With only three months into the New Year, it feels like so much has happened to women and girls already in 2018 and I wonder as we move into March for InternationalWomen'ss Day what new years resolutions did we make or think that the world was going to make on our behalf that has already been broken?
On Jan 2nd, the New York City Daily Newspaper reported what they are calling the first domestic violence homicide of the New Year,“Women fatally stabbed in Queens home, abusive husband found hanging from the tree in suspected murder-suicide”reads the headline.
Just hours after bringing in the New Year,a man killed his wife and then himself in Queens leaving their two children behind. They said this is the second time there is a homicide just days after the New Years in New York. Last year, another woman died at the hands of abuse around the same time. According to the Center for Disease Control, in the United States each day three or more women are killed by their intimate partner. The rates go up drastically when we look at the experience of abuse on women globally. The World Health Organization estimates that about 1 in 3 of women worldwide have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault by either a non-intimate partner or an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Every day women are dying and it’s not just on New Years.The holidays in our countries are almost everyday, birthdays, weddings and even funerals, traditional religious and spiritual dates and political celebrations the whole country honors. Unfortunately, the holidays are some of the deadliest times of the year for women and girls. In the United States, the turn of the New Year is also one of thedarkest times as winter breeds the isolation of victimsand covers the escalating violence that has been happening in homes throughout the year. At the same time, for many, family, friends and even for victims themselves New Years also brings a certain level of hope in which one wishes that the start of the New Year would also mean a major shift in both the abusers behavior and the resolution that maybe the women in our communities and families will make a resolution to leave their abusive relationships.
Unfortunately, given the recent news and the global statistics, a perpetrators resolution does not include a change in their behavior, that is an illusion and often times, when a woman resolves to leave, it endsin her death.
So what do women in domestic violence relationship need to know about whose making New Years Resolutions and why?whether that be for the New Years or a birthday, wedding or funeral?
1. The new year for abusers is not about redemption, restoration or reconciliation. The holidays is yet another strategy to abuse, to buy time, to pretend in front of family and friends, to selland to groom us. It is another day inside of the season that women and girls get abused the most, the winter and the holidays.
2. The holidays and the darkness of winter is a scary time of continued pretending of dressing up and acting like nothing is happening and sitting around the table with people who are also pretending to not see or understand.
3. The new year brings hope that maybe things will be different cause we stuck it out but for the abuser sticking out means that hopefully this year we our more powerless than the last, that we mastered shutting up and staying in our place and knowing who has the power in the relationship.
4. The new years means that if you didn't learn there will be new consequences, tactics and strategies of abuse , a new methodof grooming, and an elevation of the next phase of abuse.
5. The new year is a time that abusers get stronger not weaker, their ultimate goal is total power and control and if that means death than so be it because it’s not about love its about victims becoming property no one else can have.
While the Christmas holiday is not celebrated worldwide, the New Year whether celebrated or not is a major transition that women feel globally. It is a transition of seasons anda universal change that impacts the earth no matter where you are and women feel its energy the most as with it comes an increase in many forms of violence towards their mind, body, and spirit.
For many women, the new year means another level of hell.Another year of walking on egg shells, of getting beat, of isolation, of mind games, of manipulation, and of fear.
So while the community mourns the death of the first victim of the New Year, ask yourself what are you a victim of? What resolution do you need to make this new year even though we are three months in? What needs to die in your life this new year?
A victim becomes more vulnerable to homicide when they gettotally isolated from family,friends and community. If the abuser doesn't get us first then the insanity of loneliness and isolation will. So this year make your news years resolution count!
A News Years Resolution for 2018 International Women's Day:I declare that this year, my life is a violence free zone. I release myself from captivity and I unsubscribe from the fears , control , negative thoughts, anxiety, scarcity and worries that keep me in unhealthy relationships.I invoke the Goddess in me. May I be as magnificent as the ocean and use my voice to cross my fears through land and oceanby any means necessary. May I be as strong as Rivers creating the way and opening roads when I feel like there is no way. May I be earth bringing restoration to my broken heart in its darkest hours. May I be as quiet as the wind bringing Justiceto the bodies of women and girls all over the world when they want to give up. And may I be fire, giving a healing touch to the parts of my body that feel dead. But most of all may this year make me unstoppable, unrecognizable and unapologetic as I face my own fears with courage, restore my health and sanity, create in the mist of letting go and bring healing to my own heart! Universe, I open up my heart to you, no more running, no more playing small, no more doubting my own magic!