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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 background.

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 inadequate.

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 walls.

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 ambulance.

Both uniformed groups know if I recover they will likely get the chance to relive this experience.

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 will,
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.


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 intelligence.

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 society.

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 adulthood.

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 children get
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.

Click Here Go To Stop Family Violence Awareness Page.

Click Here Go To S.A.F.E. Web Site.


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