?Good morning sweet souls!
?I hope you are all excited about Springing forward! The beauty of new beginnings is upon us and life starts NOW! 🙂 We must continue to rise with positivity and optimism regardless of the circumstances that surround us. We will always have something in our lives to deal with. It is how we respond to these epic milestones that reflect our true spiritual divinity, our glowing mindset, and our emotional IQ. Life is about taking risks. It’s about moving out of our comfort zones and replanting ourselves so we blossom and grow to learn new skill sets, develop patience, mindfulness, and compassion for those less fortunate than us. It is truly our duty to be service oriented because that is what gives our spirit a greater capacity to seek a higher potential in ourselves. Until we know what its like to be in someone else’s shoes, we do not learn the concept of growth, transition, compassion, and how to love one another.
?April is flying by so swiftly…? The warmth and crisp cool days have offered many of us a time of hope, reflection, and new beginnings. COVID-19 is slowly losing its grip on our mental health of anxiety, social distancing, and stress. Gyms are opening and there are more outdoor facilities for workouts, spinning, cycling, swimming, and yoga. Vaccines are becoming more frequent and I encourage everyone to get one. Restaurants, family owned businesses, locally owned stores and bars are slowly opening with care and caution so people can reconnect once more with friends, family and loved ones. Even the airlines are finding more cities domestically and internationally to fly the skies so travelers can reach their destinations safely, cheaper and faster.
?As much as we would like to admit the war on COVID-19 has ended, it has not. We are starting to see big surges in the Midwestern, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Mountain West, and Pacific Northwest states.
?The Washington Post purported on April 15th that, “Along with Michigan, 32 other states have registered increases in infections in the past two weeks, including all the states along the Great Lakes, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania. Minnesota and South Dakota are also up, making the Upper Midwest the major regional center of the spring wave. If there’s a single broad trend, it’s that the northern tier of the country is generally faring worse than the southern — for the moment. Other regional hot spots include Maine and New Hampshire in northern New England; Delaware and Maryland in the Mid-Atlantic; Arizona, Colorado and Nevada in the Mountain West; and Oregon and Washington in the Pacific Northwest.”
?As this continues, there will be more repeated shutdowns, impacting family life, furloughed workers, forcing schools online again, and raising the bar of intimate partner violence (IPV). The stay-at-home orders are for protecting us from the pandemic, but in many cases it is a violent prison to those who deal with domestic abuse on a daily basis. During the pandemic the domestic violence hotlines were ready for a 50% increase due to partners being trapped inside their dwellings from constant violence. But, because these tortured souls were unable to find a secure place to contact abuse hotlines, the organizations saw a drop in calls. This is a realization that a surge in IPV is inevitable because once the abused dwellers’ doors are opened, abused partners will be “dying” to find a place of solace.
⛓The inequities found by domestic violence organizations were that people’s social class equates to the type of healthcare received, which are magnified during a pandemic. And being told to shelter at home is not the same type of hardship for all people. It is in direct correlation for those living in lower income and rural neighborhoods trying to get access to COVID-19 vaccines. Domestic violence does not care what class, gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, or personality you are. It thrives on power, rage, and control.
- Every 73 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted.
- Nearly 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
- In one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence (beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner.
⚔️The New England Journal of Medicine discusses how economic independence is critical for the abused partners who experiences Intimate Partner Violence. Most partners entangled in their abusive spouse’s financial income is so twisted they cannot find an outlet for financial freedom for them to choose to let go. The pandemic has made it even more challenging for women of color, immigrants, and women without a college education due to enhanced unemployment and jobless claims. Safe havens, shelters, and motels have also closed their doors or restricted their capacity due to the pandemic, so seeking a place of safety for women and children is limited.
?And, tracking IPV during a pandemic is rather sketchy due to people of color not wanting to deal with police as opposed to white people. Thus, there is more under reporting of IPV because of the lack of ways to report these crimes of domestic abuse. Many families in poverty and neighborhoods of color do not have access in their homes to wifi and internet. Therefore, they are unable to contact police or 911 when being violated. It is a horrific cycle repeated over and over again until someone stops it, steps out, or is somehow diagnosed by child care, teachers, nurses, or a friend.
At this time, our best hope is when abused women, children, men, people of color, immigrants, and others are able to get their COVID-19 vaccine, that you discuss the abuse with the nurse that is providing the shot. This is your moment to shine a light into your darkness and report your partner’s IPV. Your partner is committing a crime against you and it is NOT YOUR FAULT!
?You are worthy of the best life has to offer. Goodness, love, happiness, joy, light, and love. It is all out there for the taking. You have to be willing to love yourself first and it will all gravitate towards you… Because light magnifies light. And, it equals BRILLIANCE!✨ That is who and what you are….? You have nothing to feel guilty, shameful, or fearful of. There is great power within you; a force of light waiting for you to honor from within. The God spark is the power that reigns within your spiritual divinity that will grow brighter as your self-love begins to embrace all of your perfect imperfections. It is a spiritual transformation, a renewal of the mind, and a cleansing of the spirit where old things are removed and forgiven, and the present is wiped as white as snow. It is a journey only you can make if you choose to live in the glow, where anything is possible!
When it is safe to have a discussion about your IPV, clinicians can review safety practices, such as deleting Internet browsing history or text messages; saving hotline information under other listings, such as a grocery store or pharmacy listing; and creating a new, confidential email accounts for receiving information about resources or communicating with clinicians.
☎️Whatever you decide is the best path to safety, please make haste. Your life is worthy of every second it takes to remove yourself from abuse!
?As always, if you need a hand to hold or help finding resources, please contact me, and I will assist you in making the connection.
☄️Make today one of glow my beautiful souls! Get out there and shine, shine, shine!? Light the world on fire…? Carpe Diem…??
In Light and Love,?
Dr. Kimberly Lees xo
?A beautiful spirit, Katie Conroy, asked to write a short article on Abuse for my website. I have shared it below for everyone to read. Please enjoy….
Life After Abuse: Healing Means Moving On
Katie Conroy, Author
If you’re one of the millions of men and women who feel trapped in an abusive relationship, know that you don’t have to live this way. Let Your Light Shine On shares how it’s possible to exit the relationship and stop the abuse for good.
Making a safe exit
Your first priority is to plan a safe escape from your abuser. The National Domestic Violence Hotline explains that you must first evaluate your partner’s level of abuse and assess possible dangers to you and your children. Keep any and all evidence of abuse and identify places where you can receive help, such as with a friend, family member, or law enforcement agency.
Don’t fall victim to false promises
The average abuse victim returns to their abuser seven times before making a clean break. Abusers often falsely claim they will change, but proof isn’t in words — it’s in actions, and the actions rarely come. Your abuser will likely continue his or her abusive behaviors no matter how many times you accept them back into your life. Remember, you deserve more because you are worthy of dignity and respect. There is a magnificent life waiting for you on the other side of the brick wall of abuse labeled the magic zone. Be ready and willing when it opens the door.
Address the trauma, even if it hurts
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes that intimate partner violence is one of the top causes of emotional trauma in the United States. Traumatic events — or in the case of abuse, a series of traumatic events — can lead to chronic physical health problems, depression, and substance abuse. When you want to truly heal, you must face your abuse head on. Consider speaking with a counselor or local clergy leader. This individual, along with group therapy, may help you work through the emotions associated with the abuse. The sooner you begin treatment, the better. Once you release your painful history, you will be ready to face your future with self-love, confidence, trust, and forgiveness.
Rebuild one day at a time
Your abuse likely did not start all at once. More often than not, patterns of abuse emerge over time. Likewise, you cannot expect to heal the moment you shut your abuser out of your life. You can begin the process by paying attention to your physical and mental health and taking some time to enjoy life on your terms. Even when you’re in the midst of trying to rebuild yourself financially, socially, and professionally, you should do something just for you, such as participating in a former favorite hobby. If possible, consider moving and making a career change. Start your home search online, and you’ll be better able to identify areas where you’ll feel safe settling down and that you can afford.
Face your finances
Unfortunately, one of the most difficult challenges for abuse survivors is reclaim their financial freedom. It’s arduous, but financial freedom, including buying a home, isn’t it out of reach. MarketWatch explains there are numerous down payment assistance programs, many of which require no down payment at all. You may need to learn — or relearn — how to balance a family budget. Depending on your overall lifestyle, you may also need to learn how to live with less money and change your habits to best fit your new income.
Get ready, get set, go!
Use your moving day as a turning point in your life. Consider hiring a moving company that can handle the heavy lifting. This is even more useful when you must retrieve personal belongings, such as furniture and electronics from the home that you shared with your abuser. When the truck is on the road, it’s time to leave that life behind.
The time you spent in an abusive relationship can’t be erased, but today and every day hereafter is a blank canvas. You have control and the power to write your story with the happy ending you deserve. You’ve Got This!
For empowering support, encouragement, and resources, subscribe to the Let Your Light Shine On FB group.
You can also contact Dr. Kimberly Lees on her website, letyourlightshineon.org for more personal matters.
IPV Resources for Patients
Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741)
National Parent Hotline (call 1-855-427-2736)
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (visit https://www.childhelp.org/childhelp-hotline/. opens in new tab or call 1-800-422-4453)
National Domestic Violence Hotline (visit http://thehotline.org. opens in new tab, text LOVEIS to 22522, or call 1-800-799-7233)
Futures Without Violence (visit https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/resources-events/get-help/. opens in new tab)