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 💜

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.