Awareness is the first step to breaking the cycle of domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports, “30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.” The same report reveals, “Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40 -45% of battering relationships.” Addressing domestic violence without addressing sexual assault is irresponsible. While not every act of domestic violence, in-home or otherwise, is linked to domestic violence, far too many victims and survivors experience both.
Here is the first hand account of Hanz Moniefiero Medina. Mr. Medina was a child witness to domestic violence and a survivung victim of child abuse. He brings awareness through his story and the story of his friends who endured similar fates and sexual assault.
“Ever since I was little, my world was pretty much like a circle. It was a vicious cycle of verbal violence to physical violence. It all started with my mom’s sister-in-law and mother-in law. My mom was Dutch and married into an Arab family (my late dad). My mom did not feel accepted even after she had converted to being a Muslim. The only one that was nice and protecting of her was my mom’s father-in-law. While my late dad did not believe much of what my mom said.
[My mother] vent[ed] her anger on me. Getting kicked around, dangle me naked on a 2nd floor story, starve and locked in the room and have to wait for my dad to save me. It happened daily. It got worse day to day. My littlest mistakes of being a kid would [create] major drama [causing me to get] chased down by her and getting beaten up ruthlessly with a belt or anything she could find in the kitchen. Many times, things would get bloody. I have many little scars on my face. [My mother’s] in-laws hated [her]and the person she married wasn’t helping. My dad was totally neglecting me with [his] work, day in and day out. He expected my mom to live ‘peacefully’ with her in-laws and to love her mother-in-law. My mom left me in the end by fleeing and till now I do not know where she is.
I still [did] not know my dad proper[ly] after [my mother] leaving. [He] completely neglected me. My dad passed away 2 years later. After that, I was kicked around [to] the people I should consider family. The emotional abuse and mental torture continued for many years till I ran away at the age of 16 and got my own space until now.
I [had] nightmares back then, having absolute social anxiety and getting nervous easily and even shaking hands would be a problem. I would feel someone was following me every time. It is better now but I do experience those things I mentioned sometimes but not as bad. So, I haven’t actually overcome it entirely. My guard is high but I am more acceptable to people and have some to be considered as friends. I live on my own now. Though I am struggling a little, it is better off trying to support myself and I’m still living.
By writing ‘I’m Prohibited’, it is a way to share to people around the world, especially victims [and] survivors to find a way to break free. I have been de-humanized and I hope by sharing part of my story alongside my two friends’ story in I’m Prohibited I would like to feel human again for responses of readers. Every time someone responds to my book even anonymously and share their pain and tells me how much they can relate to the real happenings in my book, I feel good that I’m helping them to step forward to break free.”
You can download 50% of the book sample on Smashwords. It will soon be on Barnes & Noble, Amazon and ITunes.