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Is Bravery Enough?

Do you know an individual that may be in an intimate relationship that has the potential to escalate to violence (if it hasn’t already)? Do you fear that there may not be a way out of your current relationship? Do you know someone who feels that they lack the courage or conviction to leave an abusive relationship?

Bravery, Courageousness, Nerve: Allowing ones self to feel fear, yet moving forward despite the fear of the unknown.

I have made many decisions that required me to feel brave. I left an abusive relationship while having to care for a 3 1/2 year old and an 18 month old. Like many people I have had to amputate other unhealthy relationships, and over and over, people told me I was “brave.” I certainly didn’t feel that way, nor did I have any idea of the consequences that would follow the decisions I was making.

Life coaching and violence prevention as we know it today, simply did not exist and like many, I had to make quick, best - but somewhat uninformed – important survival decisions. Like the time I had to call the police to report a drunken, abusive ex-husband at my home. Following the protocol at the time, the responding officers simply put him back in his car, followed him home to his house, refused to make a report (no blood, no broken bones, no report) and treated me as though I was the problem.

If I were so brave, why did I feel so awful?

A battered woman’s risk of being harmed or killed is much higher than that of a non-battered woman. In order to identify these high risk women and the risk factors associated with them, it is important to remember that over 50% of women who are killed by their partners (or ex-partners) did not let their situation be known. Why not? We have thrown off the pre-conceived ideas that battered women only live in poor areas, are uneducated and have no resources…or have we?

I hope to bring light to the suffering of victim’s in our somewhat silent society by equipping wellness and peak performance professionals with the skills and knowledge to assist people in violent or potentially violent situations. Coaches who are schooled in violence prevention, schooled in identifying the emotional, physical and spiritual processes of intimate partner abuse (including stalking, battering, post-intimate and stranger abuse) will be able to assist and support in determining the actual threat and the risk of the threat being carried out and to assist in creating, supporting and executing a plan of action that will deescalate the situation.

From the American Psychological Association:

  • More than one in three women and more than one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

  • 74 percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner (spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were women killed by their intimate partners.

  • One in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

  • Interpersonal violence is the leading cause of female homicides and injury-related deaths during pregnancy.

  • The percentage of women who consider their mental health to be poor is almost three times higher among women with a history of violence than among those without.

  • Women with disabilities have a 40 percent greater risk of intimate partner violence, especially severe violence, than women without disabilities.

I welcome you to add your comments!

Look for on-line classes to begin in May 2015!

#violencepreventioncoaching #bethsiegert

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