In 2017, 136 women were killed by a male intimate partner. Around 37% of the victims were separated or in the process of leaving.
“Every year we hang the “clothesline project,” said Della Cooper, outreach coordinator of the East Texas Crisis Center. “Each shirt is made by a survivor, a family member of a survivor, or a family member of a victim that did not survive. Go look at these shirts, feel them, feel their stories, Each year there are more shirts added.”
Mayor Monte Montgomery issued a proclamation Monday Oct. 1, in honor of domestic violence awareness month. The East Texas Crisis Center, hung t-shirts at 10 a.m. of different colors to represent victims of various crimes. White represents women who died because of violence.
Yellow or beige represents battered or assaulted women, red, pink or orange represents survivors of rape and sexual assault, blue or green represents survivors of incest and sexual abuse, purple or lavender represents women attacked because of their sexual orientation, black represents women attacked for political reasons.
Judge Wade McKinney presented the ETCC with the proclamation at the courthouse.
“This issue, is challenged by the societal indifference. That's the enemy, that is what these organizations fight against every day,” McKinney said. “It is something that is disheartening, not only the act, but having to deal with that indifference. That's what we try to do here today, is to bring that awareness. It does help. There are those that get the help that they need and it is incumbent to all of us to fight that indifference.”
Courtney Butler, the sister of Alicia Weaver Scott who was killed by her husband Dec. 27, 2016, spoke to attendees.
“This December marks three years since her life was taken, and we can still recall that nightmare of a night like it was yesterday,” Butler said. “This has altered us permanently in ways that we never thought was possible. Me and my family's goal is to help raise awareness by telling Alicia's story, this is all we can do for now, not letting her death be for nothing.”
Weaver Scott left behind parents, siblings and her children. The family expressed thanks to Henderson County and the help and support given. Without it, they said they couldn't have gotten through it.
The annual event bears witness to domestic violence, incest and other crimes against women. It is a powerful witness to go and read the t-shirts which all represent a real person.
The t-shirts are also an empowering experience for victims, as they are able to speak of how they survived, and encourage others still experiencing the trauma.
One shirt said “I am free from you.”
Several others said “It doesn't get better, tell someone,” and “Children deserve a peaceful family.”
Cooper said ETCC has helped 595 victims just this year, an increase of 150 victims since in 2018.
“One thing all these women, who have been killed due to domestic violence have in common is, they never thought the violence would go that far,” she said. “There is another way to live without abuse, but it takes all of us working together.”
In fact some do not even realize what they are experiencing is in fact abuse. Some believe the reasoning of their abuser that “if they had only done or not done something,” or “you make me do this.”
“If anyone knows of someone going through this situation speak up,” Butler said. “Silence does nothing to help them. Let their voices be heard through you, you may be the only strength that they have.”
If you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek help. If you know someone who is a victim, make sure they know the resources available to them. Please see the “tactics used by abusive partners” section of this edition.
24 Hour Hotline: 903-595-5591 | 800-333-0358 the Hotline is available for victims of Family Violence and survivors of Sexual Assault
P.O. Box 847
Athens, TX 75751
Phone - 903-675-2137
Abuse tactics to be aware of:
Here are some tactics used by abusive partners according to speakoutloud.net, if you are the victim or know a victim, please do not remain silent.
• One-sided power games including behaviors that ensure he has his way at her expense
• Mind games including guilt trips and confusing her in ways that make her feel crazy
• Inappropriate restrictions including refusing to let her work
• Isolation including controlling incoming information such as what she reads
• Over-protection and ‘caring’ including dissuading her from going out alone in case she gets raped
• Emotional unkindness, violation of trust, Cyberbullying including promising to help and then ‘forgetting’
• Degradation & suppression of potential including criticising her strengths and achievements
• Separation abuse including stalking such as leaving flowers – this sends a threatening message that he can always find her no matter where she is. Whereas, an outsider might look at this act, and think of it as a caring gesture.
• Using social institutions including engaging in child custody battles to maintain power over her
• Using social prejudices such as saying to a disabled partner that she can’t even walk out the door – this reinforces his power
• Denial including refusing to take responsibility for the harm he causes
• Minimizing by saying “it wasn’t that bad, get over it”
• Blaming by twisting the story so she appears responsible
• Making excuses such as blaming stress at work
• Using children for example saying he wouldn’t get so angry if she kept the children quiet
• Economic abuse including not allowing her access to any money, or putting her in charge of the budget, but then spending all the money and abusing her when the debt mounts
• Intimate Partner Sexual abuse including pressuring her to have sex when she is sick
• Symbolic aggression including threats to harm her family, friends, pets
• Domestic slavery including punishing her for not carrying out duties he claims she should have, while not carrying out his own
• Physical violence: Men’s Motivations including hair pulling and dragging her along the floor
• Cyber abuse, Online social cruelty, Cyber bullying, Cyber stalking
All abuse is not physical. Some are emotionally abusive, Narcissists are known to use these tactics:
Here are several favorite narcissistic mental abuse tactics:
1. Rage – This is a fit of intense, furious anger that comes out of nowhere, usually over nothing (remember the wire hanger scene from the movie “Mommie Dearest”). It startles and shocks the victim into compliance or silence.
2. Gas Lighting – Narcissistic mental abusers lie about the past, making their victim doubt her memory, perception, and sanity. They claim and give evidence of her past wrong behavior further causing doubt. She might even begin to question what she said a minute ago.
3. The Stare – This is an intense stare with no feeling behind it. It is designed to scare a victim into submission and is frequently mixed with the silent treatment.
4. Silent Treatment – Narcissists punish by ignoring. Then they let their victim “off the hook” by demanding an apology even though she isn’t to blame. This is to modify her behavior. They also have a history of cutting others out of their life permanently over small things.
5. Projection – They dump their issues onto their victim as if she were the one doing it. For instance, narcissistic mental abusers may accuse their spouse of lying when they have lied. Or they make her feel guilty when he is really guilty. This creates confusion.
6. Twisting – When narcissistic spouses are confronted, they will twist it around to blame their victims for their actions. They will not accept responsibility for their behavior and insist that their victim apologizes to them.
7. Manipulation – A favorite manipulation tactic is for the narcissist to make their spouse fear the worst, such as abandonment, infidelity, or rejection. Then they refute it and ask her for something she normally would reply with “No.” This is a control tactic to get her to agree to do something she wouldn’t.
8. Victim Card – When all else fails, the narcissist resorts to playing the victim card. This is designed to gain sympathy and further control behavior.
www.pro.psychcentral.com suggested memorizing these maneuvers, remaining silent when they are being used, and ending the conversation as soon as possible. When you recognize these tactics, realize the only way to win with a narcissist is not to play. Get help and remove yourself from the toxic person and environment. Seek help.