My boyfriend goes into the kitchen, and there are dishes in the sink. I’m sitting on the couch, aware that this is one of his only pet peeves. The instantaneous trigger reaction begins, and my whole body begins to pump adrenaline. Then I take a breath, then another deeper one, and remind myself that this is now. This is my boyfriend, the most gentle, loving man I have ever known. The trigger reaction, locked deep within my molecules, comes from living with a man whose reaction to dishes in the sink very likely could have been screaming anger, dishes being thrown and broken or even physical violence – all of this inflicted on my mother. I lived with that man for the first eleven years of my life.
“It’s none of my business.”
“That’s a family matter.”
“They will work it out eventually.”
Those are just some of the statements I continue to hear about domestic violence. Addressing domestic violence with care and empathy is important, and intervening safely is critical. But oftentimes, it can be hard to know what to do or how to do it.
Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos shares about his personal experience with domestic violence and discusses ways we can help others experiencing abuse.