LISTEN TO THE PLEA
CRASH - the front door slams.
You are home and our family cringes.
Your shadow is cast on the wall; your knuckles appear to be dragging on the ground. As you
round the corner, your arms shorten to swinging length.
I throw myself in front of the children, taking the blunt edge of your rage, which earns
me another black eye.
Smells of blood, fear, and adrenaline saturate the air. Our children sink into the
The whites of their eyes are glassy with tears of horror as they watch you, their father,
with your fists repeatedly bashing my torn bleeding flesh. Finally, the sweet darkness of
unconsciousness engulfs me and the pain is left in reality.
You give my slumped body a final kick
and stomp back out the door.
The evening has faded into late night.
The front door opens calmly.
You appear not to notice the bruises nor the pain etched in my every movement. You offer
flowers and apologies,
"If the house had been cleaner when I came home, this would not have happened,"
you whine "I don't want to get mad, you need to keep the house cleaner," you
say. "I am sorry you made me correct you again. I love you."
I understand; after all it is my fault. I learned my faults from my mother, who always
needed correcting. I remember watching dad punish her. I need to be a better wife. You
work so hard and asks so little of the kids and me. I am so lucky you love me; no one else
would. How could I support my children without you. I would be such an awful person
without you to teach me how I should behave.
Days, weeks, have passed and you behave as a loving spouse and father. I really
believe this time I have changed enough to make you happy.
Then you seem to notice every behavior of mine as an excuse to get angry. I have trouble
understanding the rules to this game as one day everything is fine and the next I am
You storm in, throwing the children out of your way. You lunge at me. Your eyes are
burning red with rage and your fists connect brutally with every swing.
I am not completely healed from the last explosion of your temper, mercifully
unconsciousness claims me swiftly.
The children scream in terror, running toward the door with no intentions of looking back.
Screams of sirens fill the night air, lights are flashing casting eerie reflections onto
The door slams open once again, but this time people in uniforms flood the house.
Officers drag you off of me and wrestle you to the ground choking your wrists in cuffs.
You are thrown into a car that immediately heads towards a steel cage
that awaits you downtown.
The paramedics gently carry my broken body out on a stretcher and place me in the waiting
Both uniformed groups know if I recover they will likely get the chance to relive this
The children are terror stricken and have to be coaxed out of the bushes.
Children's Protection Services will have a safe place for them for the night. They
are exhausted from their experience.
Waking up in the hospital I am questioned by the strange people standing over my bed about
whether I will sign a complaint against you.
I love you and fear your reactions to being arrested but, I also know that perhaps next
time you will
kill me or the children.
The strangers offer me a safe place to go with my children, and help to get on my feet
and start a new, safe life.
~AND SO THERE IS A BREAK IN THE CYCLE~
In one out of every six marriages
the wife is physically abused.
Every fifteen seconds a women
is battered in the United States.
Daily, four American women
lose their lives
to their husbands or boyfriends, equaling more than one-third of all female homicide
victims (WAC 55).
These numbers report that
too much violence
is directed toward women.
In a nation that detests racism, that protests animal credulity, why are women and
children, still subject to torture and violence in our own homes
at the hands of our husbands and fathers that "love" us?
In a "politically correct" world
too many of us still view women and children as inferior, as property.
The media portrays women as sex symbols and often with a very noticeable lack of
Often doctors turn their backs on damage left as the result of abuse because of the
fear of embarrassing their patients (WAC 55).
All I ask is that you, the everyday citizen, evaluate your
actions during your normal day and judge the message that those actions
portray as O.K.. Even though you may not experience violence in your home, society needs
to change it views of and its acceptance of belittling of women.
As you laugh at a sexist joke ask yourself why it is all right to belittle women or
as you use words such as "bitch," ask yourself why you used a word that is
derogative towards women.
As you watch an Western that shows a women enjoying being raped, such as the High Plains
Drifter, think about the message that sends children about the gender roles of
As responsible citizens we need to realize that every choice we make has a message it
sends to others about what we view as socially acceptable.
We need to be more careful in the messages we send to our children.
Children that are raised in houses
where abuse is present are five times more likely to become batterers or victims in their
They learn to accept violence as a way of life and do not see a way to change the pattern.
We need to find a way to screen children for violence in their homes.
These children need to grow up safe even if it means placing them in a foster home.
If each one of us reports cases of child abuse or domestic violence when we suspect them
or they are brought to our attention then maybe the earlier intervention will help these
a chance for security.
The cycle of violence can be stopped through teaching people new ways to think such as
anger management, social awareness and of course insuring that all of our children have a
healthy self esteem.
By making the end of the cycle
top priority, together we may be able to save
our daughters and granddaughters from
living through the above scene.
I pray there will be a day
that all people feel
safe in their own homes.