Riverside domestic violence survivors speak out

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By Leana Padilla

Healthy relationships are based on equality, respect, love, partnership and communication, while abusive relationships are based of power, control and manipulation.

Relationships are hard as is, it only gets harder when you get involved in an abusive relationship. The problem with people being in an abusive relationship is that they do not even know until they start seeing cues of misbehavior from the abusive person. An abusive partner usually threats, insults or says mean and hurtful things when trying to communicate. The abusive partner does not respect the feelings, thoughts, decisions, opinions or physical well being of the victim. The extent of victimization extends beyond physical abuse.

“The emotional consequences of being in a toxic relationship is not good and healthy for anyone,’’ said Tomasa Salgado, a survivor of abuse for 27 years.

“Many people start getting their self esteem down and feeling depressed, their own personal love is very low,” said Tatiana Chams a survivor victim of domestic violence from Jurupa Valley. Chams bears the physical signs of violence every time this insecure partner hit her. The extent of her abuse as detailed by Chams, included lack of self esteem, depression and suicidal thoughts.

“Any person who commits domestic violence against another person, truly hates themselves,” said Chams. “They take their insecurities out on those around them and the closer you are to them, the easier it is for them to take everything out on you.”

The case of Tomasa Salgado is yet another example of domestic violence. She suffered physical and emotional violence at the hands of her ex husband. “My motivation to keep moving forward where my children” said Salgado.

In many cases, domestic violence comes from families that are raised with violence in their households and carry it with them because they believe that violence is normal.

“Anyone who commits domestic violence has a low self esteem. They were abused or mistreated themselves growing up,” said Salgado. “They never knew what love really is. Therefore, they cannot show it to others.”

According to a study conducted from National domestic violence hotline, 43% of dating college women report on a daily basis that are experiencing violence and abusive dating behaviors.

“Respect is the key for a healthy relationship, but lack of respect for oneself entails a lack of respect for those around your life,’’ Salgado said.

Leaving is often the most dangerous time for a victim of abuse, because abuse it is about power and control.

Believing that abuse is normal, fear of being outed, embarrassment and being shamed for cultural and religious reasons are what many women and men face when they’re in an abusive relationship and instead of leaving they stay in a toxic relationship.

They get scared from the abusive partner reaction, if they leave. A sentiment Chams shares and overcame by gaining the courage to leave.

“Leave as soon as possible. Do not believe them when they say ‘it won’t happen again,’ It will. The second someone puts their hands on you, they are showing you that they neither love you or respect you,” Chams said.

“Feeling the physical pain and the mental confusion as to whether or not it was really happening. It was so hard to believe someone I loved, whom I thought loved me, could hurt me like that.” said Chams. “Feeling physical and emotional pain from the person you love and the father of your children is not easy because you think, ‘he loves me, he will change, I can help him,’ but in reality you can’t. Then I realized that I needed to feel safe for my children and myself.” said Salgado.

“Having a violent partner can and will cause pain for the victim and those around, because his anger at that moment they blocked their minds so they don’t see that they are hurting, they are not able to understand this is a big issue and that they need help,” said Salgado.

There are many organizations that can help domestic violence victims. One of them is www. loveisrespect.org another one is http://www.thehotline.org. Please seek help and be safe.

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