To the editor:
"Silent Witnesses," a display at the mall and at Southeast Missouri State University's University Center, is a powerful reminder that domestic violence kills right here in Missouri. At the Safe House for Women, we never lose sight of this fact. We accept its harsh realities, perhaps made more conscious during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. With open hearts, we refuse passive acceptance of its evils.
We recognize that physical abuse escalates, becoming potentially lethal. We also recognize that, for survivors, bruises fade and broken bones usually heal. But emotional wounds often feel worse and last longer. Emotional wounding, a byproduct of physical abuse, is the primary domain of emotional abuse, which often occurs without physical abuse. Emotional abuse is a pattern of attempts to control another's feelings, often resulting in lowered self-esteem, losing touch with one's own sense of identity, conflicted beliefs about one's rights as a human being, no longer being sure what one really does feel or think, being starved of emotional intimacy, depression, losing one's friends and sometimes being subjected to high-risk behaviors or threats.
The Safe House for Women offers numerous services including free counseling by a licensed professional available to women who have been physically and emotionally abused. Both shelter residents and non-residents may request counseling. Tomorrow's silent witnesses can safely find their voices and reclaim their lives. Spread the word.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Safe House for Women