Domestic Abuse: from Fear to Confidence

Domestic Abuse: from Fear to Confidence

When you leave an abusive relationship, you are driven by fear. At some point you know that if you stay, you’ll die, one way or another. And if you have kids, that they are at great risk too. You may not be able to say that it’s the right choice, because your thoughts are not clear, your mind is dealing with many contradictions; guilt and shame are your best friends for years.

You’ll find on your way back to life, many voices that will make you doubt your decisions to get out of a domestic abuse situation. It will be friends and professionnals. And it will be tough to listen to those people, who seem to know better than you what you went though and what you ought to do to start again. You will listen at first and you will feel less and less powerful, more and more under stress, pressure. All your energy seems gone to a land where you can’t catch it again.

Obviously, the person committing abbuse will do everything to win your back; your kids will be used for bartering —so easy! Many people think that it’s just about leaving domestic abuse, when in fact it’s so much more. It’s about finding yourself again, in a battle that looks like it will never ever end. And, also, it’s about keeping your kids safe and well.

Kids are the priority

Often people tell you—now that you’re out and ready to start a new life away from your abuser—that you have to take care of yourself. On paper, this looks great for sure, but in reality, if you have kids, you will want to protect them first. How can you think about yourself, when for years you have been nothing, and when you have been told you were good for nothing. First things first. Getting out of domestic abuse will cost you: 1. insomnia, 2. a great deal of money to find the best lawyer, 3. countless thoughts about whether you should give him/her another chance…again.

It lasted four years for me, between the time I left to the time the divorce was validated. It was all about our child. As much as I wanted him to have a relationship with his dad, I wanted the law of my country to guarantee the best protection for him too. I knew my ex-husband would do anything to mess it up. And he did.

Under threat

Domestic abuse doesn’t stop one morning bacause you decide it’s over. It’s always there, not visible, but in the words said, unsaid, in the behaviour, in the way the abuser is changing roles, again and again and again. So you are not able to tell what’s true, what’s not. You’re confused and back under his power once more.

It’s tough when you want your life back but you feel dragged down every time you make a step forward.

Stand your ground

At some stage you will need to get past voices around you and find your own. It’s a step-by-step process, full of ups and downs. I remember feeling free one day and back to darkness the next. But as months went by, I could see more days with freedom and fewer without. When people used to tell me things, I let them talk. By the end of the divorce, I had been through enough to understand a bit more about my ex-husband. He only wanted me to be the bad guy of the story.

But in front of the judge he did not stand any chance. The evidence was against him. People did not know my story. But I knew it by heart. I knew what I lived was not about love but only possession. And that his goal now was not to lose face in front of his family and community. Nothing more.

Know what’s best

I got help. I worked a lot. I wrote many lines. I poured out on to paper all the things I could not get my head around. And there were many. For me, it’s not about will power at first, it’s about understanding what abuse is, how we got there, why and how we can get out of it. It’s an enlightening road, cause when you start walking in your real shoes, you start seeing the whole picture.

I think that we all know what’s best for us, whatever other people think. My son did not see his dad for six years. Today, he is seeing his dad once a month in a supervised center. Many are still telling me that he is his dad and he won’t do anything to harm him, or that maybe he could see him out of this place. For me it’s a NO WAY. I know what’s best for him and me.

At the end of the story, you know you are part of it too. And you start taking care of yourself! Maybe,for the first time in your life!

Do you have any preconceived ideas (we all have some at some stage) about domestic abuse? How is the Law protecting kids and parents in your country?

This is an original post to World Moms Network from our contributor in France, Marie V. The featured image used in this post is attributed to Safe Horizon.

Marie Kléber

Marie is from France and is living near Paris, after spending 6 years in Irlande. She is a single mum of one, sharing her time between work, family life and writing, her passion. She already wrote 6 books in her native langage. She loves reading, photography, meeting friends and sharing life experiences. She blogs about domestic abuse, parenting and poetry @

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WORLD VOICE: Lifting Myself Up With Strength Training

WORLD VOICE: Lifting Myself Up With Strength Training


Me and my boys on one of my very first training sessions. And on our very first training session on an island!

“You’ve got big muscles, Mom!” my six-year-old giggled as he poked at my legs.

“I’ve got muscles like you too,” he flexed his biceps and smiled proudly. He has been watching me get stronger physically through strength training, but he’s observing much more than me building muscle.

On September 26, 2014, I made a commitment to myself and my boys. I walked down a long gravel driveway to my first outdoor strength training session unsure of what to expect. All I knew is that I wanted to take care of myself and become as strong physically as I already was mentally. If I could take care of myself – mentally, physically and spiritually – then I could be the best mom for my kids.

The previous seven months were long and hard. I separated from and divorced my husband, made some incredibly tough decisions, sold my house, moved into a much smaller rental with my two boys, changed my name, worked on my book and started a brand new life.

I was happier than I had been in a long time, but I was worn out. There were days that I felt like I should have been wearing war paint. In the process of all this change, I lost weight. They say the divorce diet either makes you eat more or not at all. I had to force myself to eat during the hardest months because I was in survival mode for so long, my body never told me to nourish itself.

My first workout at WolfPack Fitness was intimidating. Training is done outside or in a barn, and the equipment is unconventional. I had very little arm strength and could barely lift a wooden beam with two arms for a landmine press or control a lightweight sledgehammer to smash a tire. My form was terrible, and I had a lot to learn.

It took time, but I learned. I learned proper form. I learned how to master basic movements we use in everyday life. I learned what my body was capable of. What I was capable of.

In the process of this learning, my kids were watching. My gym is also a wonderful, supportive community. I made instant new friends and so did my kids. They often come with me when I work out. They can explore nature or they can join me. Either choice is an enriching experience for them.


My boys spray painting cinderblocks, our home gym equipment.

Today, I can easily do several landmine presses with a weighted beam and smash the heck out of a tire with a heavier sledgehammer. I can even do pull-ups off a tree branch and wield a cinderblock over my head.

I have gained a solid ten pounds of lean muscle. I am strong, not only for a woman, but for a human being. My body has never looked better, and I have never felt better.

I’ve gained the muscle, as my six-year-old likes to note, but I gained much more than that.

Lifting weights has brought me closer to friends I have known for years and introduced me to new friends who have loved and accepted me from day one. It has given me the energy to jump with my kids at a trampoline park for two hours as other parents sit and look on.

My training has grounded me, allowing me to handle all the wonderful things the universe has thrown my way over the past year. It has given me a level of self-worth that I have not had in a very long time.

As mothers, we do whatever we need to do to take care of and protect our kids. Too often it’s our own self-care that suffers in our quest to be the best mom we can be.

I choose to lift myself up through strength training. How do you lift yourself up?

This is an original post by Jennifer Iacovelli of for World Moms Blog.

Jennifer Iacovelli

Jennifer Iacovelli is a writer, speaker and nonprofit professional. Based in Brunswick, Maine, she’s a proud single mom of two boys and one Siberian husky.  Jennifer is the author of the Another Jennifer blog and creator of the Simple Giving Lab. Jennifer is also a contributing author of the book The Mother Of All Meltdowns. Her work has been featured on GOODBlogHerUSAID ImpactFeed the Future and the PSI Impact blog. Her latest book, Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day, is available everywhere. Her passions are writing, philanthropy, her awesome kids and bacon, though not necessarily in that order.

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INDONESIA: Helping Children Cope With Divorce

INDONESIA: Helping Children Cope With Divorce

Divorce is difficult for adults. Divorce is difficult for children. It is difficult for everyone. No doubt about it. I had sailed through it. Not a smooth sailing – mind you – but I learnt so much through the process. (more…)


Founder of Single Moms Indonesia, community leader and builder. Deeply passionate about women empowerment.

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INDONESIA: Ode To Homeroom Moms

INDONESIA: Ode To Homeroom Moms



Ever since my son started school I always have these odd feelings when it comes to socializing with the other moms.

It was my mental block.

Being a single mom, I used to fear about what the other parents will think of me and my boy. The school has been nothing but supportive and treat my boy no differently than his other friends who comes from a whole unit family.

Yes, my boy has his challenges in school.

My beautiful boy, who is a sensitive child, whose mom is quite outgoing, turns out to be shy. He sometimes has difficulty in social settings. It took him awhile to warms up to new situations and surroundings.

Maybe it was growing up alone. I raised him alone with his father without any family help or nanny until he was almost 2 years old. He had no friends around his age to play with until he started school. There were a lot of factors, yet, we are working on this together as a family. Maybe it was being an only grandson for years and having a dotting loving grandma who defends him like he’s a little king?

Yet I know he’s a loving sweet boy with a gentle soul.

When he was in per-Kindergarten and Kindergarten I did not socialize at all with the other parents from his school. Yes, I’d smile and say hi when we met at school’s events or functions but other than that I kept to myself.

I was afraid I would be judged for being a single mom.

I stood awkwardly alone in every single school events while the other kids had both their parents around. Sometimes I felt like I was wearing a big sign on my back that screamed out my status. I hate using the “I’m-a-single-mom” card unless it’s absolutely necessary. The school knew my status from day one, but not many of the other parents have known. They might eventually figure it out.

Now that my son is in the first grade, things are changing.

I have been a single mom for close to 4 years now, and I no longer feel ashamed of being one. I began to relax a bit and not really care about what other people thinks of being a divorcee.

Although I couldn’t be actively involved in school as much as I’d like to due to being a full time working mom, I am so grateful for these awesome homeroom moms.

For special moms who volunteer in school.

Here’s an ode to you lovely homeroom moms:

  1. Thank you for being our ‘representative’ while we working mom have to work long hours.
  2. Thank you for being our ‘voices’ to the homeroom teacher, assistant, and even the principal.
  3. Thank you for passing on to us information that sometimes was missed from the school’s communication book.
  4. Thank you for coordinating the costumes for our children’s school play.
  5. Thank you for helping individual kids who sometimes struggle alone and would be missed by the teacher or assistant because they are shy – just like my little boy.
  6. Thank you for the solidarity in watching and keep an eye on all our children there.
  7. Thank you for snapping pictures of school events and sharing them with us moms who couldn’t be there.
  8. Thank you for arranging a car pool.
  9. Thank you for devoting your time for our children.
  10. Thank you for being the wonderful ladies that you are.

This year, I am so grateful for these beautiful soul moms who have welcomed me warmly into the group.

Are you a homeroom mom? Are you actively involved in your children’s school?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Maureen of  Scoops of Joy.

Photo credit to the author.


Founder of Single Moms Indonesia, community leader and builder. Deeply passionate about women empowerment.

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NORTH CAROLINA, USA: When A Friend Breaks Up With You

In the last few years, I’ve had several friendships end. Some of them have been due to difference of opinion about my separation and divorce, and others have just been a gradual drifting apart. Memories of them might cause me to feel a sharp sting, or even bring tears to my eyes. I had never cried over the loss of a friendship with a woman until last May.

I had been friends with Joy for 8 years, seeing her through her divorce, taking her kids for weekends at a time while she went away for sanity time, or on modeling jobs to help support her kids. We were like sisters. We were always at each other’s houses, helping each other, secure in the fact that we had each other’s back any time, anywhere. (more…)

Frelle (USA)

Jenna grew up in the midwestern US, active in music and her church community from a young age. She developed a love of all things literary thanks to her mom, and a love of all things science fiction thanks to her dad. She left the midwest in her early twenties and has lived in the south ever since.

On her blog, she tries to write words that make a difference to people. Long before she attended college to major in Special Ed and Psychology, she became an advocate for special needs and invisible disabilities. She's always been perceptive of and encouraging to those who struggle to fit in. Having been through several dark seasons in her own life, she's found empowerment in being transparent and vulnerable about her emotions, making deep and lasting friendships, and finding courage to write from her heart. Her biggest wish is to raise her kids to be compassionate people who love well.

She's been online since 1993, with a total of 19 years of social media exposure. Having friends she doesn't know in real life has been normal for her since her junior year in college, and she's grateful every day for the ways technology helps her stay in touch with friends from all over the world.

Jenna lives in a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina, and is a freelance writer and a stay at home single mom to 3 girls and a boy. She blogs at

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