Explain Like I’m 5: What victims of domestic violence go through to get justice
Would You Like to Stay Connected?
I originally posted this on 9/3/15. On 5/16/2016 I aided a victim in DC and unfortunately this is still true.
Why doesn’t she leave?
This question annoys me to no end.
When you talk to someone about domestic violence you come to expect that question.
There are a lot of reasons.
But just like with rape, and child sexual abuse victims, just because you come forward and report a crime doesn’t mean that you will be treated like victims of other crimes.
Dealing with the crime was difficult.
Dealing with the aftermath can be another hell.
What Does Mommy Do?
This week there was a hashtag was trending on Twitter. It was something about explaining what you do to a 5-year-old.
It got me to thinking about how difficult it was for me to explain to my son what I did when he was that age. When he was 5 I was a victim advocate.
I had no idea how to explain that.
I just told him, “I help people.”
As he got older I added a word or two here and there until he had the full picture.
I thought it would be an interesting way to explain to people what victims of domestic violence encounter when they come forward to the community, specifically the justice system for help.
I’ll explain it to you like a five-year-old…..
This is me….
I am a victim advocate. A victim advocate is someone who helps people.
Now lots of people help people. But victim advocates help when someone has been very mean to another person, they might need a victim advocate. Let’s say there is a Mommy and a Daddy. They like each other a lot. So they decide to stay to stay best friends forever.
But soon the Mommy sees that the Daddy is being mean to people in the family.
The people in the family are very scared.
One very scary night one of the cubs called the police.
The police came to help the family.
Mommy must do something because they are all so scared all of the time.
The Mommy goes to court for more help.
One of the first people she meets is me:
I am on her side. I am there to help her. Not everyone is nice, but that is why I will stay beside her and be with her.
Come, let us meet others.
Mommy has to meet a LOT of people. Assistants, lawyers, a judge, clerks, people who help the needy, and sometimes more police officers.
The mommy might meet this cat. We call her, “See No Evil“. She thinks that if no one saw the Daddy cat be mean to the Mommy cat, then the Daddy was not mean to the Mommy.
We will hope that the Mommy cat will not have to meet, “Shrug“. Shrug never cares if the Daddy hit the Mommy. As long as no one was mean to Shrug,Shrug really does not care.
The Mommy might meet this cat. This is, “Too Much to Do“. They have so much work to do that, they might forget to care about people sometimes. But, Too Much to Do is usually easier to get along with as long as I always remember to pitch in and help. Their friendly once you get to know them. Besides, it is not their fault that they have too much to do.
Mommymight meet this cat. This is “Commander One.” Commander One is nice sometimes. They want to help the Mommy. But they have to remember that the Mommy gets to decide what to do about her problem. Commander One is very tough and thinks that things will be fixed if Daddy is crushed by a flying house just like the Wicked Witch. Ouch!
Another cat the Mommymight meet is, “Forgive All Now Faith“. This cat wants the Mommyto forgive the Daddy for being mean. Forgive All Now Faith wants Mommy to keep the family together even if they are very afraid.
What all parents need is support.
This Mommywill make the best decision to keep both she and her little cubs safe.
I stayed by the Mommy‘s side to help them do this.
Posts presented/edited/written by: Tonya GJ Prince. Driven by her life mission to empower, inform, & uplift Survivors; Tonya is also the founder of WESurviveAbuse.com, Braid the Ladder, & SurvivorAffirmations.com.
She is a social justice expert with over 24 years experience as a speaker, group facilitator, crisis intervention counselor, writer, advocate & activist.
She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development.
Her Tortie rescue cat MiaBelle, is her longtime co-writer.