Oh how I've looked forward to this day!!!
There really is a sense of celebration in crossing a finish line, whether it’s accomplished through the completion of a task or project or whether through the simple passage of time. So much hope and anticipation leads up to endings – the resolution to one thing and the birth of another. For domestic violence survivors one of the biggest, most anticipated triumphs is their child’s 18th birthday because it’s the day their child is finally free – beyond family court’s reach, no longer under the abuser’s thumb, free to find those who they were separated from and most importantly, finally free to learn the truth.
One of the stranger aspects of living a post-DV life is how the children’s birthdays are measured. Many parents want to slow their kid’s childhood down so they can savor every pre-18 moment but for DV survivors under family court oversight, each birthday signifies a step closer to the promise and freedom of 18 so instead of “I only have X years left with my little girl” the sentiment is “Yes! Only X more years to go!”
Getting to 18 isn’t just for the children it’s for the DV survivor too; some survivor moms will be relieved that “it’s all over” for at least one of their children while other survivor moms will be holding their breath in anticipation, wondering if/when their child will find them and if he/she does, what’ll happen next? Will there be a happy, tearful reunion or will an angry confrontation await them at this crossroad? In the latter case, all the moms can do is pray that their child will come to them wanting to know the truth instead of coming at them believing a landscape of lies that comprised his/her childhood.
For DV survivors with family court oversight or those separated from their children, New Years is another time where the promise of better looms large. Unlike the recent Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas holidays that are frequently painful for DV survivors, New Years offers renewed hope and possibility to the end of pain and suffering. Personally for me, a recent article published by nationally recognized DV expert, speaker, writer and consultant Barry Goldstein, entitled “Lies of the Fathers (Rights Groups)” http://timesupblog.blogspot.com/ has got me amped up and excited for the new year to come.
Loaded with myth-busters, corrections and clarifications addressing arguments such as
- Mothers make false claims
- Shared Parenting benefits children
- Children need both parents equally
and little-known facts like
The first law in the United States about what we would now call domestic violence said that husbands may not beat their wives ON SUNDAY.
Lies of the Fathers (Rights Groups) is a must-read to get you psyched up for the year that lies ahead. Let’s make sure that 2014 goes down in history as the most successful year against domestic violence ever! Until then, be safe and God bless ~
Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!