Having a cell phone is pretty common and has pretty much become a necessary part of everyday life. Keeping in touch with family, friends and acquaintances is as simple as pushing a button. And when no one answers you can send them a text. Or you can send pictures, send video clips, check email, surf the web, join forums and even use the phone as a GPS to find the nearest restaurant.
Cell phones are so practical. You don’t have to worry when your child is late for supper, just call him. Do don’t have to worry about your loved one who is out on the road late at night. Just call her. Convenient, yes. But not always wonderful if you are a victim of violence and abuse.
The following story shows how something as simple as a cell phone can be used as an instrument of control, violence and abuse.
Victims of family violence rarely have a voice. If they did, this is what they might say…..the true story
At first, she kind of enjoyed the attention. When she pulled out her new phone, all the other girls went crazy. They couldn’t believe he had bought it just for her. The newest and the best. The kind people stood in line for hours for.
“A smart phone for a dumb girl” was what he said when he gave it to her, but he always said stuff like that, just being funny. His friends had laughed at that, and she was more than a little embarrassed, but it wasn’t like he meant anything by it. After all, he wouldn’t have given her such an expensive present if he didn’t care for her.
Besides, it made things a lot easier, her having the phone. That way, whenever he wanted to talk to her, he could. At first, she turned the phone off when she was at school. But it upset him when she didn’t answer. So now, she left it on vibrate and excused herself to go to the washroom whenever he called. He had thought of that idea. After all, why would he go to all the trouble of buying her the phone if she didn’t even bother to answer it? And really, it wasn’t like it was all the time, just a few times a day; just to see what she was doing.
She had thought about giving the number to a few friends, but really, that would have been a pretty stupid idea. What if she was talking to a friend on the phone, when he was trying to call? It isn’t like her and her friends had anything important to say anyway. Girls never did. He was right; it would be more special if he was the only one who knew her number.
She tries to move someplace quiet when he calls. One time, she was on the phone with him and a group of loud guys passed by. He thought they were talking to her and he got really angry. It was her fault really, it is rude to be talking to someone and not give them your full attention. What was he supposed to think?
He worries about her a lot, another reason he bought her the phone. Now, she can call him whenever she goes anywhere, just to check in. He feels better knowing where she is and who she is with. She makes sure to call him the minute she gets home, that way he can relax, because really, you never know what can happen. He says he likes to be the first person she talks to in the morning and the last one she talks to at night. How many other guys would say something like that?
Some of her friends don’t understand. She doesn’t see them much anymore anyways. He says he knows jealous cows when he sees them, so why should she bother hanging out with them anyways. It isn’t like someone would call them at midnight just to hear their voice, is it? Besides, she doesn’t need anyone else, she had him now.
Family Violence always leaves a mark. It just might not be one you can see
This is a true story about a real person and real incidents. It is the story of a person locked into a Family Violence situation. A situation that always leaves a mark. It just might not be one you can see. If you are in a relationship with a new person and you find your old friends falling away, while family members remark on how you don't seem like yourself, you might need help. Are you losing yourself to an odd, and ultimately destructive, relationship? Before you can regain your individuality and strength, you'll need to determine whether the relationship is taking something away, and, if so, you must put an end to the destructive cycle. While the steps are directed towards romantic relationships, they do apply to any kind of relationship even sibling/maternal/ and paternal relationships
Help is a phone call away
Wetaskiwin and region is very fortunate. For the last 14 years, the Victim Services unit has worked closely with the RCMP to provide programs and services to help victims of crime and tragedy. Assistance is only a phone call away.
If you, or someone you know is experiencing family violence or trying to cope with a tragic experience, reach out knowing help is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Call the listing under Wetaskiwin/RCMP/Victim Services at 780-312-7287.