“Battered women are caught in a cycle of violence. A third of women’s injuries coming into our emergency rooms are no accident. Most are the result of a deliberate, premeditated acts of violence. And, frequently they occur over and over until the women is killed.” –Dr. Kevin Fullin. My story began about 10 years ago. The violence I experienced was typical until one day I had enough. My two toddlers were playing and after many heated arguments he pulled a gun out. I am not sure how but by the grace of God he left. I grabbed the children and any thing I would need and left. At a friend’s house I began to call shelters. After a few attempts I found one with an open bed. I met the director at a police station where she had me follow her to our destination. This is where you leave your pride at the door. These shelters see a lot of people and as I sat through the intake process, I felt very alone. I was very scared. I needed a hug and the comfort of my home. Is this where we go back into the situation? My mind was racing. My kids did not have a choice. They were unfortunately victims of their environment. I was the only voice for them. My
decision, this decision is one that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
The shelter was incredible. The concept was wonderful but there are not enough of them. I did feel as if it was a little cold. I could not come and go of course for obvious reasons. I met women in there that had incredible strength and it was not their first time there. These shelters are well hidden and you don’t know if you are living next to one or not.
I was lucky. I had a good job and two days later I was able to safely move into an apartment 40 miles away. I had nothing to furnish the new house so I bought air mattresses and piece by piece we got our house to become our safe home.
What about the women who have no where to go? Most go back to their abuser. My thought for that is ,the need of security in the home for their children. It is a hard thing to get over. There are so many steps to take to get your life back. Everyone has the right to be safe. The county has court orders to protect you. I was lucky and mine never became a part of their lives again. People always ask you why I didn’t just leave. And, the answer for that is different for every woman. It is not that easy. Leaving the comfort of your house and starting again is harder than you know.
Domestic violence is not your fault. Let everyone around you know. I know the difficulty of that but it gets easier the more people you tell. I think you will find more support than you ever dreamed of. You don’ have to give the particulars but tell your neighbors, teachers, and find someone at work so you will have support when you need to get away. Make sure your childs school has a copy of the protection order. Keep a list of shelters in your area and give important documents like birthcertificate, and extra change of cloths at someones house you trust. During the heat of violence this will be impossible. It is a hard thing to do but remember you are the eyes and ears for your children. To what degree are we victims of our circumstances? We are tempted to look at people in disgust and turn our heads. But to have mercy we need to have mercy on ourselves . Maybe the perputator needs mercy and encouragement also.
- Consider this: Congress gets a do-over on the Violence Against Women Act (syracuse.com)
- Republicans Against … the Violence Against Women Act? (kjens22141989.wordpress.com)