The adult daughter of a friend was murdered last week and it has rocked a family who loved her to the core. While I did not know the daughter personally and do not know all the details, I do know she was killed by her boyfriend. She was taken from her son and and daughter and a family who loved her.
When her mother came to my house to tell me what had happened it was hard to believe i was talking to the same person that I see every day. The talkative, energetic woman I knew seemed merely a shell of her former self. She was trying so hard to hold herself together that she was not allowing any emtion at all to show. Her voice was low and monotone. Her face was sallow and expressionless. It ws as if the pain was so overwhelming that it had simply shut her down. She did cry a little when I hugged her, then pulled away and left.
And, once again, while I do not know all the details of this tragedy, it has made me think a lot about the sadness caused by domestic violence. And I wanted to say, needed to say, if there is anyone out there reading this who is in a situation of domestic violence-there is help out there for you. I know it’s hard. Iknow there is always the very real and well-founded fear of retaliation from the abuser for reaching out for help. I know because I have lived through some of that myself. While not as severe as many situations, it was an issue and was rapidly getting worse. I know the fear of not being able to make in on my own with two small children. And I know that when I let others help me I was able to come out on the other side.
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship please know this-
IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS.
YOU ARE A SPECIAL PERSON OF GREAT VALUE.
Please, reach out. Tell a family member, a trusted friend, a counselor or someone else you can trust. Take the first step. It is hard but not harder than living through the nightmare of an abusive relationship. Take steps to keep yourself safe as well as you reach out for help. there are resources available to help you through this process and I am listing one of those resources below.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-787-3224 TTY for the deaf
This site provides options for help, personal experiences of others who have lived through domestic violence, and news items related to domestic violence.