October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I could begin with startling statistics of "a woman is battered by her spouse every x seconds" or cite how many people die yearly at the hands of their partner. I'm sure the numbers would be sobering, scary, and sickening. They're valuable numbers but sometimes they're hard to reconcile. Would they alone move you to help or to recognize the signs in a friend or family member who may be on the receiving end of abuse? Sometimes we assume abuse is visible. It isn't always. Not all domestic violence leaves a physical mark....more
With a range of women’s concerns being pulled into the maelstrom of election cycle rhetoric, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has now become another political football. Originally co-sponsored by Democrat Sen.
My life has been filled with personal triumphs due to my embracing healthy habits at an early age. With an upbringing in the Englewood community on Chicago’s South Side, like many African-American women and girls, I struggled with obesity, leading a lifestyle of physical inactivity and poor nutrition.
One upon a time there was an 18-year-old-girl named Sarah*. He'd tell her that he would kill her if she left him. He had a gun. She knew because he had placed it to her head before. He'd beaten her so severely before she thought she could die if he didn't stop. So what would keep him from killing her if she left him? Not a damn thing. So she stayed and she tried to keep him happy. Walking on thin cracked ice and trying not to fall through. Trying to obey his rules to the letter but the rules kept changing and she couldn't keep up....more
It's hard to say why this happens, windows smashed, blinds and window coverings torn down. We all know it does happen, our friends, relatives, colleagues, clients endure it. It usually takes 7 times before a woman can leave and stay gone. The most dangerous time for her is around the time of leaving. They usually blame themselves. Sometimes they are asked, "why do you make me do this to you?" And some believe it is their fault, and if they are only good enough, it will not happen again....more
October was Domestic Violence Awareness month. My month for domestic violence awareness was September. It has been nine years since I was arrested for attempted murder. It has been nine years that I have lived with the choice of that fateful day, September 2, 2001. How do you go from a good girl who has never ever been in trouble other than a traffic ticket, to walking into a jail with your love's blood on your shirt?
Today I traveled to a galaxy far far away. It was an hour north actually, but it is a parallel universe to my present life. A friend needed help to renovate an apartment as his renter left, chased away by the neighbors. His crew was not available and the apartment was needed urgently. A young family had lived there, the wife and child left suddenly, and the husband stayed on for several months alone.
The bathroom mirror wore a huge sticker of two hearts entwined, perhaps placed there by the bride or groom.
There were many nails in the ceiling where st...more
It has taken me years to get to the point where I could openly address the violence I endured as a late teen. Of course people within my inner circle learned after my life careened off the road like an out of control speeding car, my family, my friends they were my 911 call. They learned that for years I had been cloaked in a veil of silence. They learned that in reality I had been a victim of an out of control situation, and they learned that I had been powerless against the fast moving dynamic called the cycle of violence....more
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