The Collateral Damage of Domestic Violence by Kristin Omdahl
People are affected by domestic violence in so many ways. Obviously the direct victims are the ones who are beaten, berated, and abused directly. The indirect victims are so much more varied. Some indirect victims are obvious and others are not. Children, family members, neighbors, and pets are all indirect victims that come to mind quickly.
Note: The names, dates and locations have been obscured in this story to protect the innocent and everyone else involved in this story.
One time, it was a colleague who suffered indirect domestic violence because of me.
I was a cast member on a crafting show on TV for many years. The first season I was a regular on the show, I was very excited to get photos of me on set for social media. Honestly, even after all the years I have been on television, this never gets old for me. I enjoy capturing the behind-the-scenes moments and sharing it to social media for my fans. However, this first time I asked a producer on the show to use my phone and take a photo of me on set. I was already strapped in, taped in and on my marks on set, so she was being very helpful by using my phone to snap the shot.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t familiar with an iPhone at that time (this was so long ago I might have had the first version of an iPhone) and my phone rang while she was trying to take the photo. She mistakenly answered it, and professionally stated, “This is Kristin Omdahl’s phone. She is on set, may I take a message.” My enraged, belligerent ex-husband exploded on her and threatened to kill me, kill her, and kill everyone on set. She was terrified. I apologized profusely. She was aware of the fact that he lived half-way around the world, and that we weren’t in imminent danger (thankfully). Once everyone calmed down the production was able to move ahead and film my segments.
I was so humiliated and devastated watching the look of terror on her face and there was nothing I could do about it at that time.
But it was at that moment I realized that no matter how hard I was trying to ‘take one for the team’, there was collateral damage to anyone within earshot of me being abused. All those people were also being hurt. In this case, someone trying to do be nice and act professionally suffered abuse simply because of her proximity to me.
He had been threatening to kill me almost daily for years so I was used to his death threats.
Part of me was probably desensitized by the level and frequency of the abuse I suffered up to that point. But it never occurred to me that I was being reckless sharing my phone with the producer to get a photo of me at a special milestone in my career. Luckily, everyone settled down and I didn’t lose my job. If my ex-husband was local, would I have been as fortunate? Possibly not.
I continued to work on that show for many seasons after that horrible start. And I never shared my phone with anyone ever again.
The collateral damage of domestic abuse is vast and impartial. Whether it is children, pets, family, neighbors, bystanders, or colleagues.
I have done everything in my power to protect my son from his father since March 4, 2004 when I left my ex-husband. And I am fortunate to still be here. So many others don’t get the opportunity to be called survivors of domestic violence. And this is the driving force behind my passion for helping others and spreading awareness about domestic violence. Please remember you are not alone. It was not your fault. And you are braver than you know.
Read more of Kristin Omdahl’s domestic violence essays HERE
Kristin Omdahl is the best-selling author of dozens of knit and crochet books; publisher of almost 1000 knit and crochet patterns; producer of award-winning videos; and curator of gorgeous yarns and products. You can join Kristin LIVE 5 days a week for The Kristin Omdahl Show on YouTube and browse through thousands of tutorial videos there, too. Kristin donates a portion of every sale to help survivors of domestic violence. Learn more about Kristin’s charity, Project Kristin Cares HERE.
Shop Kristin Omdahl Yarns HERE
Shop Kristin Omdahl Crochet Patterns HERE
Shop Kristin Omdahl Knitting Patterns HERE
I would love to see your creations. Just as much fun as making these myself is the satisfaction I get from seeing my designs come to life and other knit and crochet fans wearing them too. There are now 2 ways you can share what you have done!
- I have recently added a wonderful new interactive section to the website which I invite you to take part in, it has been a smashing success and such fun so far. It is the new “Share Your Project” section. You, my creators, can upload images and descriptions of your creations to share with the ever growing community! To upload simply click here.
Additionally, I host a livestreaming podcast, vlog or show weekday on my YouTube Channel called The Kristin Omdahl Show. You can join the audience and even ask me questions LIVE! I often do a show and tell, or quick demo and I always interact with the live audience. It is a lot of fun!
You can browse through close to 1000 previously recorded episodes HERE: The Kristin Omdahl Show Playlist. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get reminders when the next episode airs LIVE.
I look forward to seeing what you create!