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When will you remove your mask?



Tina Laws

For many, home is where you are most vulnerable and transparent. At home, we tend to wear our masks of weakness, discouragement, discomfort, compromise, uncertainty, selflessness, development and growth, exploration, and experiences without feeling publicly judged. Only those who share our private space will know these things about us. Now, imagine sharing your home with your batterer.

Earlier on in life

Many are taught at an early age to keep their mouth shut about house business. We are taught to remain silent about the negative things that happen within the home. Children are forbidden to repeat the arguments between their parents and/or family members, inform family or friends of the empty fridge, forced to do homework using the light of candles, older siblings having the responsibility of the parent, and in many instances, have had to endure various forms of abuse. Basically, it teaches them to keep their vulnerable side silent; unless they are in the privacy of their home.

Fast forward

There are many adults suffering in abusive relationships today.  They continue to live with the premise that, “what goes on in the home, stays in the home.” Many are suffering in silence. They wake up every morning, put on their mask, and off to work they go. Sick leave has sky rocketed. Doctors are prescribing medication to cope. The teen violence has hit the roof. Workplace abuse has become too common. Alcohol and illicit substances are being purchased like it’s toilet paper.  Has anyone stopped to think about the influence domestic violence can have in these situations?

As adults, subconsciously, we wear several masks daily. Masks that can change with the drop of a dime. The mask of silence is most popular in this case. So how do we now shift the gears towards removing the masks? How do we change the misconception that we should keep our home business inside our homes? How do we encourage individuals to speak up and remove the silence about domestic abuse? How do we convince victims that silence is destroying them and /or their family?


  • By having the courage to tell your story. Especially by individuals who have experienced abuse at the hands of their loved ones; and have become victors.
  • Seek supportive services to gain the necessary tools to empower self.
  • Join support groups with other victims.
  • Seek supportive services for your children.
  • Enroll into activities you wouldn’t ordinarily join.
  • Start researching the things in which you want to accomplish.
  • Make a plan, work towards it, and never lose hope or give up.

Use your past to move forward…

The same way you chose to remain silent about the negative situations in your childhood home, as an adult, you can now make your own decisions and choose to acquire the necessary tools towards living an abuse free lifestyle. As children, you were told when to talk and to shut up by the adults in your life. Now that you are the adult, you have the say. You DO NOT have to allow those abusive partners to take on the role of the adults in your childhood; thus, controlling what you do and say. Speak up for yourself, domestic violence will kill your soul, emotions and dreams. Ultimately, it can take your life. Walking away from an abusive partner is not easy, but with support, you can eventually live an abuse free lifestyle. The great thing is, you have already mastered the skills to be vulnerable and transparent. So, what will it take for you to remove your mask?

If you or someone you know are being abused, please seek support. Help is only a call or email away.

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