“A voice from God told me to go up to my room, get in bed and act like I’m asleep. So, I did just that. When I opened my eyes, he was on top of me, shaking me, thinking he’d finally done what he hadn’t had the guts to do all these years,” she said. I replied, “Are you telling me that your husband was trying to kill you?” “Yes!” “And, why would he want to do that,” I quickly responded.” “Because I threw away the rotten tomatoes.”
I caught my breath but not before I shed a multitude of tears. My thoughts became words, “How, as I sobbed, I mean, how in the world would anyone want to hurt you?” The question is really, “How would any human being want to harm another living soul.” It just does’t make sense. When you hear stories of domestic abuse on the television, you think, “Ok, yes, that happens but not over here on my block or in my friend circle or at my church.” But, when you hear it firsthand from someone in your path, it will rip your heart right out of your chest. And, like no other time before, it becomes real.
According to Safe Horizon, the largest non-profit organization providing victim services in the United States, most domestic violence incidents are not reported. 60% of those incidents happen at home. And,1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year. The statistics are absolutely staggering.
It hasn’t been until the last year, that domestic violence has really been brought to the forefront of causes to get behind. It took a video going viral of a young, NFL player with a promising career, knocking his partner out in an elevator for the world to begin to see how NOT ok domestic violence is. But, it doesn’t just effect one group and not the other. I have spoken with women of different ethnic groups and varying social and economic status, and, NEWSFLASH, nobody is exempt from the threat of domestic violence.
If you’re like me, you think, “Domestic Violence only effects the girlfriend, fiance, wife, mother or grandmother. But, here’s another shocker, many of these women have children. And, most often, those children live under the same fear and threats as their mother.
My point here is this- if you’re a woman and you don’t already, you need to empathize with these victims and their children. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t stop there. Take a stand. Talk about it. Raise awareness. Donate to organizations like womencalledmoses.org. And, buy conscious gifts from our Sparrow Project that benefits women and children transitioning out of domestic violence at www.jlparish.com.
No woman should go into battle alone. We need each other. And, it doesn’t matter how different we are or our life’s experiences may be. We can stand together.
When I was a kiddo, playing on the playground, we would often play “Red Rover.” Several of us would link up, hand in hand and chant, “Red Rover, Red Rover, let “insert name” come over.” And, that person would try and break through the human chain with all their might. Here’s the key, the more people linked up together, the more difficult it would be for the person “coming over” to break down that human chain.
We have a choice to link up and strand strong for one another. It is a choice. When we stand together in unison against domestic violence, we send a message loud and clear that it was not, is not and will NEVER be ok. And, we give strength to victims by saying “We hear you. We’re here for you. And, we’ll never give up hope for your life and the life of your children.”
Stand up for something or somebody today. There may be a day when you or someone you love needs the favor returned!
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