I have been remiss in that I have not mentioned that this month is domestic violence awareness month. This cause is near and dear to my heart for many reasons, but the top one being that I am a survivor of domestic abuse. I was married to a man that abused me.
I experienced the charm, the isolation, the verbal tearing down, and the physical abuse that follows this. Sometimes I look back at that young woman of yesteryear and I do not recognize her anymore, yet she is very much in the make up of my DNA. This is the part of me that makes me passionate as an advocate. This is the part of me that fights for the child, who wants to prosecute those who use their hands for hurting, this is the part of me that recognizes that women who live in this hell, can rise up and conquer that which hunts them.
Someday, I hope to do something in the legislature that strengthens sentencing for abusers. Right now, a first offense, if prosecuted, is 5-10 days in the pokie and batterer's intervention. But the women who live this life, these women know that this is not enough and there is no incentive to report anything. He will be out, and he will hunt again. This is about power and control. And an abuser never really gives that up. Not even years later. He will dig, and do what he can to undermine and control.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives at the hand of an intimate partner. 1 in 7 men will experience the same. Our country needs to be educated to know longer blame the victim. She does not choose to be beaten. And neither can she simply choose to leave. If it were that easy, she would have done so long ago.
This is a clip to a video by John Michael Montgomery. The song came out before I experienced abuse, but I remember how it made an impression. I still cry when I hear it. But for the grace of God......