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A New Approach

When we accept and embrace our imperfections without shame, they become sources of strength and power.

At morethan1victim, our mission is to end domestic violence by introducing a proactive approach to address the global social crisis we face. To date, all implemented measures have been reactive and only serve as damage control, failing to produce positive results. We have ignored the problem’s root cause. It is a fact and a costly mistake not to recognize that everyone in the household is a victim who needs healing because we are now dealing with a societal pandemic. We were already victims of circumstances connected to the environments from our childhood before we became a statistic of domestic violence. 

For this reason, our top priority is to highlight the importance of providing safe home environments for our children, who are the most vulnerable victims. We must begin by removing the labels of “victim” and “abuser” and support all affected equally; this is the solution. We need to seize the opportunity to act as agents of change. Our proactive strategy focuses on achieving this objective.

The whole truth
about domestic violence

What is a Victim of Circumstance?

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Domestic Violence: the Oldest Pandemic

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The 5 Emotions of Domestic Violence

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The Game of Pretending

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Women are NOT the Only Victims

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The impact of domestic violence on our children

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1 in 15

children

are exposed
90% are eyewitness to violence
Nearly 20

people

per minute
are physically abused by an intimate partner
65% of all

Murder-suicides

involve
an Intimate partner; 96% of the victims of these crimes are female
Founder of MoreThan1Victim Rosa Diaz

"Our lives are like a book, where the characters and experiences in each chapter shape the outcome of our story. Often, we have little control over these events. When we turn the page and begin writing a new chapter, we have two options: to use the lessons we have learned to propel us forward or use them as excuses to hold us back. We have the power to change the direction of our story and shape its narrative. I, for one, chose not to allow my past to define me. Instead, I took control and used my past experiences to enrich the content of my remaining chapters and redefine how my story ends."

God, my purpose,
and my passion

The stories we write behind closed doors differ from those we share publicly; this is true for all of us but more so for victims of abuse who live in unhealthy and dangerous environments. After healing me from a harmful and destructive lifestyle, God called me to speak out on this highly uncomfortable topic. He has entrusted me with the task of sharing my story in a distinct and unprecedented way. It is a never-before-narrated version; you can say it is a behind-the-scenes version of domestic violence. And that is not all; God is in the midst of my story. I am confident He enlightened me with the solution because He has a view into our lives and homes from every possible angle and knows all the characters. God holds the key to opening the doors of the self-inflicted prison sentences our lives have become. I must disclose that although His way is undoubtedly the answer, it is highly uncomfortable because we must practice complete transparency and accountability. As most of us know, it is improbable for us to use these practices. However, they are the key we must use to set ourselves free. Fear and shame at first were holding me back. Then God reminded me that you and I have more in common than I know because we all have more than one version of our stories, but we opt to share the one with the slightest shame. We should never be ashamed to admit our need for healing. On the contrary, accountability will set you free and empower you to live the life God intended for you. 

What is a Victim of Circumstance?

We have not resolved the problem of Domestic Violence, as we are missing a critical element necessary to end this impending crisis. We have failed to identify the root cause of the problem. Since we enter the world, our stories begin the same way. We have no way to control the environment we are born into. If the settings are toxic and unhealthy, it will have a lasting negative impact on our lives. There is no way to predict how these experiences will affect us or how we will react later in life to what happened to us. 

Along the way, we connect with partners whose stories began the same way. And if neither of us recognized and healed our pain from what we endured before coming together, if we have children, we provide these future generations with the same beginning to their story. We create the same pattern of uncontrollable circumstances for them, just like the previous generations created for us. And the cycle repeats itself, and we keep adding to the count of victims of circumstance. 

The purpose of identifying that we form part of the statistics of the victims of circumstance is not to blame our parents or caregivers nor victimize ourselves; it is solely to begin healing. After acknowledging that we are all exposed to out-of-our-control environments where we acquire our pain and trauma, we can empathize with one another, aware that we share a common past. Furthermore, we focus on self-healing and self-forgiveness, which ultimately leads to the forgiveness of others. Although our stories begin the same way, we choose if we allow our beginning to define our ending; we all have the power to shape our outcome. 

Domestic Violence:
the Oldest Pandemic

Violent acts have a profound and far-reaching impact beyond the immediate victims. Domestic violence not only affects the victim and the abuser; it also affects the children, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and law enforcement responders. It is essential to remember that the children who grow up witnessing domestic violence suffer significant harm that lasts a lifetime. 

All experiences produce an action and a reaction, and in a high percentage of acts of violence, our response is defensive. Unfortunately, verbal abuse and aggressive behavior are common ways we respond. When combined with heated emotions, these actions can create dangerous situations, resulting in long-term abuse and possibly death. We must take action to end the senseless violence.  

None of the solutions currently available, such as anger management courses, incarceration, seeking refuge, divorce or separation, involvement of law enforcement, or support programs to assist those of us trapped in these situations, have prevented, let alone resolved, the pandemic Domestic Violence has turned into. This is because the measures mentioned above are reactive.  

We will end Domestic Violence when we understand that taking responsibility for our actions and reactions is the only way to heal. We must stop blaming others. We are the solution because we are part of the problem. Each one of us can contribute to ending this detrimental social crisis: one person, one family, one home, one city, one county, one state, one country, and one continent at a time. It is a fundamental human right for everyone, regardless of age, gender, sexual preference, social status, race, demographic location, or religion, to live in safe and healthy environments; it is time to reclaim this right.

The 5 Emotions of Domestic Violence

The impact of violence on someone’s life is always adverse. When it comes to abuse, it is especially concerning because we experience a fear that leaves us vulnerable and unsafe. This feeling is like a disability that takes away our sense of security. It then introduces anger, and when we release it, we feel guilt. Moreover, we become consumed with shame and regret for how we reacted. These emotions appear to have no end, keeping us trapped, going from one to another. Our actions always have consequences; in many cases of violence, most of us resort to defensive measures, increasing the likelihood of exhibiting equally aggressive behavior like our abuser. And this becomes an emotional prison sentence we never signed up for.

The Game of Pretending

The problem is not the lies we tell others nor the fake image we create to deny our reality. The real problem is the lies we tell ourselves. We all go through challenges, struggles, and disappointments stemming from our circumstances and choices, and at some point, what we go through will demand a response. We must acknowledge our role in the events leading to our current status. Only then can we make the necessary changes to improve our environment. Pretending is highly addictive and dangerous because we convince ourselves that, in the end, we can win the game. Remember that denying our reality is tempting, but it can have serious consequences. When we hide our truth, we become the primary recipients of the impact of our lies. There is only one way to break free from all that binds us to what hurt us in the first place: assuming responsibility for our actions is the answer. The only road that leads to healing is paved with accountability. It is the only way to obtain freedom.

Women are NOT the Only Victims

Every human being is born with the innate ability to express emotions and an instinct to defend themselves. When we become the target of any action that threatens our safety, the natural thing to do is to protect ourselves as best we can. When there is a violation of our rights, how we opt to express our emotions comes into play. The intensity of how we react varies from mild to aggressive and from one person to another, regardless of gender.  

Domestic Violence has been a persistent problem because often it is perceived as a women’s issue, which means that we recognize women as the primary and only victims. In many cases, children may also be recognized as part of the statistics of the crime. While women are more likely to be victimized, men also experience abuse, but they are less likely to report it. If we want to put an end to this social crisis, we must change the way we approach the problem. Failing to do so will keep us trapped in the same cycle. It is essential to stress that admitting our contribution and taking responsibility for our actions is the only way to attain freedom and healing. Transparency is critical when sharing our version of the story. Omitting any part of the truth is an obstacle to our recovery. 

In many cases, women who have experienced abuse may become aggressors and abusers over time. This statement is not to blame or shame women, as much as it is to promote accountability on both sides. We need to understand the dynamics of abuse because we often play more than one role in the majority of toxic relationships. The truth in my story is that I was a victim who, not long after, also became an abuser.  

Domestic Violence does not discriminate; it can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, sex, or gender identity. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It also occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships, and it happens not just between intimate partners but also between parents and children, siblings, or with any other occupants in the home. We are facing a societal crisis, and we can no longer afford not to recognize that this has become a global and ongoing problem because we have failed to address and acknowledge that it is an issue affecting both genders. Shifting the approach and accepting the reality that it is not a one-sided gender-only problem but affects everyone within the home will place us on the right path to, at last, assist everyone involved equally. 

The impact of domestic violence on our children

The future of an individual is not predetermined at birth. Instead, the environment we grow up in plays a significant role in shaping our path. As individuals, we begin with a blank canvas; each experience is a brush stroke contributing to the picture taking shape. Not everyone will react and show early symptoms of how much their environment has affected them; consequences may appear later in life. When children are born into families with a history of violence and substance abuse, they are at a higher risk of experiencing physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse, as well as neglect. We must be mindful because the cycle of violence repeats itself; most of us adopt what we see in our homes. We are supposed to have the children’s best interests at heart, but we fail them. 

If you are reading this and you are like most people who believe that domestic violence does not apply to your household because there is no physical contact, you may want to reconsider. The term domestic violence is the most used, but keep in mind that it covers various toxic scenarios that affect everyone, especially children. Unhealthy environments in our homes are not limited to physical abuse. Children exposed to domestic dysfunction experience significant emotional and psychological trauma that can have long-lasting effects. Witnessing violence in the home can manifest in several ways, such as behavioral problems, difficulty in school, and low self-esteem. There is a rise in behavioral issues stemming from the violent examples provided in what is supposed to be a safe dwelling place. Children naturally absorb information; we must be mindful and offer a supportive and positive environment for our children’s growth and development. 

In some cases, they may even become desensitized to violence, which can lead to more severe problems later in life. Parents and caregivers should prioritize their child’s well-being and seek help when necessary. Gaining insight into this topic will empower us with the resources needed to heal ourselves and our children from trauma. Another misconception is that we often use our past experiences to excuse our bad behavior in present circumstances. I know there are exceptions. However, the fact that domestic violence has become a global social crisis is a clear indication that this is not always the case. We all react differently to what happens to us. Some people face a more significant challenge to overcome trauma. Add to this that they may have limited resources, which becomes a more significant obstacle in their path to recovery. Congratulations are in order if you have faced a difficult upbringing but managed to overcome and learn from it because you are in the minority. Many factors play a role in why victims remain in toxic relationships, with fear being the leading character in all stories. Your safety is a priority. I am aware of the danger for everyone living in the home with the presence of physical and substance abuse; I lived it. As adults, we must always be conscious of our behavior and hold ourselves accountable for contributing to the toxicity in our homes. We must become proactive, seek help, and leave a relationship as soon as it is safe for us to do so.  

Domestic violence is a crime. The terms “victim and abuser” are used to identify those implicated. Labels are necessary in a court of law and are helpful to determine punishment at the time of sentencing for such crimes. When assisting those affected, we must remove labels to provide everyone equal support. We were children who became victims of circumstance; we cannot ignore this reality and must address everyone as such. It is the only way to provide everyone affected with an opportunity to heal. I will not say we have nothing to lose because as you read and I write these words, every child entering the world is a potential victim. Not to mention the victims who will be silenced forever, those who are currently trapped in dangerous situations. If we do not act now, we will undoubtedly add more children to the count of victims and possible casualties. We have to take on the responsibility of reducing the statistics. We must prioritize the safety of our most vulnerable victims: our children. By implementing a proactive approach, we can assist all victims, positively impacting future generations. We owe it to our children to provide a safe and supportive home environment that empowers them to succeed. Let us all commit to creating a haven where they can thrive and reach their full potential. Maya Angelou is known for her many powerful quotes, one of which is, “When you know better, you do better.” But learning is not enough; we must actively choose to do better. We must always strive to do better and do what is right. 

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