Domestic violence is a terrible thing. We all know that. We’ve seen the commercials. Sometimes we know someone who knows someone who has been beaten up really bad. But we never think it would happen to ourselves or someone we actually know.
We watch the Sunday night movies where the girl is poor and uneducated, usually single mother with a drunk live in boyfriend. Regularly beats the crap out of her, but she never leaves him. She has no friends or family to help her. Story ends with police arriving at the scene of the crime; she finally shot him.
The reality of domestic violence is that it doesn’t discriminate against race, economic status, age, educated or not, political preference, etc. It can occur in anyone’s life. It seems most physical abusers first master being mental abusers. It’s a control thing.
The first and only time my friend was hit, she and her boyfriend had a terrible fight. Both drinking, the argument heated up quickly, she thought she provoked him, he then choked and hit her. They immediately broke up.
I remember her in the middle of the night, the phonecalls, the tears, missing work, the bruises, her trying to remember why they were arguing and why it escalated to that level. Seeing what a mess she was the next day. Bruises on her neck and eyelids, she thought no one would notice with her perfect placement of makeup.
The fact she even questioned the situation showed me that she was so deep in this craziness, she didn’t know what a normal healthy relationship was anymore. Crazy was her normal.
Thank God her friends and family went and removed her from the house. She needed time to think without him, without him telling her how sorry he was and how he would never do it again. She needed to try and remember the difference between right and wrong. She needed to think with her head and not her heart.
My friend was very lucky. When she whispered for help, her friends and family heard her screams for help. She made it out of that relationship.
But not everyone does. So if you know someone who is whispering for help, no matter how many times she and her guy get back together, keep listening. This is not the time to count how many times she will cry “wolf”. She needs her friends and family. She is not strong enough to do it on her own, and she doesn’t know what “normal” is anymore. She has forgotten that under no circumstances should someone EVER hit her.
So the truth is, the friend I am referring to here was actually me. And although it was a longtime ago, I will never forget.
Help a friend Make it a Great Day!