Page 11 - Chehalis Tribal Newsletter - October, 2017
P. 11

Program helps survivors find their voice

Domestic Violence Awareness Month turns 30 YOU ARE NOT ALONE

By Charlene Abrahamson, your training includes not how I saw love demonstrated Janita Raham, Domestic
Director of Behavioral Health disclosing your own personal with some family growing Violence Advocate can be
struggles. up, that I was stupid and had reached at 360-709-1874,
What is domestic violence? nowhere else to go. 360-789-3627 (cell) and
For the most part, I agree
Domestic violence is the with this because never should I finally told a friend who If you prefer, or it’s more
willful intimidation as part of an individual seeking support lived hundreds of miles away, convenient, you can call the
a systematic pattern of power feel as though they have to take and she was in one of the National Domestic Violence
and control perpetrated by care of their support person. relationships I saw modeled as Hotline at 800-799-SAFE
one intimate partner against Nor should it be an ego type normal. In fact, when I tried to or go to For
another. Frequency and of one-upmanship about your intervene for her, her former more information on this
severity of domestic violence own story being more difficult. partner threatened me. She article, go to ncadvvoices.
can vary dramatically, but the was out of the relationship by org/2016/10/04/quick-
constant of domestic violence I mention these because I then, thankfully, and knew guide-what-is-domestic-
is one partner’s consistent have seen this occur and have what to do. violence.
efforts to maintain power and educated many trainees along
control over the other. the way. There’s a reason this Her advice seemed a little kids arrived.
is a component of learning paranoid, but she was exactly One important lesson
What does it include? to be a counselor. One thing right. She made me memorize
I have taught those I’ve contact information for her is also not to take things
It’s important to note that supervised along the way is to and destroyed her letter, personally. People come with
domestic violence doesn’t ask, “What’s the purpose?” calling from where I could not many hurts and are often
always manifest in one specific be seen or overheard, and she scared. I remember this when
way. Physical and sexual If the purpose of telling your bought me a plane ticket. things are said in anger. I
assaults, or threats to commit story is because it always gets would rather keep the door
them, are the most apparent a reaction, or it’s a great story, My dear friend was not open than keep any grudge or
forms of domestic violence and or I like the sound of my own paranoid or wrong. He was so take something to heart.
are usually what makes others voice or simply not listening, watchful, he would have found
aware of the problem. then I encourage healers to her letter and details. He left In working with
stop and listen to their clients. for the day and I went to the adolescents, they would
But regular use of other airport, taking only what I often ask me why I would
abusive behaviors by the abuser If the purpose is it helps could bring. I have no idea dress nice, protect others, do
– when reinforced by one or a person tell their story, how long I would have been healthy things such as hiking
more acts of physical violence or breaks through some stuck if not for her, or even if I and so on. I would tell them
– make up a larger scope of resistance or it demonstrates would be here because he did that I took pride in working
abuse. Although physical hope, then be quick and like weapons. with and for them. So I will
assaults might occur only succinct and see whether it’s always model what I learned
occasionally, they instill fear successful. If not, stop. In Take care of yourself from my grandmothers and
of future violent attacks and my case, it is a very sparing what I knew they could also
allow the abuser to control the tool. Also, as natives, we can Through the years, many accomplish. I’m probably a
victims’ life and circumstances. often guess at each other’s friends and family have said, little more relaxed than my
stories and be very accurate “Oh, you’re so fancy,” that I grandmothers, who would
A lack of physical violence in what we likely experienced cannot be in recovery, have want me to pull out the
doesn’t mean the abuser is any growing up. My purpose is ever been an addict or have ironing board more often.
less dangerous to the victim, hopefully a message of hope been in any abusive situations.
nor does it mean the victim is and commitment to native Usually, this is a way to try So that’s part of my story,
any less trapped. Emotional communities constantly and demean you and get you which might have had a few
and psychological abuse can changing for the better. to either use again or not different twists if I had the
often be just as extreme as confront them about changing. same resources around that
physical violence. Personal story are available today. Our society
I am lucky that I was able to appears to have learned to
When to share Like the statistics you can have such an amazing friend keep less secrets and offer
find through the National to eventually get out of an more resources.
In 2014, I included an Coalition Against Domestic abusive relationship and to be
article for the newsletter and I Violence and other sources well into recovery before my You can come to our
am including it again. Telling here, I saw violence long Domestic Violence Program
our stories is arguably the before age 15. I was assaulted and work with Janita Raham,
most healing undertaking as a toddler. As a teen, I was in or access mental health and
to begin a path toward a a violent relationship. It was, chemical dependency services.
life free of this violence. and is, surprising to me that Don’t keep secrets that should
From individual healing, the men did not step in to help nor not be kept, don’t protect
community also begins to heal. acknowledge it, even when it abusers and seek out the
was in the room next to them. support you deserve.
I do not always talk about
my own story with recovery As I look back, I can see
in many facets of my life. that I felt alone, hopeless, that
As a counselor, part of no one else would have me,
that I was in love and that’s
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