My Memories Of Domestic Violence Impacted My Life


Over the years, I’ve spoken openly about the abuse I witnessed as a child. The first time I met my biological father I watched him beat my stepmother.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

Her head hit the kitchen counter. Then the wall.

*Lo que pasa en la casa se queda en la casa.

He pounded on her face. Blood splattered onto her clothes.

*Lo que pasa en la casa se queda en la casa.

She screamed. I could not move. I was frozen. She tried to push him off. I closed my eyes.

Punch. Ummpg. Punch. Punch. Punch. Ummpg. Ummpg.

I covered my ears. They could not shut out the sounds.

*Lo que pasa en la casa se queda en la casa.

I opened my eyes to see my younger sister, my stepmother’s biological daughter, fly across the room. She had tried to intervene.

*Lo que pasa en la casa se queda en la casa.

But it didn’t. The abuse didn’t stay at home. It followed me everywhere, like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Others couldn’t see it but I felt it. I wanted to remove it, scrape it off, but no matter how hard I tried… I couldn’t.

My 13 year old mind could not understand what happened that night.

It wasn’t until many years later that I could speak about those childhood experiences. My memories of domestic violence haunted me and still do. How could a man who claimed he loved his wife beat her till her face was unrecognizable? It wasn’t until it happened to me as an adult that I could understand the myths that surround domestic abuse, particularly in the Hispanic community where machismo is worn as a badge of honor.

I no longer believe the mantra that I was told and made to repeat. We must speak out. We must share. We must arm our daughters (and sons!) to break this cycle that is silently killing our women, children and families.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. It does not care about your age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is not a sign of love.

Love is NOT abuse.

Learn the signs.  Spread the word. Become your sister’s keeper.

Comment: Do you know someone who has suffered from domestic violence? How did you help them? Please share your story so we can all learn from it. Thank you.  



*Translation: What happens at home stays at home.

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

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  • Alissa Apel February 24, 2016, 2:21 pm

    I just hope I did the right thing!

    I have a college student that just had a baby a little over a month ago. She came to me sobbing a week and a half ago. I took her into a private room and she laid it all out there. Her boyfriend is supposed to be the caregiver of their child, while she is at school, and work. Yep she barely took time off of anything. He doesn’t work at all, or get up with the baby at night. He keeps making it hard for her to go to school. This girl has major potential. She just won 3 or 4 advertising awards for our state. Her boyfriend said, “If you leave for school, than I’m leaving to.” I asked, “Is the baby home alone?” She said, “I don’t know!” I said, “Ok I want you to go check on the baby. Call 911 if he bothers you! Take the baby back here if you need to. I’m going to leave a list of numbers for you to call, paper, and pens. It’s best for you and the baby to get out of this situation. ” She left, was gone for a few hours, came back, and wouldn’t call anyone. I gave her a list of numbers for free child care, free domestic violence abuse advice, shelters, postpartum help and more.

    Her idiot boyfriend won’t work because he has get this 5 other kids with other women. They were taking money out of his paycheck for them, so he figured what’s the point of working? Hummm I can think of 6 points – 6 kids! He’s had my student change her name on FB to his name, and they aren’t even married. He had her remove all her guy friends off FB. I didn’t believe that one at first, but I FB stalked them both. Another student told me that he hit her. Not a good situation!

    Everyone here said I did the right things. But I can’t help, but to feel like I could have done more.

    He came in with their baby the end of last week. I didn’t say a word to him. I just talked to her and the baby. I would have loved to go off on him, but that wouldn’t have helped, instead it would involve the school more.

  • Claudya February 28, 2016, 1:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I witnessed my mother getting beat far too many times and by different “partners.” It took me a very long time to realize how much it has affected me.

    • Migdalia February 28, 2016, 7:22 pm

      It took my experiencing it first hand to understand the thoughts going through my stepmother’s mind and the myths that caused her, and many others, to believe that abuse is love. Thankfully, I left after the first time. Others aren’t able to. And worse is what the kids growing up in that environment experience. I am so sorry you also had to live through domestic violence Claudya. I understand the impact it has. Un fuerte abrazo Amiga!
      Migdalia recently posted..5 Things You Can Not Control When Co-Parenting With An Ex

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