Helping DV victims regain themselves
“I was yelled at for being incompetent, threatened to pick up my child, and every time I was pressed against the floor, I was helpless because I couldn’t help it, and at the same time, the scene my father had in Japan revived vividly. So I knew what my husband was doing wrong. Yes, I knew it, but I didn’t realize I was a victim of domestic violence. I want to think about it. I didn’t, and I didn’t want to know. I was scared to admit that I was in the same situation as my mother. “
Kanako (pseudonym) was born and raised in Japan. When I was a kid, I continued to be bullied for no particular reason, and grew up at home watching my father routinely rant to his mother. As if avoiding reality, Kanako’s eyes were always directed to the outside world with infinite possibilities, and she decided to go to the United States after graduating from high school. I met Josh (a pseudonym) who would later become my husband at university.
Soon I will give birth to my eldest daughter and my eldest son. However, from Josh of personality that work does not last long, 2 people of life is unstable, it did those economically severe. While Kanako was absorbed in raising her child, her immigration status and ID expired. Even if I asked for an extension procedure, Josh always procrastinated for some reason, and when he noticed, Kanako was isolated from society and was once again stuck in a “small world.”
The final destination for the two was a homeless shelter. One day when Josh was away from the shelter for work, a woman staying in the same shelter talked to Kanako. “Hey, aren’t you being abused?” Kanako was surprised and immediately denied. But the woman said, “You’re being abused. It’s like looking at me in the old days. When you have a husband, you’re always looking down, but when he’s gone, your face brightens. “.
Since that day, Kanako has been asking herself. “Is this abusive? Am I a victim?” “No, that shouldn’t be the case, because I didn’t see it at my parents’ house so much that I didn’t like it and ran out of the house.” For Kanako, being abused and admitting that she was a victim was a long, dark, conflict.
Kanako started receiving counseling at the shelter. When asked “How are you doing?” In the first session, when you start answering ” Two children are beginning to get used to the environment …”, as the counselor interrupts, “Kanako-san? I am you. I’m listening to you. ” Kanako couldn’t answer how she was doing. At that time, I realized for the first time that I hadn’t taken good care of myself.
As Kanako began to regain herself, Josh gradually moved away and stopped returning to the shelter. With two young children, Kanako was left behind in the shelter. As my stay in the shelter was approaching, I contacted the Little Tokyo Service Center to get information on housing conditions.
As the LTSC staff provided the information, Kanako immediately suspected the possibility of domestic violence when she learned that she had no ID, driver’s license, or immigration status. An LTSC social worker took the time to listen to Kanako, make an appointment for counseling, and refer to information from an immigration lawyer.
Through counseling at LTSC , I learned that I was being abused and that I was a victim. It took me a long time to accept this fact, but the journey was never easy and very difficult. “(Accepting the facts) was very tough. I didn’t like what was happening at my parents’ house and left home. I decided not to get married because of my father, but someone similar to my father, no. I’ve been with a worse person than that. “
Explaining to the children that the father would not come back, the eldest son said: “Mom, I’m lonely that Dad doesn’t come back, but I’m a little relieved because I thought Dad would kill Mom someday.” The words of my eldest son pierced Kanako’s heart violently. Taking this opportunity, I firmly decided to completely break this vicious circle.
By facing and accepting the facts, the gears of life gradually began to mesh. With children LTSC to move into transitional shelter “Cosmos” which is operated, where I learned what to do to cherish themselves and children to. Kanako has always been responsible for her actions, saving for the future and working hard every day to keep her physically and mentally healthy for her children. With the support of LTSC , you will be able to respond to change, make decisions and make decisions, look for a school for your children, work hard to raise children, get a driver’s license, buy a car and find a job. I did.
Now that she has left “Cosmos”, Kanako lives in an apartment with her children. Currently, I go to school to get a qualification while working. When I filled out the school application form, I filled in the address of my current apartment for the first time. You no longer need to check the “homeless” part of the address field. I am proud of myself and have a positive power.
Kanako has come to feel the joy of trivial things because she has experienced many difficulties. “Taking children to buy Happy Meal at McDonald’s, and a little bit of my time after the kids go to bed, these are precious times that can’t be changed. For a long time I’ve been about myself. I have neglected it. Thanks to the counselors and social workers I met at the shelter, including LTSC, I can now understand the importance of self-care (taking good care of myself). Now I work hard once a week. As a reward for my child, I enjoy delicious iced coffee at the end of work. I also realized the importance of asking for help when I was in trouble. I am now because many people helped me. is”
* Personal names are pseudonyms to protect privacy.
October is National Domestic Violence ( DV ) Recognition Month. Domestic violence affects everyone, regardless of gender, race, religion, or status. According to the results of a survey by the DV support group ” the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence “, about 20 people in the United States are physically violent per minute, and more than 10 million people are violent in one year. You will be there.
LTSC In, in cooperation with the Government of Japan, DV offers support to target the Japanese victims are receiving. If the current DV as long as you know the people that are victims of, or received, LTSC ( 213-473-3035 please call). Alternatively , you can speak with a Japanese interpreter at the US Hotline 1-800-799-7233 , Center for Pacific Asian Family 1-800-339-3940 .
It was published in the opens in a new windowautumn 2019 issueopens PDF file of the newsletter “Spring, Summer opens in a new window, Autumn andopens PDF file Winter” .