That’s how I feel after a volunteer session with DVIRP (an organisation that helps with people in domestic violence).

My main role is being helpline volunteer, where I answer calls from or call back service users (eseh, bukan ‘patients’). It’s been 4 sessions now and I must say, in that cliche way, it actually is satisfying (they weren’t lying during training week). I can’t tell the details as of course everything’s confidential. But after each session, I just feel ….. grateful. There are husbands and partners out there who are not treating women right (and I’m sure, there are cases of the opposite sex being the same) and my heart boils and saddens and boils again at the thought of it.

Listening to their stories, I can feel them banging their heads on the walls and pulling their hair out. And I’m scratching my head too. A lot of the times, it’s first time callers I talk to and the problems that lay ahead of them seems to pile up like mountains and I too am scratching my head on where to start. But I hope, I hope, that opening up for once (for a lot of them) eases and unburdens them in some way and it helped talking to me.

Anyway so I go home feeling grateful. And feeling glad that I live and have lived a comfortable, protected life. And that my husband is my protector rather than someone I need to be wary and scared of. Alhamdulillah.

I also vow to be a better wife and treat him better once I get home. Until of course, he messes up the grocery shopping or the likes (actually he didnt really messed it up, he just bought the wrong uhukpadsuhuk for me) >_<

"Domestic abuse doesn't just happen "out there" somewhere–it happens in our town, in our neighborhood, on our street. It happens to people we see at the supermarket, the movie theater, the ballet, the bowling alley, and the PTA board meeting. It happens to our friends, our coworkers, and our family members. Women who have experienced domestic abuse look just like everyone else. They look just like me. Abused women look just like Judy North, a first-grade teacher from Nebraska who remained with her abusive husband for ten years, until the night she finally stood up to him…and woke up in the emergency room. Abused women look just like Whitney Benson, a Mormon college student from southern Utah. She worries about the scars on her face from her boyfriend's class ring; I worry about the scars on her soul from his carefully crafted campaign of criticism, intimidation, and punishing rape. And abused women look just like Andrea Hartley, a pediatrician in her late forties who considers herself extremely fortunate. Although the man she married when she was thirty proved to be extremely violent, the emotional support of her family, friends, and medical colleagues enabled her to leave him only four months later. They come from all walks of life. Some are well educated; others barely finished high school. Some come from wealthy families; others come from poor ones. Some witnessed terrifying family violence as children; others never heard an angry word. Some were raised by warm, supportive families; others by cold, distant families. Some married young; others married late. They worship in churches, in synagogues, or not at all. They come from big cities, small towns, farming communities, and suburbs. What these women have in common is that each was in an intimate relationship with a man who abused her. Some were abused physically. Some were abused sexually. All were abused psychologically…the most devastating type of abuse, leaving the deepest wounds."

That's actually a product description from amazon of a book called "Surviving Domestic Violence: Voices of Women Who Broke Free". I thought it explained well about DV.

I wonder what options there are for people experiencing DV in Brunei. I know one of the ministry's would have some sort of department involved in it, but people are wary of involving 'the government'.

Anyway I'm off, to sleep, which is my favourite pastime these days. Aside from eating :s

Lotsa love,

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