If we have to come to blows it just seems like it should happen in the streets between strangers, not in the bedroom between lovers. Fear doesn’t belong in there. Yet,
domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined (Domestic Violence Statistics)
If women are under attack, then we’re all in danger. These are our mothers, our daughters, our sisters. They’re our family. And we don’t just let you attack our family without striking back. Do we?
a woman is beaten every nine seconds in the US (Domestic Violence Statistics).
And among pregnant women
interpersonal (as in intimate partner) violence is the leading cause of female homicide and injury-related deaths during pregnancy (American Psychological Association).
Said another way, that’s her lover beating her to death.
Domestic Violence is a killer
And for the ones that survive, then the flashbacks and the nightmares try to kill dreams. It happened to me.
He attacked on our honeymoon. But I’ve learned that there was violence in his words all along. I just thought I was handling it.
Every time he tried to tell me what to wear. Every time he whispered angry words in my ear. Every jealous lie he slung my way. Every out of place argument. Every irrational accusation. I addressed them all.
Thought I was letting him know who I was. What I wanted and needed in our love. I thought we were learning each other, but I must have been listening with untrained ears. I stayed because I thought I was handling things. But I couldn’t handle another man’s rage.
And looking back it’s as if I didn’t understand what the warning signs really meant. But now, I know. And that lesson hurt.
I stayed because I loved him. Thought I could help him. Wanted to keep him and the dreams I had for us. I stayed for what I thought I was love.
But it turns out that
…love counts when you make choices to protect yourself
…love counts when you choose to be alone in order to be safe,
…love counts when you choose you.
Domestic Violence is a villain
And he doesn’t belong in your home. It’s not just a woman’s issue, though you do have choices to make lady. It’s also a family issue. According to the National Coalition for the Homelessness,
domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness among families.
Some don’t leave because they don’t believe they can afford go.
Domestic Violence is a community issue
It takes a village, healthy and strong, to raise our children and hold them accountable for their behavior. It can’t just be the women who care about this kind of violence. Our men have to care too.
Pretending you don’t see your brother’s violence or your co-workers rage. Leaving it unchecked, just might be a death warrant for another family tonight.
When I left my husband, one of his family members sent a message that it was my fault
for not understanding who you married. And just can’t leave because he jumped on you.”
Well, Can’t I? Can’t I be safe? Can’t I be free? Can’t I be loved? In a world where
at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime (Domestic Violence Statistics)
– it’s too common for my taste. And it’s too much for me to take. So, I didn’t stay any longer.
People are different. Some go to hell and back and don’t want you to have to deal with that kind of drama. But some believe that you should have to deal with the same crap just because they did.
If I tolerated it, you should too. If I dealt with it, you should too.
Well, I don’t agree. He scared me, scarred me and made me believe he would kill me.
So I left. With the whispers at my back, I left. With the wedding gifts still in the closet, I left. With stalkerish behavior, missing packages and disappearing mail, I left.
With an empty home, but a monthly mortgage to pay anyway, I left. To be safe, I left.
Now respectfully Diva,
what do you choose?
– Jamillah Warner, aka Lady J –
P.S. For more on this topic check out the Huffington Post article, 30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It’s An Epidemic. And meet the woman behind the #WhyIStayed campaign, Beverly Gooden.
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