A Life Changing Film

Ending Abuse Media has been working diligently to produce our next film. We have been in the pre-production stage for approximately 6 months now, but it is getting close to production time. Now, although we have had a great start to this campaign, we are still in need of funds in order to bring this film into the production and post-production stages. We have put together a budget, a very modest budget, but a budget nonetheless that we are going to need to raise some money for. So we have created a GoFundMe campaign. At this time, we would like to send out a heartfelt thank you for the support that you might be willing to give this project. So please check us out on our social media sites Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube and the GoFundMe site A Life Changing Film ~ and if you can find it in your hearts and wallets to help us out, please do offer some support to Ending Abuse Media’s short film. We need your help to reach our goal of $4000, so that we can bring this life-changing film to fruition. Together we can make a difference.

Thank you kindly!
Alison Soroka
Founder & Executive Director
Smiles and Laughter Entertainment dba Ending Abuse Media

DONOR REWARDS:
· $10 DONATION:
Thank you! Every little bit counts. We will add you to our email list, and you will receive updates on the film’s progress.

· $20 DONATION OR MORE:
Thank you! We will list your name in the rolling, end credits of the film (alphabetical order by last name).

· $2000 DONATION OR MORE:
Thank You! Your name will appear in the end credits of the film as an Associate Producer. You will also get a VIP ticket to our movie premiere, which includes the after party for cast, crew, and other VIPs.

 

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Forgive Yourself for the Blindness That Put You in the Path of Those Who Betrayed You

I often hear survivors blame themselves for not knowing better, but how could you know when you are placed into a psychological trap that is disguised as love. Victims, who are often characterized as empaths, will go to great lengths to help those in need; but in doing so, they can forget about their own well-being and fall into the trap of victimization. But, you, the survivor, must never blame yourself for your past actions. The only one who should blame themselves is the abuser. There are biochemical reasons why we as victims cannot rationalize. No one can if inflicted with chronic stress. Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period over which an individual perceives he or she has no control. It involves an endocrine system response in which occurs a release of corticosteroids. While the immediate effects of stress hormones are beneficial in a particular situation, long-term exposure to stress creates a high level of these hormones that remains constant. This may lead to serious health issues and damage to mental health. Thus making this type of infliction by abusers totally inhumane and nefarious! When our fight or flight system is activated, which is most of the time when living in an abusive relationship, we tend to perceive everything in our environment as a possible threat to our survival. We are constantly focused on simply surviving. By its very nature, the fight or flight system bypasses our rational mind—where our more well thought out beliefs exist—and moves us into “attack” mode. This state of alert causes us to perceive almost everything in our world as a possible threat to our survival. As such, we tend to see everyone and everything as a possible enemy. We may overreact to the slightest comment. Our fear is exaggerated. Our thinking is distorted. We see everything through the filter of possible danger. We narrow our focus to those things that can harm us. Fear becomes the lens through which we see the world. We can begin to see how it is almost impossible to cultivate positive attitudes and beliefs when we are stuck in survival mode. Our heart is not open. Our rational mind is disengaged. Our consciousness is focused on fear, not love. Making clear choices and recognizing the consequences of those choices is unfeasible. We are focused on short-term survival, not the long-term consequences of our beliefs and choices. When we are overwhelmed with excessive stress, our life becomes a series of short-term emergencies. We lose the ability to relax and enjoy the moment. We live from crisis to crisis, with no relief in sight. Burnout is inevitable. This burnout is what usually provides the motivation to change our lives for the better. We are propelled to step back and look at the big picture of our lives—forcing us to examine our beliefs, our values, and our goals. So, if you are now independent and free, enjoy it. And don’t ever blame yourself for not leaving sooner or knowing better, because there are biochemical reasons, beyond our control, which have shackled us to this unhealthy environment.13528846_1068088926618608_9132420336573647691_n

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How Childhood Neglect Harms the Brain

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How Childhood Neglect Harms the Brain

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Peace, Love, Equality, Freedom

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I’ve been out of my abusive marriage for about 7 years now. It hasn’t been easy, I won’t lie. The beginning was extremely difficult, and there are still challenging moments. But here I am, I’m sitting in my own peaceful home with my dachshund sleeping calmly by my feet and knowing that he, as well as my 3 beautiful children, are in a safer loving place.

I get to express my emotions without interference and without being told that I’m wrong for feeling the way I feel. Nobody tries to shut me up. Nobody tells me that I am worthless.

I am surrounded by people who love me. I am surrounded by people who encourage me. Because since leaving my unhealthy marriage, I have learned self-love and know that I am deserving of respect. I am now free to surround myself with healthy influences.

There are no voices in my home that scare me. There are no sounds in this house that worry me.

I don’t jump. I don’t cry for reasons I don’t understand anymore.

I am at peace. I have found freedom!

I don’t have to explain what I do. I can go where I want to go. I am friends with who I want to be friends with and not friends with people I don’t want to be friends with.

I get to parent my children in the way that I see fit.

When I wake up in the morning, there is calmness and peace. There’s no yelling. There’s no name calling. There’s no head games. There’s no doors slamming.

My house is peaceful. Just listen. …

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Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

The Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological involuntary state in which victims of kidnapping or abuse begin to feel sympathy, emotional bonding, and solidarity for those who are abusing them or keeping them captive in oppressive situations.

The Stockholm Syndrome was named in 1973 by psychologist Nils Bejerot after the hostage victims of a Stockholm Sweden robbery and six-day kidnapping resisted being rescued, defended their captors, and refused to testify against them. Two of the women hostages eventually became engaged to the captors.

When victims are under tremendous emotional and physical duress, they may begin to identify with their abusers or captors as a defensive mechanism. The victim develops a strategy of staying alive by keeping the captor happy and eventually sympathizes with the captor. Small acts of kindness on the part of the abuser increases the emotional bond.

Stockholm Syndrome is a common survival mechanism of :

• Battered/Abused Women
• Controlling/Intimidating Relationships
• Abused Children
• Incest Victims
• Prostitutes
• Prisoners of War
• Cult Members
• Criminal Hostage Situations
• Concentration Camp Prisoners

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Why Do Abused Women Often Stay Rather Than Just Flee the Situation?

Why do abused women often stay rather than just flee the situation?

The answer given in the 1920s to this question was that battered women were of low intelligence or mentally retarded. In the ’40s it was determined that women did not leave because they were masochistic.

By the ’70s the experts claimed that a woman stayed in an abusive situation because she was isolated from friends and neighbors, had few economic resources and was terrorized into a state of “learned helplessness” by repeated abuse.

Experts spent time, energy and government grants studying women and their problems. By asking “why do women stay” they managed to blame the victims instead of doing anything to stop violent male behavior.

Few people will ask, “What’s wrong with that man? Is he in jail? Is she getting adequate police protection? Are the children provided for? Does she need medical help, financial assistance or legal aid? Does she have a place to stay?” Instead of blaming the victim, why don’t we ask, “Why hasn’t this violence been stopped? What can we do to prevent it? Has the abuser been confronted and referred to a treatment program?”

Unfortunately, the first question that comes to mind is, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” When we ask that question first, we lose sight of the criminal and the crime and begin to place blame on the victim.

The fact is that many women do leave, and risk their lives doing so. However, those who choose to stay do so for the following reasons:

Confusion. One day he worships her and places her on a pedestal. The next day she doesn’t meet his expectations and falls from grace. It is a long fall, and she can’t understand why he has changed from a loving, generous husband into a maniacal bully who delights in punishing her. A day or two later, he places her back on the pedestal and turns on the charm. This emotional up-and-down strategy keeps her off-balance and in a state of confusion.

FEAR! She has every reason to be afraid. He has threatened to take the children away from her if she leaves, and she knows he will do it. He will lie in court and testify that she is not a good mother. If he does not get custody, he will kidnap them. In extreme cases, he will kill her and the children. “If I can’t have you and the kids, then I’ll make sure no one else will either.”

She also fears the condescending and judgmental reactions of others who believe she is responsible for breaking up the family if she leaves. She may also fear offending God because she has been taught He hates divorce, and she is unaware that God also hates violence, and has great compassion toward those who suffer abuse.

Self-blame. She may feel responsible for the breakup of the family, or for the abuser’s behavior. He has told her over and over that she is the reason he gets upset, and she believes the lie.

Shame and embarrassment. She doesn’t want to tell anyone because it is embarrassing to admit she has allowed herself to get into or stay in this situation. She is ashamed of making poor decisions, and failing to make her marriage work.

Need to protect abuser. Some women feel guilty for betraying the abuser. She believes he needs extra love and care because he has been wounded in the past. She feels it is her responsibility to help him become whole.

Disassociation from the pain. The abuser convinces her that the violence wasn’t as bad as she claims, or that it didn’t happen at all. Sometimes he accuses her of hitting him, even though she is the one with the bruises. Her body feels the pain, and she knows she has been hurt, but her mind tells her it really wasn’t that bad — ignore it — he won’t do it again — he promised to change — or if “I” could just change.

She denies the reality that the man she loves is capable of seriously hurting or killing her. Even though she knows he has hurt her in the past, she cannot believe he is truly an evil person because she would not choose to be with such a person, and she still really loves him.

It’s easier to deny abuse than to face making hard choices and an uncertain future. Most women face extreme financial, social, and emotional hardships when they leave and often find limited or no help available to them. Weak criminal justice systems offer no hope and have failed victims again and again.

She is ignorant of the facts and consequences of domestic violence. She believes the cause of violence is within her instead of within the abuser. She believes it is a temporary problem based on outside circumstances (like stress at work). She believes that once the stress is relieved the beatings will stop, or “If I lose weight, he’ll love me more.”

She believes children need a father-figure, and doesn’t want her kids to suffer from divorce. Women who stay for this reason are not aware that children suffer much more long-lasting trauma by being in an abusive home than in a single-parent home.

She is blamed for causing or not leaving her predicament, but abandoned when she actually leaves. Doctors, therapists and clergymen don’t take the abuse seriously and send women back home. Some feel she got herself into this while others ask “why doesn’t she just leave?”

She lives on false hope. She believes that if she tries a little harder or waits a little longer, things will change.

She may get killed! A woman is at 75% greater risk of harm from her abuser when she leaves.

These are just a few of the reasons why women stay. The real question is, “What can we do to help?” and “How can we make the violence stop?” Let’s stop blaming the victim and begin holding the abuser accountable!

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Break Your Silence and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence

This is powerful! It shows how important it is for a victim of domestic violence to break one’s silence and speak out against the abuser. According to current RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) literature, “laying charges is a crucial step in holding the abuser responsible for his/her actions. According to Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2006, nearly sixty percent (57%) of all victims indicated that the violence decreased after police intervention. This suggests that making spousal assault a criminal act and a public concern does make a difference.” We at Ending Abuse Media encourage all victims of abuse to find the courage and strength to break their silence. It is the first and most crucial step in enabling the process for a happier, healthier, and safer life.

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Sticks and Stones and Hurtful Words

We all remember the childhood chant “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” We had it wrong! Hurtful words can cause significant harm. Names will forever hurt, especially when parents do the name-calling.

Verbal or emotional abuse conveys that one is worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting someone else’s needs. It includes:
• Belittling, name-calling, degrading, shaming, ridiculing, or humiliating
• Making one feel unsafe by slamming a door, bashing an object, or threatening severe punishment
• Setting unrealistic expectations with threat of loss of affection or physical harm if not met
• Ignoring, being emotionally cold and unsupportive, withdrawing comfort as a means of discipline
• Rejecting, avoiding, or pushing one away
• Describing one negatively
• Openly admitting dislike or hating the person

Children who were verbally abused grow up to be self-critical adults who are more likely to experience depression and anxiety (Sachs-Ericsson). They had almost twice as many symptoms as those who had not been verbally abused. They were also twice as likely to have suffered a mood or anxiety disorder. Sachs-Ericsson studied more than 5,600 people ages 15 to 54; and surprisingly, nearly 30% reported they were sometimes or often verbally abused by a parent.

Emotional abuse occurs for many of the same reasons that physical abuse occurs. When one is stressed, they may lash out verbally and physically. Some who verbally abuse may have learned this parenting style from their own parents. They may be unaware of positive ways to motivate or discipline their children.

Verbal abuse can have long-term effects. Over time, one begins to believe the negative things they hear about themselves. They use those negative statements and thoughts as explanations for anything that goes wrong. One may use negative self-talk and believe “I’m stupid” or “I’m lazy” or “I’m no good.” When the message is repeatedly conveyed by someone, the pattern of self-criticism and negative thinking follows oneself through one’s life. Self-criticism makes a person more prone to depression and anxiety.

Research by Martin Teicher at the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, shows that verbal abuse during childhood may have an impact on mental health that is even greater than other forms of abuse. Parental verbal abuse affects a child’s developing brain and is also a powerful negative model for interpersonal communication that impacts a child’s future relationships.

Physical abuse might leave physical scars, but verbal abuse leaves invisible scars that may never heal. The impact of verbal abuse on vulnerable, developing children lasts a lifetime. Sticks and stones will break our bones, but unkind words are even more destructive and enduring.

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Victims of Abuse Please Read

Anyone who has been abused can attest to this analogy. We at Ending Abuse Media encourage all those who have been victims of abuse to read this analogy and move forward in their life with positive affirmations and plenty of love for oneself. It may not make the scars totally disappear, but it definitely will make life that much easier and more beautiful to live in. You deserve to be loved!

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“New Day: One Woman’s Journey Through Domestic Violence”

Ending Abuse Media encourages domestic violence victims and/or professionals who deal with domestic violence in their line of work such as teachers, counselors, police officers, lawyers, judges, etc. to listen to Marcia Roberts radio interview about her book, “New Day: One Woman’s Journey Through Domestic Violence,” on the Wellness Authors Radio Show Marcia_Roberts.  The aim of this book is to help women and children see the signs of domestic violence, become aware that it is essential to leave the abusive environment, and not to get trapped into the cycle of abuse.  This is a tough read that graphically describes the abuse as it should not be hidden, but exposed for what it truly is…a vicious cowardly act, illness, and crime. May every victim find one’s inner strength and courage to leave their abuser and begin a new life filled with emotional peace and independence.

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