Where does the abuse start? Does it start when their insults make you feel vulnerable? Does it start when a fresh bruise appears on your skin? Does it start when the person you love threatens your life? According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, abuse is defined as “a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner.” No matter where or how it starts, it ends here. Last Sunday night at the Grammys, the nation witnessed the incredible and moving speech of Brooke Axtell, a young woman who told her story of how she was abused by the man she loved and how she overcame it with the love and support of the people around her. She says,
"Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone who does not honor and respect you, I want you to know that you are worthy of love. Please reach out for help, your voice will save you ... let it part the darkness, let it set you free to know who you truly are -- valuable, beautiful, loved."
As women, throughout our history, we have been underestimated, abused, neglected, and silenced for our gender. The men who have wronged us found themselves to be the superior gender, which to this day is still passed around as “credible knowledge.” Great women of today fight the men who decide this, because we as women can bring change. However, even the strongest of girls feel attacked and vulnerable through the emotional/physical abuse of the ones they love. I am here, writing this to you to say that you are not alone, nor have you ever been alone. These next generations will be raised in a world where domestic violence shall not exist, nor will any gender have superiority over the other. We will say no, and we shall not accept the violence that our sex has suffered in the past. Because we are strong. And we will not protect those who make us believe that their love is real, when the bruises continue to appear. We are girls and we are women.
It ends here.
If you, or anyone you know, has received physical/emotional abuse from a loved one, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.