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The Aizman Law Firm's (Criminal Defense Practice in Los Angeles, California) website has loads of information on domestic violence (description, self help, types of violence and many more pages and wonderful links within this website). Thank you to the Girl Scout Troop who recommended this website for my resources.
It seems that I lost my identity on the day that I was born because of the stigma that was attached to mental illnesses and disorders in the past. There was simply no help for the caregivers (of young babies and children) who were out of control, due to mental illness such as depression, anxiety and panic disorders, and other illnesses and disorders of the mind. So therefore, domestic violence and child abuse were the secrets that have destroyed this nation.
Throughout history there was no hope for the families who were living in abusive environments. The children had to suffer silently as the parents raged through their dysfunctional mental state of minds that have, in turn, produced a legacy that has been passed down through the ages from dysfunctional generation to dysfunctional generation. But it does not have to be that way anymore there is help available.
As adults, we need to be responsible for our actions; however, mental illness (and disorders) do not allow us that control because of the turmoil within our minds. Until we begin to break down these walls of ignorance and allow mental health to be as accepted as a vital part of the body's health, then the majority of victims will remain hidden for life, and this legacy will continue to erode our country.
Emotional and mental abuse hurts just as badly as physical abuse, but the mental pain lingers forever. Our wounds will mend on the surface, but the hidden scars go deep down inside and are much more painful in the long run. I believe that until the adults are made aware of the damage done to them; and until these same adults are educated by society of the damage that they could possibly be causing to our next generation, this legacy will carry on.
I must say at this point that I do not believe that all survivors of domestic violence and child abuse become violent and abusive to their own children. But certainly not all violent adults were survivors of domestic violence or child abuse either. And furthermore, I do not consider abusers who have any form of mental illness or mental disorder to be totally innocent of the crimes that they are committing against their children and others. Even though we may have been victimized in the past and may even have a mental disorder of some kind, we cannot hide behind the labels anymore.
If we know that we are ill, then we must seek help; but, if we do not know that we are ill, then we need the guidance of society to educate us and guide us in the right direction.
We should be as informed of the causes, reality and repercussions of domestic violence and child abuse as we are now of heart disease, cancer and other health problems. We need to help each other to regain the dignity and respect that has been denied us our entire lives. Then and only then will more abusers seek out the help that they need before more damage is done to the innocent children who reside in our homes and communities.