What can you do to reduce Domestic Violence?

What can you do to reduce Domestic Violence?

Yes I do think it’s everyone’s responsibility to help prevent and reduce Domestic and Family Violence.

How do you do that?

🔹 By educating yourself on what abusive and controlling behaviours are.

🔹 Observe your own actions and reactions to better understand your emotions and feelings. It’s ok to feel angry, frustrated, sad, upset, disappointed. Your emotions are valid because they are yours but it is never ok to bully, intimidate, provoke, lash out or degrade someone else because of the way you feel.

🔹 Learn to self regulate your emotions and come up with strategies that work for you instead of lashing out. This could be walking away, spending 5 minutes doing deep breathing, turn the music up and dance. Do anything that makes you feel good and raises your vibration because it is never ok to make someone else feel like garbage because of the way you feel.

🔹 Calling out those who display them especially if they are close friends or family members. Don’t turn a blind eye or develop selective hearing if you witness your brother or sister, cousins or best friend say something mean and derogatory. Tell them it’s not cool. Pull them up on it in a respectful and tactful way to cause them to think about their behaviour.

🔹 Post DV support numbers on your Facebook. You never know who in your friends list is experiencing DV and may hold onto that number ‘just in case’

🔹 Prevention is much easier than healing and therapy later so teach your children about resilience and self esteem and confidence for it is insecure people who degrade and bully another human being in order to make themselves feel better or more superior.

🔹 Teach your children that if they feel a tight uncomfortable feeling in their belly’s in response to something someone has said or done that it’s their body’s instinct and gut feeling. They should pay attention to that and trust it. They can say Stop, I don’t like the way that makes me feel.

🔹 If your child hears someone say Stop, I don’t like the way that makes me feel teach them that they need to respect that and stop the behaviour. They don’t get to assume how it makes someone feel or determine that person is just sensitive and over reacting. They need to stop. Period.

🔹 Offer non-judgemental support to anyone who opens up to you. You may not be a professional but you can be caring and supportive. Pass on numbers and local support services. Understand that leaving isn’t easy, in fact it is often the most dangerous time in a relationship for a victim and their children.

And always remember that you are important, you are enough and you can make a difference 💜

Life after Domestic Violence

Life after Domestic Violence

While you’re living in fear, being controlled, degraded, assaulted, abused and isolated it can feel like a hell that will never end. Domestic Violence presents physical, emotional and mental pain that changes who you are and changes who you were going to be. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

I’m out now. I’m 7 years out after being in my relationship for 14 years. And the biggest mistake I made was thinking my life would be ‘normal’ once I left. There is nothing normal about my life as I know it now. But it certainly isn’t the hell that I once endured.

Acceptance

I had to learn to accept what I lived. It happened. It was done. I couldn’t change it. Ever. I had to understand and fully accept that it wasn’t my fault nor did it have to define me. I was free to choose what happened next and what to write in my next chapter. I could make different choices on how I wanted to live my life. And then followed through with those new choices because I accepted that I could.

Professional help

Over the years I’ve engaged counsellors, psychologists, doctors, alternative practitioners, medication and lots and lots of personal development reading and support. It has been imperative in my healing journey that I spoke out loud to professionals. Not to relive my past or the traumatic events in detail but to help me gain perspective and gather my thought processes together. To help me learn and develop strategies to calm my negative thoughts, to ground myself, to be mindful and present. I allowed others to support me and hold space for me while I activated my own healing mechanisms and processes.

Healing

I had to be proactive about my healing. I had to do the work. I continue to do the work. I meditate, write, journal, rest, read, listen to my body and my inner guidance. I walk barefoot on the Earth, I exercise, I drink water. I practise self-care by booking massages and getting my hair done. I try not to feel guilty or shame myself if I eat ‘bad’ food. I say no when I need to. I take steps back from negative and toxic people around me to protect my own energy. I do what’s best for me, most of the time. I acknowledge it’s a never ending journey and I remind myself that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination.

Share your story

Silence hides violence.Tell your story. Write your story. Help yourself by helping someone else. People think they’re alone until they hear about someone else’s story. You could make a real difference and help change someone’s life by sharing your own story. You could make another human being feel seen and heard. You could spark their own power to get help and begin their healing journey. You could inspire someone else to tell their own story. There is power in the spoken word. There is great power in telling your story and being heard.

Through my acceptance, professional help, healing and sharing my story I have grown confidence and self worth I never thought I’d ever have. There is a peace and happiness inside that I never knew was possible. And I’m so grateful to be alive to use my voice and tell my story..

Children of Domestic Violence. They know.

Children of Domestic Violence. They know.

I always thought I was hiding the arguments, my crying, the tension, bruises and marks from my children in the beginning.

They were too young, right?

They didn’t understand, right?

It hurts less when we think they don’t know or don’t understand.

I’d convinced myself of that.

When my ex pushed a knife towards me with my young son laying next to me in the bed I was certain he was asleep.

He didn’t move.

He didn’t flinch so he had to have been asleep.

I even wrote about the incident in my book maintaining that he was asleep.

After a family psychology session a few months ago he said quietly to me

“You know how you always thought I was asleep when Dad had the knife? I was awake. I pretended I was asleep. I remember it.” 😢

They know more than we realise.

They feel more than we think.

They understand more than we know.

Why I Stayed and where to buy it

Why I Stayed and where to buy it

True story of a Domestic Violence relationship. I once believed the only way I’d get out of my relationship was in a body bag. I wrote this book to assist my healing and to answer the question I was asked most often “Why did you stay for so long?” I hope to create awareness of abusive relationships by telling my story of how it began, why I stayed for as long as I did and what I had to do to start the healing process. It is my vision to educate some and give hope to others. This is proof that there is life after Domestic Violence

Here are some direct links or there’s an option to buy direct from me if you’re in Australia – no additional postage costs, no waiting times.

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/s/Why+I+stayed+lisa+Lee

https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/why-i-stayed-lee-lisa/p/9781925993219?zsrc=go-nons&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2sjaqpe45AIVgwsrCh38sg2WEAQYASABEgJVgfD_BwE

https://www.booktopia.com.au/why-i-stayed-lee-lisa/book/9781925993219.html

Or if you’re in Australia you can buy direct from me for AUD$15 and I’ll post it same day to you

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/shoppingcart?flowlogging_id=c150a64f427c0&mfid=1567635133808_c150a64f427c0#/checkout/openButton

Thank you for supporting the awareness of DV and empowerment for life after.

My Story

My Story

I was 15 when I met him. It was my first relationship. I was in a pretty bad place in my young years and it felt safe and comforting to be with someone. To begin with, there were no alarms bells. No red flags. I didn’t know any different.

Gradually the name calling stepped up. So did the mental abuse in the form of telling me no one else would ever want me, making me feel useless and worthless. Blaming me for everyone that went wrong Things were always my fault. He’d tell me he wouldn’t say the things he did if I wasn’t so stupid.

And still, I didn’t know what Domestic Violence was. The term wasn’t in the media. No one spoke of it. I actually didn’t learn what Domestic Violence was until about 11 years later. I didn’t know it was a thing, I just knew it was a horrible way to live.

By the time I understood I was living in a Domestic Violence relationship, I felt stuck. I had no self-esteem, no self-confidence and after being with him since I was 15 years old, I didn’t know any other life. I was terrified of being on my own. I was terrified of being a single Mum. And I was also terrified he’d actually kill me and my family if I ever left, like he’d threatened for so many years.

Arguments got physical sometimes, but it was the mental abuse that still haunts me. I’d will him to hit me sometimes. Because in my mind the episode would be over on the spot. The arguments and screaming and blaming and threats could go on for hours. And they never let up. I wished so many times he’d just hit me or knock me out so it was over. But instead I sat in my own home constantly in fear, constantly crying, hating life, hating myself.

Bitch, whore, slut, dumb fuck. Those words have lost their meaning to me these days. But what remains is the way I was made the feel. The eggshells I walked on. The fear of setting him off or doing something wrong. Feeling like I couldn’t do anything right or that nothing I did was good enough.

It took an allegation of cheating (he believed I cheated on him with a friend on a night we went to a social function together), a whole weekend of abuse, damage to my property and then calling me on Monday morning at work, visiting my workplace, more phone calls, threats and believing he would truly kill me this time that I let a work colleague call the police. That phone call started my leaving journey. I was bundled off to the police station to give my statement and apply for an Apprehended Violence Order in between phone calls and verbal threats to myself and my property.

He was charged with intimidation and ordered not to come anywhere near me, my house or my workplace. I was petrified to begin with. My mum and friends stayed at my house constantly because I was too scared to be there on my own in case he came over. I carried my phone to the washing line and slept with my phone in my hand. I only left the house for work and to get essentials. I looked over my shoulder constantly and I wondered if the stress, fear and angst was worth it.

It’s been 7 years now since I left and the stress, fear and angst was worth it. It’s been a tremendous journey. Not without its ups and downs, good times, bad times and downright messy times. But I’m so glad I did because this is a freedom I’ve never experienced before. And it’s a very beautiful feeling.

How to co-parent with an abuser and/or narcissist.

How to co-parent with an abuser and/or narcissist.

Children and shared custody after a mutual separation with an amicable ex-spouse can still be difficult sometimes. But with an abuser and/or narcissist it can quickly become your worst nightmare. Here are several ways to safeguard yourself and your interactions.

Your children’s best interests come first. This might be supervised visits, it might be allowing your children to make their own decision if they don’t want contact but it must be your child’s unbiased decision. If your children do want a relationship with both of their parents then it’s essential to be smart and put some guidelines into place.

Your relationship with your ex and how you feel is not the same as your children’s relationship with their parent and how they feel. Tread carefully when talking about your ex. Nothing negative. No coaching. No instilling thoughts. Your children will have their own memories that they are still processing. It is absolutely okay to engage honestly in a child led conversation but any conversation that begins with “Do you remember that time when…” is best left right alone.

If you don’t have court orders and feel they are a necessity, make an appointment with a legal advisor today. And then, follow the court orders. It is always best to follow the conditions on your court orders to the letter which includes drop off/pick up times, location and by whom. You may ask certain people (such as family members) to be excluded from the change over. If you let a little detail slide here and there you open yourself up to the conditions being disregarded and your ex playing games by being late or bringing along an extra person. “But you changed the location a month ago” is what you’ll hear instead of “I’m sorry I brought Y along despite the court order. I won’t do it again”. This is more about control and power coming into effect and the implications for later on down the track.

If an urgent issue arises such as your child disclosing something or becoming distressed leading up to a change over please seek urgent police and legal advice before making the decision to just not show up. That could quickly turn into a child abduction order.

Write down everything. EVERYTHING. It might feel like a chore to add to your day but you’ll be so grateful you did if you ever do need it in court. Conversations, what he said and she said will matter. Dates and times are essential. Facts only. If it’s not possible to write it down straight away while the memory is fresh, record it in your voice memos or on video until you can transcribe it. Whichever way you choose to do it, if you are dealing with an abuser please, please, please keep records and write it all down.

Devise a safe word or a safe phrase that you and your children can use when assistance is needed. Use something really easy and general so as not to arouse suspicion and heighten any emotions. Something like “Hey, on your way back from the shops could you grab me a Mars Bar?” If you hear your children use this phrase, call the police. If you are doing a drop off or a pick up and you message a friend with that, they will know to call the police. The key is to protect yourself and have a safety plan in place.

The most important thing to remember is that you can’t control their actions and words but you can control your own reactions and words. It’s hard but try not to buy into nasty remarks or emotionally driven comments. An abuser wants to see your reaction. They derive joy from you being flustered, upset or feeling like you’re going crazy. Try to remain calm, don’t enter into any non-child specific conversation and if you don’t feel grounded enough to do drop offs and pick ups ask for the courts to add a condition that someone else goes in your place, someone else goes in your ex’s place or someone neutral is involved instead.

And always, always remember that you are so much more than the way you’ve been made to feel and the words that have been used to hurt you. Stay safe.