Using the social networks to raise awareness of domestic abuse

ACFJ is getting reports of people who’ve been blessed by getting info from their friends’ social network posts. Here’s how one user used the social network to promote the cause:

I have been reading ACFJ for some time now. I listened to all 21 of Jeff C’s sermons on abuse and I think they might have saved my life. They saved my sanity for sure. I am sure there are others out there who need this message. I’ve emailed links to some, but perhaps there are some out there that I don’t know about. It took a while for me to post on the social network, but when I was comfortable with this, I started sharing links to ACFJ articles and other articles that I thought would equip people who need this info. Because I don’t want to get “hidden,” and because this cause doesn’t consume my entire life, I limit myself to a post every other day or so. And I am sure to post about other things too, including the obligatory cute animal video here and there and pictures of the family doing family things. I have never mentioned X in my posts. I have never mentioned that I am a survivor. I might make a comment on how important the article is or how relevant it is to something (NOT me or X).

Social Networks [SNs] can be important to survivors for many reasons. If you think you’re heading to court, SNs could be helpful with documenting various things. It might be helpful to ask your lawyer for help with this. I feel it’s important to post a couple of family sort of pictures or funny observations about the kids quite often. I’ve read that abusive Xs often start maligning survivors and claiming that they aren’t being good parents, that they aren’t attending church, that they aren’t spending enough time with the kids, etc. SN posts early and often keep my family fun front and center in friends’ minds. This way, when the abuser tries to claim something ridiculous it is less likely to be credible. Also, if a child gets hurt with me, I might post a picture and the back story once things settle down, maybe even ask for prayer. I like getting prayed for, of course. And I want to launch a preemptive strike. If the abuser wants to go telling others that the kids got hurt with me, pretty much everyone already knows and has already prayed about it. It’s also fun to post about dinner with pictures of the food (Xs can’t claim kids get fed poorly), congratulate the kids for accomplishments (Xs can’t claim kids are struggling with ____ because of me), how much you miss them while they are with Xs’ parents (X can’t claim I don’t let kids see family).

How do you use SNs to get the message to people who need it? How do you use SNs to protect your family?

Side note from Barb and Jeff C: we have been adding posts more frequently to the Cry For Justice Facebook Page, thanks to the help of one of our readers who we’ve made a ‘content creator’ on the page. You might like to check out some of these posts and share them to your own social networks. The traffic to our FB page has markedly increased, since our helper started beavering away at this,  and many of the hits are coming as a result of people having shared one of our FB page posts on their personal FB page.

Here are Ellie’s questions again, in case that little announcement sidetracked you:

How do you use SNs to get the message to people who need it?
How do you use SNs to protect your family?

13 thoughts on “Using the social networks to raise awareness of domestic abuse”

  1. For me, the biggest thing that SN has done was allowing me to reconnect with old friends who knew me before things got bad. People who really knew my heart and didn’t have a lot of preconceptions about what was right or wrong about my marriage (because they didn’t really know much about my marriage). Or to put it differently, to connect with people who cared more about me than they did my marriage.

  2. I don’t use SN sites (if that means facebook and the like) but I do visit and post on a few forums and these forums have been instrumental in helping me to find my way out of abuse. It was on a home schooling forum that I learned of Barbara’s book! I’ll never forget the sweet lady who told me about it. And it was on a blog site (lovefraud) that I learned that abusers often masquerade as Christians (as my ex did). I seriously had no idea. I frequently post about Barbara’s book and Jeff Crippen’s book as well as Instone-Brewer’s book to help those I think may be in an abusive relationship because I know that for many abuse victims the only safe source of information and support they have is forums, blogs and SN sites. And I know that they are probably living in a “fog” and they need these resources so the “fog” can lift.

  3. The traffic to our FB page has markedly increased, since our helper started beavering away at this, and many of the hits are coming as a result of people having shared one of our FB page posts on their personal FB page.

    Woohoo! Let’s hear it for social networking and your content creator! 😀

    The more the better, I say!

  4. As one of the team at this blog, of course I sometimes post on our ACFJ Facebook page. But I also sometimes share things from the blog or from our FB page on my personal FB page. And I usually make those posts visible to the public, not just to my FB friends, which is safe for me to do, as I have blocked my ex from coming to or writing on my FB page and the ACFJ page at FB.
    I am just starting to use Google+ and don’t know my way round it much, but I occasionally hit the +1 button when I like an item on the web, which I think shares the item somehow to a wider audience.
    I haven’t yet wanted /been techno-brave enough / had the time to get into Twitter, but I know many who do and they encourage me to do so as it helps widen your network.

    1. Google plus is amazing, because my dad and most of the people who know him don’t use it, so I can post pretty much anything there – it is an amazingly freeing thing to have a place where I can post stuff from here or from other blogs or even political stuff that I know would get me a rant if I put it where he could see.

      But the best thing is that a number of my sisters are on it, so when I post things from here I can know that they might be getting to people who actually need the help.

      If you hit +1, btw, it doesn’t actually show up on your page, you can only see it from the backend if you look up your ‘likes’ or whatever, and it shows as a ‘+’ on the article itself, but it is absolutely the best way to show that you thought the article was helpful even if you don’t mean to ‘share’ it. Other people won’t be able to see that it was you, all it does is add to the article’s cred so to speak. If you are debating about whether or not to share it, by all means do hit the plus one – it means a lot to those of us who do use it.

  5. For some time I used a quote from the book ‘Crying Out for Justice’ or the title of one of the ACFJ blogs as my status update on FB. Enormous private response! Keep it coming.

  6. Social Media is so powerful to me today.
    For a long time, I shut down from talking about my abuse to anyone. With my past experience, telling my loved ones or the courts did not help me. My parents turned their back on me when I insisted on getting divorced. When I tried to explain to them why I HAD to leave my abuser their candid response was “Stop living in the past and move forward.”
    When I filed for divorce in 2005 I was beaten down physically and emotionally. Our divorce was bitter and the custody battles were endless. I was lead to believe that when domestic violence was presented that my ex would be forced to go to anger management classes and I could leave our marriage hassle free. Not once was the abuse ever brought up. I would ask my lawyer MANY times, when can I talk about the abuse and she would tell me-“Its not time yet” My ex would threaten me to not talk about the abuse or he would make me suffer greatly but I was ready to scream at the top of my lungs as to why I hated this man. I never, ever had the chance to speak in the courts-not one word. My experience with the courts is that you have to buy your innocence. An attribute I could not afford. I was a stay at home mom and my ex is an army officer. My lawyer was horrible and my ex’s lawyer was an awesome litigator. She is now a judge in Fayetteville, NC where my divorce took place.
    After I was thrown around the courtroom while my ex snickered the entire time, I was forced to make some very difficult choices to survive. It was exhausting for me some days to put one foot in front of the other. But, with time, my wounds started to heal. I stayed silent for 5 years after my divorce. The only people that knew my story besides my family were very few. I wanted to walk away from all of the hate, the abuse, harassment and constant court battles. I moved far away, because I wanted to be someone else. I didn’t tell people about my past or I just out right lied so I wouldn’t have to talk about Me. I did not want to keep reliving all the pain. However, I was forced to tell my doctors when I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2009. The cause was years of built-up scar tissue proceeding years of head trauma from the abuse. I was devastated to think that for the rest of my life I would be reminded WHY I have to take my daily medication for epilepsy. This diagnosis pushed me into more of a reclusive state. There were days that I became immobilized and I hated that feeling.
    While I was facing these events, I was receiving emails and phone calls from people who were confused. Messages from old friends that my ex and I shared tracked me down. Strangers that did not know who I was but thought they did because of the lies being told about me-
    “What kind of mother leaves her children?”
    Messages from some of my children’s friends who were also confused
    “Where are you Mrs. Landers?”
    My ex husband was on rampage because my children started to put up a fight. They wanted their mom and they started talking. So my ex started the process of “damage control” He had to make up lies to counteract the children’s stories. From the rumors that were spread by this pitiful man-I was a stripper, a hooker, a drug addict, an alcoholic. I abused and neglected my children and I cheated on him numerous times and that’s why he divorced me. It was easy for him to have an audience that believed him because he moves quite often in the army. Another key point is that I was not there to defend myself. It had been 5 years that my silence was welcomed by my abuser but what he failed to realize is that there were 4 witnesses-our children and they starting using their voices.
    It was time for me to not only stand up but STAND OUT. So, I started a blog in January 2010. I piddled for a few months just writing about the weather, and such, but one day, I woke up, and there was divine intervention. I don’t have a great intervention story..it was just a voice that said-“Its your time now. Use your voice and never stop.”
    So, I started writing and I couldn’t stop. I did choose to use my ex husbands name. I feel that for me-If I am going to scream at the top of my lungs I am not going to protect him anymore. I protected him for 18 years and it did me no good. He has taken me to court many times to try stop me from using my voice and I would love to say to his face-“You won’t take that away from me again”
    Social media has helped me tremendously. I find empowerment from my writings and others. This blog has added to my growth and knowledge and I find comfort in the people at Cry for Justice. God is very present here and I love that!
    God Bless all of you~

    1. This is what happened to me. God was telling me beforehand that he was going to give me a voice, and then he said, NOW. Use your voice now, and don’t ever stop. If you’re not speaking up for you, then speak up for someone else. You are a survivor, I have made you a fighter, and you are called to be a voice. Go and do it.

      That’s when I found ACFJ, and started my own blog. I’ve been a little tentative about it, finding my footing, but I’ve never looked back. hugs Good for you, finding your way. Your children are blessed to have a mother like you.

  7. It was time for me to not only stand up but STAND OUT. So, I started a blog in January 2010. I piddled for a few months just writing about the weather, and such, but one day, I woke up, and there was divine intervention. I don’t have a great intervention story..it was just a voice that said-“Its your time now. Use your voice and never stop.”
    So, I started writing and I couldn’t stop. I did choose to use my ex husbands name. I feel that for me-If I am going to scream at the top of my lungs I am not going to protect him anymore. I protected him for 18 years and it did me no good. He has taken me to court many times to try stop me from using my voice and I would love to say to his face-“You won’t take that away from me again”

    Awesome!

  8. I have not been using social networks, but it is time I started! Thanks for the info and from comments also.

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.