There are as many variations on this story as there are people living it. Yet there are a few common themes that present in most renditions of established intimate partner violence.
a) There may very well be a price when you leave.
b) Getting to that point will likely involve a lot of back and forth
c) Once on the other side of domestic violence, the survivor will feel free, at peace and whole again.
The operative word here is "established." There is a hugh difference between rubbing shoulders with a condition and having it as the wall-paper of your life.
Before the domestic abuse becomes "established" as the relationship interaction MO, there are warning signs, important signals and with that more possibilities.
It is for this reason that we believe the absolute best point of intervention is prevention. Nip it in the bud BEFORE it becomes "established."
Learn the signs of the enigma, before you become a part of it. That is while you can see it objectively, as something outside of yourself rather than as part of you, your patient or your loved one.
How then do we inspire, implement and employ prevention as the cure?
EDUCATION is the key word along with its kin: awareness, information, early detection, formal adolescent curricula education and healthcare provider training.
Whatever you can do whether you are 13 or 63, your job in domestic abuse prevention is your own education or the education of your offspring and their offspring.
Do not wait for the police to police for harmony in your home or the home of your loved ones. Because once they come knocking at the door, much of the damage is underway.
The way to stop this condition from being "established" is the same way we help people avoid "crack." We speak to our young about the horror of drugs and how they are illegal and how they can ultimately destroy you. And the net result of these lessons is less young people walk the road of drug abuse.
The same can be true for domestic violence. If we teach our young about this condition: its early signs; its place in the legal system; and its ultimate consequences with long-term use/involvement, then we prevent the enigma from being a part of our lives.
If you are a parent, a teacher or a healthcare provider, be a mentor on domestic abuse prevention just as you mentor drug abuse prevention. If you are the student, listen and learn so you know what to look for and how to avoid established intimate partner violence.