Surviving Domestic Violence Ask Me Anything

Jvonne Hubbard
Aug 5, 2018

Growing up as the daughter of the Grand Dragon of the KKK, I saw plenty of violence, but I would continue to live in a cycle of dysfunction as I grew up to marry an evil man whose violence was of a different sort.

My name is Jvonne Hubbard author of the memoir "White Sheets To Brown Babies", a dramatic, raw look at a young girl's journey growing up in the poverty of the poor South., with an upbringing filled with dysfunction.

Book available at www.amazon.com/White-Sheets-Babies-Jvonne-Hubbard/dp/0692056866/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530119278&sr=8-1&keywords=white+sheets+to+brown+babies+book

In this Ask Me Anything forum I will be focusing on questions related to the subject of Domestic Violence. I was married and lived in a painful, violent and traumatic relationship with my first husband for 6 years. The psychology and dynamic of a perpetrator/victim relationship is a very emotionally traumatizing thing. The mental/emotional scarring can last years and years, if not a lifetime after physical wounds have healed. My great getaway is detailed in the book, and was one of the scariest days of my life! In fact afterwards, for 2 years straight, I would look over my shoulder every minute just waiting to be killed (as he had always promised he would).

Let's use this forum to discuss the grisly details of the violence and abuse that goes on in domestically violent marriages, intimate relationships and even in teen dating at times. To educate others to recognize the signs of abusive behaviour and to love themselves enough not to accept that sort of treatment will be my goal going forth with this AMA. 

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What is the social stigma faced by abused women? Why is it so hard to get away from abusive partners?
Aug 7, 5:49AM EDT0

Social Stigma by definition is a stigma affixed to a person, by the greater society, who differs from their cultural norms. Which means that the "greater society" does not understand. Be grateful they should to not have a personal understanding of things so horrid, and in that gratefulness keep judgments to themselves! 

It is hard to get away from an abusive partner because you are both being harmed daily and threatened with even greater harm, or death should you think about being brave enough to try and escape. Women have been killed for trying to leave, women have been killed after leaving because they were tracked down by the abuser and the threats were very real. There are women in prison because they had to eventually kill their abuser to make it stop, and the law seems to have no real protection at hand for these women....they are on their own, save perhaps a women's shelter here or there.

Aug 7, 1:12PM EDT0
What aspects of your upbringing led you to an abusive relationship for so long? As a child did you witnessed physical abuse from your father to your mother?
Aug 7, 4:26AM EDT0

Just about every aspect of my childhood ensured this is what I would run into (although I had no self awareness of that at the time). Abuse, violence, fighting, cheating, divorce, alcoholism, racism, criminality...I saw ALL those things in my childhood/upbringing. My "normal" was flawed from the get go! It is very hard not knowing anything else different or better, and not having a support system of any kind to break these cycles of dysfunction. I consider myself lucky to have survived and flourished in the aftermath of such a devastating beginning. 

Aug 7, 12:57PM EDT0
Who are some of the toughest women in the history, who survived and proved against odds?
Aug 6, 3:00PM EDT0

Tina Turner! She not only got out and away from the abuse, she worked on herself through meditation, chanting, and Buddhism in general to help restore peace to the mind and try and heal from the inside out.

Aug 7, 12:53PM EDT0
In a family, how does domestic violence destroy a child's future?
Aug 6, 4:15AM EDT0

For one it warps their view of what love and relationships between men and women should look like. It causes insecurity, fear and trauma to their young minds.

Aug 6, 9:58AM EDT0
What would you tell a woman who thinks her abuser will change one day?
Aug 5, 2:04PM EDT0

First, change is only possible when one realizes for themself that they need to change......so taking ownership/personal responsibility for their actions on all fronts. Then the real hard work begins: brutal, rigid, excruiciating self analysis and self awareness that seeks actual change through getting counseling, participating in programs that target their issues: anger, hostility, alcoholism if that's part of it........and this work on self is a lifelong committment that does not waiver. And for a time they need to do this work on themselves without being in a relationship, until they are fit (if ever) to return to one.

Aug 5, 2:37PM EDT0
Some women make so many excuses trying to defend the abuse they suffer in the hands of their husbands. Are these excuses justified? What would you tell women who think there is a reason why he hit her, often apportioning blame to herself?
Aug 5, 2:15AM EDT0

The excuses are NOT justified, but that doesn't stop the woman from making them. All I can figure is it's a mix of fear.....you better make excuses when asked or the next time the abuse will be worse....and not being able to understand how someone could be so unreceptive to love, the excuses are part of a confused and appalled brain trying to reason something so totally unreasonable. I would tell women there is NEVER a justifiable reason for a man to hit a woman. It is a statement only to his troubled, angry, evil, mind!

Aug 5, 12:19PM EDT0
Do you think physical abuse becomes tougher when there are children involved?
Aug 4, 2:07PM EDT0

Absolutely, both because you do not want them growing up in a violent household and growing into adults that repeat vicious cycles, and you do not want them becoming targets themselves of the abuse.

Aug 4, 3:07PM EDT0
In your experience, why does the abuser choose to abuse?
Aug 3, 10:48PM EDT0

I don't know that they choose, it's just who they are. They can't control their rage. It can be caused by things unknown to the abuser, like undiagnosed mental illness, psychological fixations that cause anger, or just being a conscienceless, evil, waste of human life.....but whatever the individual abuser's "reason" it means little to the victim experiencing the abuse as to the why's and what for's.

Aug 4, 10:10AM EDT0
Do you think domestic violence against men is underestimated? Why do you think this is so?
Aug 3, 4:01PM EDT0

Domestic violence against men does happen. If it is underestimated I think the reasons are that we don't normally expect that type of violent behavior from women. Also, due to the difference in body statures of men and women (usually) the man can "restrain" or keep the woman off him more easily than a woman can a male abuser, therefore often they do not get to leave the level of physical proof upon their male victim.......although all the nasty words, hurtful comments and abusive language used is the same, and sometimes those cuts are the deepest. The law doesn't even take man on woman abuse serious enough, and so when it's flipped on them, they often don't take a man's claim seriously at all. My father had a girlfriend that stalked him after their breakup, he went to the police several times about it, nothing was done. She ended up shooting him 12 times in the back, leaving him paralysed but amazingly not dead..........so yeah.........it happens both ways!

Aug 3, 4:56PM EDT0
How can people support a friend or family member who is experiencing domestic violence?
Aug 3, 6:05AM EDT0

It is hard to watch someone you love and care about go through something so awful. It is hard for the outsider to understand the mindset of the abused woman, because often she will minimize occurences, or even defend her perpetrator. It can be bizarre and frustrating to the onlooker, because why would she do that? When "love"/relationships are corrupted by ongoing abuse, so many emotions are being manipulated, threats being made behind closed doors, fear being instilled in the victim....to the point they do not believe there is any true escape that won't end in someone's death. Often family and friends are threatened behind those closed doors as well, and even if they aren't directly, the woman has come to know all to well how unstable and violent her abuser is and may try and take it all on herself so that her loved ones don't become hurt also. The best support you can offer is to truly be there for the abused person. To help them seek emergency shelter, counseling and relocation if necessary in the worst case scenerios, and to be their nonjudgmental sounding board and confident at the least.

Aug 3, 5:11PM EDT0
When you left your husband, what help was available for you as a victim of domestic violence?
Aug 3, 3:14AM EDT0

There was a women's shelter called Safespace that helped me procure an immediate restraining order, as well as emergency housing at a "safe house". These type of places are best at helping in the emergency phase of a woman's getaway. They will help you find other agencies that can possibly provide further assitance for the longterm plan.

Aug 3, 5:20PM EDT0
Are there ways for people to spot abusers? Do they show any potential warning signs?
Aug 3, 2:18AM EDT0

There are, but to someone who has never experienced such things they can intially come off like a cry for help and women with their sense of nurture can actually be drawn in to wanting to "help" or "save" this person.......not understanding the depth and complexity of those early warning signs. Top potential warning sign: claims that they will kill themselves if you leave, that they can not live without you, accompanying erratic behavior such as pseudo quasi "attempts" to kill themself. In the end this will turn into their violence against you, all threats, abuse and harm becomes the victims to bear as the abuser never had one real intention of harming themselves.

Aug 4, 10:24AM EDT0
Many women stay in abusive marriages because of their children. They have no idea what to do or where they would go with their children especially if they are dependent on the man for their financial survival. What are your thoughts on this?
Aug 2, 1:57AM EDT0

I know this all to well. From "but he's their father" to "what would we do for money if we left". In my particular case he would not work, could not hold a job more than a month, so he wasn't supporting us anyway. Women often find themselves working hard, minimum wage, long hour jobs to support themselves and their children, or have to go on welfare for a time. Though that is better than being killed eventually, or beaten and tortured every day of your life. Sadly....and I say sadly because it's just a cold, hard, fact of the sexes, but often women find themselves with another man quicker than they may be emotionally ready for due to this need of support. In alot of cases they run into the same circumstances....wash, rinse, repeat, because the dysfunction runs deeper than the abuse, there may be a pattern to the type of man relationships are had with. My mother was married to four different men in her life, but she might as well have married the same man 4 times, because the he's seemed to be cut from the same cloth everytime. Having a solid support system of family, friends and financial assitance is a golden ticket in these sort of circumstances, but unfortunately that is not the case the majority of the time, and so you do the best you can, one step at a time, one day at a time.  

Aug 3, 5:41PM EDT0
Today narcissism is a word that is used alot to explain some of the behaviors of abusers, both emotional and physical. Would you say that your abusive ex-husband was a narcissist, what are the common traits one should be aware of?
Aug 1, 9:05PM EDT0

Absolutely a narcissist........in this case, also a sociopath. These types have no remorse, never take personal responsibility for anything that happens in their life and blame others for their every problem. They often can not hold a job for more than a few weeks at a time, because they eventually have a problem with everyone. Disturbingly they seem to possess a flip side of sorts that is "sly like a fox" often charming strangers with false put on behavior/language that draws them in.........then with enough exposure that begins to fade. They can not keep up the facade of polite or normal for extended periods and in the face of authority (such as police) will show their true disregard if triggered.  

Aug 3, 5:52PM EDT0
To what extent is an aggressor's violent behaviour attributed to psychological issues and how are these issues amplified or lessened by the environment in which he or she grew up?
Aug 1, 8:39PM EDT0

It can be caused by things unknown to the abuser, like undiagnosed mental illness, psychological fixations that cause anger, repetitious behavior cycles learned in dysfunctional environments, or just being a conscienceless, evil, waste of human life.....but whatever the individual abuser's "reason" it means little to the victim experiencing the abuse as to the why's and what for's.

Aug 4, 10:15AM EDT0
As a survivor of domestic violence, what would you say is the greatest fear for the victim? The fear of living with an abuser or the fear of leaving to the unknown?
Aug 1, 8:26PM EDT0

Death is the biggest fear and that teeters precariously between the living with the abuser and fear of the unknown. To make a decision between the two you literally have to get to the point that you no longer hold death as your #1 fear rather, that continued "life" with the abuser IS a fate worse than death because it is no life at all.

Aug 3, 6:02PM EDT0
What are some of your deepest regrets especially when it comes to how long it took you to walk away from an abusive relationship?
Aug 1, 6:22PM EDT0

Time is the biggest regret.........because time is all there is, it sucks royally to waste any of it! That I didn't value or love myself enough, that I would accept such treatment for a moment, is sad. With that said, I'm not a big "regret" person, because I think if you changed one thing along your entire journey, it could also displace things along the journey that you hold dear. So instead I try to learn from my mistakes, so that I may have less to regret in the future.

Aug 3, 6:09PM EDT0
How did you overcome the trauma enough to entrust your heart and life to your current husband?
Aug 1, 4:32PM EDT0

I still don't know that I have fully overcome the trauma, but I was able to entrust my heart again because love is all I have ever wanted and I knew that openess and honesty had to be part of it. My partner knows my every flaw, my every brokenness and he loves me still. 

Indeed it was scary to trust.....I had lived with a sociopath, who could lie and charm, then yell and abuse, and never show conscience or regret.

Last edited @ Aug 2, 7:57PM EDT.
Aug 2, 7:57PM EDT0
How were you finally able to gain the courage to leave your abusive marriage? Was there a turning point or did you have to plan your escape meticulously?
Aug 1, 3:19PM EDT0

Courage: (the ability to do something that frightens one).  There had to become something that frightened me more than death....which is what he promised me there would be if I ever left him. My death, even my four year old son's death, had to become less frightful than the reality we were living day to day. I decided that me and my son would die free, if die we must.......but that what I could not do, what I would not do, is keep my child in that environment to only repeat the cycle of dysfunction and abuse that had permeated my own childhood. Once it hit, it was in an instant flash (as detailed in the book) and I left him standing on an overpass bridge threatening to jump and end his life. Spoiler alert: he didn't

Aug 2, 7:41PM EDT0
Many abusers tend to make their victims feel and believe they are guilty for the abuse inflicted on them. Did you face a similar dimension in your abusive marriage? At what point did you realize you were not to blame?
Aug 1, 9:06AM EDT0

Oh yes, that is a big one. In fact in the beginning your "fault" is phrased almost like some semi-quasi compliment, such as an excuse for certain behaviors being: "I can't live without you", "I'm so crazy about you, I just couldn't think straight". Over time it becomes more abusive and intense, and you are blamed for every outburst they have........you did this, you said that, you shouldn't have done or said that. There is no winning for the victim, because the abuser's biggest pattern is to blame others for all their problems and never take personal responsibility for their actions.

As for a crystal clear moment of realization that I was not to blame, I honestly was so busy trying to survive, I do not recall the moment of epiphany.

Last edited @ Aug 4, 11:08AM EDT.
Aug 4, 10:43AM EDT0
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