Sometimes when I walk for someone who has died at the hands of their abuser, I think, “I hope their story creates change,” or “I hope their story helps someone else learn about domestic violence,” or “I hope that local agencies can use the story to better their programs.” I can’t pray for peace or healing because that time has passed (although I keep the loved ones left behind in mind), but I can try to find the hope that their stories will make a difference.
So, with the latest case of domestic violence in the news, the silver lining, if you will, is that the subject is in the spotlight.
And now, as we enter Domestic Violence Awareness Month, at least for the next 31 days, the subject will continue to be in the spotlight. Throughout the month, I will do my level best to write regularly on the subject of why I stayed so long, and ultimately why I left. The condensed version.
For an even more condensed version, the Twitter version —
Because I was 14.
Because I was pregnant.
Because I was already used to abuse.
Because he said I belonged to him.
Because he said he’d kill me.
Because when I DID finally try to leave, he really DID try to kill me.
“About 4,000 women die each year due to domestic violence.
Of the total domestic violence homicides, about 75% of the victims were killed as they attempted to leave the relationship or after the relationship had ended.”
–Domestic Abuse Shelter, Inc.