A Tribute to Womanhood

Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.


Although Christmas is perceived as a time of peace and happiness for families, stress, debt and alcohol levels can create a far from happy holiday season. In fact, even if things are going well, tensions  run high during the holiday season. And when Christmas rolls around, domestic violence seems to escalate, and not only do the victims suffer, but also the children who must bear witness to the abuse, and through the eyes of children, the boundaries between abuser and victim are not always clear.  Often as a means of coping, they take sides or they try to defuse the violence, and when they fail, they blame themselves for not being able to do so.  Some children pretend that it isn't happening.

In many families, there will be no gifts because the abuser will not allow them.  Abusers are self-centered,  and if there is no gain for them,  then they generally classify such expenditure as frivolous. Hence, there is very little joy in Christmas for the children of these dysfunctional relationships.
Examples of financial abuse include: withholding money for Christmas presents and food; where the relationship has ended the abusive partner may withhold child maintenance; and forcing the woman to take debt in her name to meet the family financial needs.  My goodness, that not only happened to me, but 20 years later, when a lien was placed on my bank account and my paycheck garnished....not for a bill I was responsible for, but because I had been bullied to co-sign for a credit card.  It took me over a year of struggling to pay off something that was never mine to begin with.

Domestic Violence victims are not a small minority.  At least 25 percent of all women will experience some sort of domestic violence in their life.  This means that most of us, if we are not a victim ourselves, know someone--sister, friend--cousin--who is a victim.  It affects each and every one of us.  

Here are some suggestions on coping with domestic violence:<

Keep yourself safe. Find a safe place - like a bedroom - where you can hide until the violence is over.

Only step in to help the person who is being hurt if it means you WILL NoT place yourself at risk

Talk to someone you trust about what's happening at home. If you want independent help, contact a service like the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800)SAFE
Try to get the person who is being hurt to seek help from the hospital, battered women's shelters, etc.

If the situation gets really bad, get out of the house and find help. Go and tell a neighbor or call the emergency services.


  1. Coming from a household where the threat of abuse would go up exponentially near the holidays, I have to agree. An abuser will use any excuse, and the stress of the season is a common one. In my home the presents were not so much with held as they were an 'apology', a way of buying off the abused.