Abuse is a difficult subject no one wants to talk about. Annette Oltmans has founded The Mend Project as a resource for victims of what she has named “Covert or Double Abuse.”
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Domestic Abuse comes in many different forms and much of it is not the hitting and violence we commonly think of when we hear the term abuse. Often times it is a hidden abuse which is more insidious and can be the most destructive. Annette calls this “Covert Abuse” and gives us a visual to help explain this debilitating cycle. This ongoing behavior will erode not only the relationship but the person’s confidence and can deeply affect and traumatize their lives.
The Mend Project works to help first responders, which could be you, me, or a person of authority, on how best to respond to victims. We think we know what to say, and yet, we can innocently use the wrong words or advice and be inflicting more harm all over again. This is named “Double Abuse” which was based on not only her experience but also what she learned after interviewing hundreds of victims.
Double abuse is described as when an ill-informed family or friend ignores the voice of the victim and instead defines the situation by their own wrong ideas, perspectives or biases. Many times this leads the family and friends to impose harsh expectations of how the victim should react and respond, even giving them further consequences if they don’t comply. It is an eye-opening issue.
The Mend Project is starting a new conversation about abuse and one we all need to hear.
- How to listen respectfully
- Strengthen connections
- Proclaim truth
- Do no further harm
Find out more about The Mend Project:
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