IDVAAC News Winter 2010, Volume 11, Number 1

"Panelists stressed the importance of recognizing emotional and verbal abuse, because although physical abuse gets more attention from law enforcement and society, panelists stated it’s often the emotional scars that are harder to heal. "

First-Hand Accounts Shared in Panel Discussions

 

T

he conference featured a panel of formerly battered women who shared their personal accounts of victimization and affirmed that enduring the abuse was not the end of their story.

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Although the women hadn’t met before the panel, they quickly connected while sharing their stories. Each woman had a different story, but there were overarching themes, such as feeling alone, and ultimately healing from the emotional pain.

Panelists stressed the importance of recognizing emotional and verbal abuse, because although physical abuse gets more attention from law enforcement and society, panelists stated it’s often the emotional scars that are harder to heal. They also spoke about the importance of cultural awareness in addressing domestic violence in the African American community. Each of the women spoke about finding peace and healing on their own terms.

The conference also featured a panel of adults who offered their perspectives on healing as they recounted their first-hand experiences of witnessing domestic violence as children. They spoke of the need for understanding – not judgment from counselors and those they sought help from, the role of forgiveness of self and others in the process of healing, and the need to begin healing – if possible – as children.

 

 

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