On Your Mind: Old abuse, new baby

on your mindNOTE: The question below reached us through our “online hotline” button which lets anyone send a question to a local counselor at Ozark Guidance — in a completely anonymous way. The email comes in with no email address and no identifying information. We set it up this way so women would feel free to write about anything on their mind.

I’m a new mom to a 3-month-old baby. My husband got upset at me and when I answered back because he was being rude and name calling, he shoved me to the ground in front of our infant son! This is not the first time he has been physical with me. I got up and tried to fight back but he just pinned me to the wall. I’m fed up.

Response by Ozark Guidance Clinical Director Jared Sparks, LCSW, PhD

I’m glad you’re reaching out about this. The verbal and physical abuse you’re describing is not okay. More to the point, from what you’ve shared, you and your baby are in danger.

This can be hard to see when the abuser is someone you care about…and who says he cares about you. However, it’s not only about you and your baby’s immediate safety but also the long-term damage that exposure to this violence can take.

What people working in behavioral health and domestic violence have learned over time is that, once there is violence in the home, it is likely to continue and worsen. We’ve also come to understand that witnessing violence in the home (even at a very early age) can result in long-term mental health problems.

It’s really beyond the scope of this blog format to go into depth about this, especially since this feels more like an immediate crisis. The good news is that there is excellent help in this area available to you.

Peace at Home Shelter, provides a 24/7 crisis hotline (Local: 479-442-9811 Toll free: 877-442-9811), and their website has really good information about how to keep yourself safe while getting help.  http://peaceathomeshelter.org/get-help/domestic-violence/

Of course, if you’re in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.