “Join us to commemorate, write letters and demand justice for our indigenous sisters, until the violence stops!” You can visit their facebook event page, HERE.

I planned on going to this event but can’t because of prior commitments. Because I am unable to go to the event, I felt that I needed to do something to remember my past. My past isn’t a part of me but it once was me. I was in an abusive relationship. I thought it was love, but after a year of counseling, I found out that love isn’t hitting or calling someone names. This counseling didn’t completely help me though. I went through a phases. I was confused, lost, depressed, angry, sad….

I went through a year and half of living in this abuse. When I told I tried to tell the police… I was shunned. They turned their backs on me. I was alone in this fight to protect myself.

Today, I am working towards being a better person. A better woman. Feeling like a person. Feeling like a woman again. I don’t want to be a statistic anymore.

I wrote a poem last night. This poem sort of describes my life in the relationship. The poem is kind of repetitive, but that’s how abuse works–it is a cycle that repeats itself.

There are no words to use
That can be used to describe to you
To help you understand
The level of the abuse
That it takes to destroy you
Emotional
Physical
Verbal
Sexual
Take your pick
There are no words to use
That can be used to describe to you
To help you understand
The level of the abuse
That it takes to destroy you
Name calling
Punching
Spitting
Silence
All those hits
There are no words to use
That can be used to describe to you
To help you understand
The level of the abuse
That it takes to destroy you
Because it is the abuse
That keeps you warm
That kisses you
That holds you
That dries your tears
That tells you, “Don’t worry honey,
I can make it all right again.”
Because it is this abuse
That destroys you.