Events in the news can sometimes be used as teaching moments.
October is the month dedicated to calling attention to ending domestic violence and one member of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence is determined to walk others through her past to empower other women in similar situations.
“I was teaching my children what love looked like, I didn’t give a very good example,” said Maxine who wants to remain anonymous.
Maxine spent ten years of her life in a controlling relationship that separated her from friends and family including her children.
“I always seem to have abusive relationships, like one after another,” said Maxine.
Although Maxine eventually gained the strength to walk away from the abuse, and remarry, she also decided to join the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. DCADV has a task force of women with similar experiences as Maxine who are all involved in the group W.E.A.V.E.R. which stands for Women Empowered Against Violence In Every Relationship.
According to Maxine when people think of domestic violence, it’s often associated with relationships that are bad nonstop. She said they tend to be more confusing and whirlwind romances.
“I did receive more flowers in that relationship then you can ever imagine but what was that about? I think about that now and wonder was that about convincing me that is was wonderful,” Maxine said.
Carol Post of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence said such abuse is a really big problem in Delaware that requires much attention.
“You know from the four thousand hot-line calls that shelters get every year on average to the thousands of the criminal incidents that evolve into partner violence, it’s a huge issue,” said Post.
Domestic Violence is rooted in behaviors that include distrust, jealousy and possessiveness added Post.
“Certainly that can happen for both men and women that that kind of behavior exhibits, it’s not a healthy way to have a relationship,” Post said.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a national survey that revealed one in four women will experience domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime.
In Delaware, surveys conducted in schools show that Delaware middle school and high school girls will even experience domestic violence or witness it.
“You may not know that you know a survivor of domestic violence but you do and it’s really important for everyone to think of it as something they can do something about,” said Post who encourages everyone to take responsibility to be courageous bystanders and not let people make sexist or disrespectful remarks about their partners.
Meanwhile, anyone seeking help from domestic violence can call 302-762 -6110 or 302-422-8058. Callers will remain anonymous
The recent controversy surrounding former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice has heightened awareness too. Maxine also voiced her concerns about that. Click on the link to hear what she had to say about athletes and domestic violence.