The alleged abuse of Jaimie Vaes by Lil Kleine and the report of abuse of Johnny de Mol by former Shima Kaes did not go unnoticed by Tjarda. “I think it’s good to have stories like this in the media, but I feel sorry for those involved. It’s already too intense if your story isn’t in the spotlight, so I can’t imagine what it must have been like when all the press is on its head”, as you say.
You think it can help many victims because they know that others are going through the same thing as you. “The movement you started is a good thing. But the reactions under such a piece, that people don’t believe anything about it, for example, I don’t understand very well. It can guarantee that people don’t come out with their story. Dare to come.”
dent in the door
This, according to expert expert Tgarda, is very important and the reason why she tells her own story. “The first time I got worried was the first year my ex and I got to know each other. We sat at home like a teasing game, but when I didn’t feel good about myself anymore, I shut myself down in the toilet. Then the door dented,” says Tjarda.
“Again he threw me on the bed and I almost broke my elbow. He didn’t know when to stop.” Things got worse, but Tjarda didn’t realize it right away and thought the main reason behind it was the things she herself had done wrong. “It was a 15-year process,” she says. “I didn’t realize it was so dangerous and that I needed help.”
Not taken seriously
The people around her kept silent about it, when they should have known. “We’d sit outside often enough in the summer and then he could explode out of nowhere and scold me or my kids. I knew the neighbors were outside, but they didn’t do anything.”
Domestic violence is violence that occurs within the family, relationship or family. This may include mental, physical or sexual violence, but may also include neglect and financial abuse. In domestic violence, a distinction is made between child abuse, partner abuse, and elder abuse.
Tjarda did not have many friends at the time. Sometimes she would tell her classmates something small, but soon she stopped. “They often answered, ‘Well, you won’t let that happen to you. I didn’t feel taken seriously.'” When the relationship finally ended and she came out with the story, people told her that the quarters had snapped into place. “They questioned things, but they did not discuss them with me.”
If they only had, Tjarda thought. “Then I don’t know if I’ve been in this position for too long. For peace of mind, I would have liked to hear that what happened wasn’t quite right,” she says. “If the neighbor had ringed the bell and said what I heard wasn’t normal, I would have thought it wasn’t my fault. Then I could have taken the step to leave faster.”
Reporting is difficult
But for people who suspect domestic violence, the step to report it is often a big step. says Karen Terhar Seif Drost, trainer and information officer at Safe Home Amsterdam-Amstelland, the counseling and reporting center for domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse.
The coach wants to make it clear to people that submitting a formal report is not immediately necessary. If you have doubts about a situation in your area, you can first seek advice from Safe at Home about what to do with it. “You can call or chat with us and explain the situation, then we’ll advise you based on that. You don’t even have to mention your name or the people involved,” she explains.
“Sometimes the advice is that you can actually file a report, but sometimes there are things we don’t think you need to worry about right away. Or we ask you to pay attention to specific things and then call back.”
But what are the cues in your environment that you should be concerned about and seek advice? “People first think of bruises, but in 99 percent of cases you don’t see them at all,” says Terhaar sive Droste. “For example, someone may feel startled and confused at an unexpected movement, or sway when a partner is speaking.”
According to her, there are a lot of signs. “But I would especially say that people should trust their gut feeling. If you think: Is this true? Then take the step of sending him to Safe at Home.”
Reporting domestic violence is important, according to Safe at Home, but reporting it can sometimes be difficult. This is the reason for creating a special website: ikvermoedhuiselijkgeweld.nl. It contains more information about domestic violence and what you can do if you have a clue that this is happening to someone you know.