Let me start by simply stating this, “I pray for the safety and well-being of Janay Palmer-Rice”.
Now, let’s address this: domestic violence is a wide-spread epidemic; it is not a sound-bite, a fleeting Facebook status update, nor should it be just the latest in the shenanigans of our so-called celebrities. The devastation of domestic abuse touches way too many lives; it breaks, maims, cripples… and it kills.
There are so many fantastic benefits since the advent of the internet and social-media; I mean, with this blog post, I am a beneficiary of one of the wonders of same – I am able to reach and affect your lives simply by your reading me. Recognizing this honor however, now puts me on notice to heighten my sense of responsibility with regard to what I choose to write (about) and similarly, how I do so. I am no longer simply “mouthing off” in the relative comfort, safety and anonymity of my home. Here is why this is important to address:
In the United States of America, we are all ‘protected’ by certain freedoms allowed; one of those is the freedom to speak our minds. Great. What those learned fore-fathers neglected to mandate is the necessity to self-censure. As outspoken as I readily admit to being, maturity, decency, sensitivity and plain ole fucking common sense let me know when, where, what and IF I have the right to “touch” certain topics. And, if I insist on putting my particular brand of “two-cents” in, those afore-mentioned traits are employed to guide me on the ‘how’.
People please hear me, a woman, a person being abused by a partner, is not “stupid, ridiculous, pathetic, a loser” or any of the other derogatory names being flung about with regard to this particular case currently in the headlines! I am so offended by some reactions, that I will borrow (because I refuse to stay) a page from your book, and actually state that you may be the one more worthy of said labels! Your ignorance is showing!! (Well, not “you”-“you”; but “you” who may be behaving like an idiot!).
First, a victim of abuse is simply that – a victim! And quite frankly, that is more than enough victimizing; you don’t need to add to the battering! It is so very easy to sit in cozy, safe seats, log onto a computer and begin to pass judgment on something that, trust me, you are fortunate to not have firsthand knowledge of; arrogantly and foolishly believing you know just what she (or he) should do! Okay; let’s have a teachable moment:
A person who is being abused is battling many things; including the abuser. They are fighting against:
- Broken Trust
Please understand that many abusers are so-called “loved ones”. Be sensitive to the fact that even while they are being hit, the abused may still love. One definitely still hopes. We always wish to believe. You see, when you fully accept that this is truly who they are, that the person you have loved, lived with, made love to and may have had children with, is now your terrorizer, you then begin to blur the lines; melding their actions with your (seeming) culpability. You may view this as your personal failure. You then also marvel at the reality that you opened the door to your boogey-man!
Then, maybe (hopefully) you get to the point when you say “enough”. But here’s the thing, believe it or not, that’s the place in this madness when you are in the most danger! When an abuser recognizes imminent loss of his/her focus, panic then sits down with rage and dominance; giving birth to desperation and oftentimes, destruction. A woman ready to leave her abuser is at the riskiest point in this cycle. It must be done “well” in an effort to avoid death.
Here’s what I would like – let’s all educate ourselves before we speak. Use the internet for good; not evil! Someone being punched, slapped, pushed, shoved, spit on, yelled at, belittled, ridiculed, or kicked is a person in need to our resources, our kind words, our encouragement, our prayers and our strength…until they find or regain their own. Please, let’s don’t do even more harm. When we belittle, we are lending the strength of our words, to the strength of an abuser’s arm.
The owner of a moving company agreed to send his truck and men to move me out of what was our home, at 5am. He agreed, at tremendous risk to his license and insurance liability, to allow me to ride in the cab of the truck with his movers. The owner did all of this, because I told him my story; my story of domestic abuse and my need to leave – before I was killed.
A little over twelve years later, I sometimes still shudder. A little over twelve years later, I continue to thank God.
“The moment that you start to wonder if you deserve better, you do…”