Domestic abuse need not define you!

2014-06-03 07:56

Recent research from the University of South Australia revealed that abuse imposes a day-to-day impact on the lives of women long after the violence ends, including increased financial hardship. The study has found that more than 50% of women changed their working conditions to escape their abuser or because of the low self-esteem it caused, and more than 30% reported making a significant geographical move.

The effects of family violence and abuse do not end when people escape from an abusive relationship but sometimes this impacts on women’s lives much later, particularly on their well-being, health, their working and personal lives.

A recent study in the US, concluded by the journal, Psychology of Violence, included 517 children, of whom 75% witnessed domestic violence, 21% heard it and 3% saw the resulting injuries. Family violence unquestionably cuts across all sections of society and has a grave effect on children. Parents are such large role-players in a child's life. If one parent is endangered, that can threaten a child's well-being. Children get worried that if their parent is in danger, then who is going to protect them. The study also found that 53% of the domestic violence incidents occurred among whites, 20% among blacks, 16% among Hispanics and 11% among other races. Men accounted for nearly 75% of those who committed domestic violence, according to the study. The most appalling discoveries are that less than 2% of the cases resulted in imprisonment. The scars of domestic violence run deep. The trauma can stay with you long after you have escaped the abusive situation. Though the scars of domestic violence and the heartache of a broken relationship may run deep it need not define you. One example of strength and determination is seen in the life of world renowned author J.K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Early in her life she met adversity when she was not accepted entry into Oxford University. Biographers have suggested that she suffered domestic abuse during her marriage, although the full extent is unknown. In an interview with The Daily Express, her ex-husband said on their final night together he had dragged her out of their home at 5 am in the morning and slapped her hard. Only 13 months after their marriage and after she had a miscarriage they separated and Rowling was left to care for their baby daughter, as a single mother, living off state benefits in relative poverty, she left the relationship with three chapters of Harry Potter in her suitcase. In the same year, Rowling's mother passed away, after ten years suffering from multiple sclerosis while she was writing Harry Potter. After the events she regarded herself as the biggest failure she knew. Her marriage had failed and she was jobless with a dependent child. During this period Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression, and also contemplated suicide and the manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel was rejected by 12 publishers. At one point she was left in "despair" after her estranged husband arrived in Scotland, looking for both her and her daughter. She obtained a protection order against him. Soon thereafter the  Potter books won multiple awards, and sold more than 450 million copies worldwide. They have become the best-selling book series in history, and been the basis for a series of films which has become the highest-grossing film series in history. Today she has a net worth of $1 Billion and she is the world’s richest author. The Harry Potter brand has been estimated to be worth as much as $15 billion. 

In her own words:

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

– J. K. Rowling, "The fringe benefits of failure", 2008

What an inspiration to all single mothers. In the words of Mandy Hale, "She has to have four arms, four legs, four eyes, two hearts, and double the love. There is nothing “single” about a single mom.”

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