By no means am I the girl in my graduate school program who is the "domestic violence" guru but I can't even begin to explain how often I see it. Today I got four new cases at my internship:
1. teen was a robbery victim
2. domestic violence with an infant watching
3. child abuse
4. sibling assault
For me this is actually a good assortment of cases. Usually it would be domestic violence right down the list. The problem with domestic violence is that these woman are told not to talk about it so when I come to the home (even when the abuser isn't there) you can see them terrified to tell me anything. I try very hard to explain how watching the abuse will affect their babies development. Just because a baby looks normal and happy does not mean they are fine.
One family was screaming at each other right in front of me and poof that baby fell asleep. She was so stressed she just shut down, but most people would think, "she is sleeping, she is fine". It is such a frustrating demographic but I enjoy it also. I hope that I reach some of these woman. I don't need to see the pictures of Rhianna with her face bruised, I have seen woman in real life the day after a beating. Of all the things I have seen doing social work- the main image that stays stuck in my head is the first time I saw a woman who's face was almost swollen shut. Her toddlers attempted to pull the suspect off of her during the fight.
It is amazing to me that this is something that happens in our world. It is times like this when shutting off work when you get home gets difficult. I feel for these women and I hope they have the courage to leave and, more importantly, the support they need to get out. The terrifying thing is that statistics show it takes women leaving seven times before they stay gone. I hope one day that changes.