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Stop The Violence

Find out why. Find out how.© 2000-2004.

This site was written and designed by Rachel Miller unless otherwise noted. These were her words, her experiences, and her vision. This site is now maintained a friend, since Rachel was murdered in April 2000.

Rachel's Story

Note: Abuse does not discriminate. The messages presented here are for everyone who needs them, men and women, adult and child. Having only personal knowledge of abuse against women and its corresponding research material available to me, this is the sole reason the bulk of this site mentions abuse against women more. For links to battered men sites, click here. As more links and information become available to me, they will be listed here also.

Stop The Violence

There is a secret war in America and around the world, and in it millions of our citizens are held hostage, beaten, threatened and killed.

Statistics show that a woman is battered every 15 seconds in the United States alone by an intimate- someone who promised to love and cherish her. That's two million women, each year, who are battered or abused by their partners. Even more frightening is that every day, four women lose their lives to violence perpetrated by a husband or boyfriend, an estimated 1/3 of the women who are abused. Women who are murdered are not the only ones who die. One in four women who commit suicide are the victims of Domestic Violence.

Are you as outraged as I am about these documented, undisputed facts as I am yet?

How about this? Are you aware that there exists 3 times more animal shelters (approximately 4300) than battered women shelters (approximately 1500)? Still wondering why women and children are turned away at shelters due to overcrowding? That's why. There aren't enough shelters for them to seek help from.

Consider this fact by the American Medical Association: One in four women will fall victim to Domestic Violence in their lifetime. That's staggering. Think about it in real-life terms. Imagine that one of four of your women friends, relatives, and neighbors is a potential victim.

That's pretty upsetting, isn't it?

What is battering? Battering is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through violence and other forms of abuse, and a series of behaviors including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, isolation, and to coerce and control another person. Battering is the single most common cause of injury to women, more than muggings, auto accidents, and sexual assaults combined. Battering is also a criminal act of physical assault, battery, sexual assault, or other act that injures or kills another person in a relationship with the offender.

Beyond immediate injury, Domestic Violence often leads to long term health problems: chronic pain, difficult pregnancies, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), physical disability, drug and alcohol abuse and depression.

Abuse is about power and control. More often than not, the abuse escalates in a relationship. There are many facets of this abuse, ranging from psychological abuse, to emotional abuse, to economic abuse, to sexual abuse, to physical abuse, to legal abuse, to death.

The big question is always: Then why do they stay? Let's break this down for a minute. First of all, this is a question based on a myth that women do stay. Not all do. Up to 75% of those who report abuse have left.. permanently.

But that isn't the end of their problems: Many are stalked, harassed and assaulted by their batterer.

There are other women who have left only to return. The average victim returns to the relationship 5-7 times before finally leaving for good.

The ones who do stay often do so because of a number of factors happening at once. They have been "conditioned" to feel helpless and hopeless- they have come to believe through various avenues such as battering or intimidation, to name a few, that they somehow deserved being abused and that they have to keep silent about what is happening to them. Some stay because they still love their partner on some level. And they stay also because they fear retaliation and death....and with good reason. More injuries and deaths occur while leaving and the following two months after leaving. One study says that one half of the homicides of female spouses and partners were committed by men after separation from their batterers.

Domestic Violence does not only occur in marriages. An average 28% of high school and college students have experienced dating violence.

What about children? Children are traumatized by witnessing family violence and, as a result, are very likely to repeat the pattern either by becoming a victim or an abuser. 75% of violent children have witnessed violence between partners. Do you want this happening to your child or children? I know I certainly don't. And think about this: 63% of the young men between the ages of 11 and 20 who are serving jail sentences are there for homicide--for killing their mother's abuser. That's disturbing at the very least. Children are also 1500 times more likely to be abused. Reports show that 40- 60% of men who abuse women, also abuse children. Further, 70% of children are physically abused, 20% are sexually abused; 90% of children killed during domestic disputes are under the age of 10, half of those are under age 2.

Let's go beyond the effects of Domestic Violence on the family for a few seconds. Domestic Violence costs are astronomical in the United States alone. By astronomical I mean $5- 10 billion a year in medical expenses, police costs, court costs, shelters, and foster care. It costs the American workplace, on average, $3.5 billion in medical expenses, absenteeism, down time caused by absenteeism, and sick leave.

Do you see the ripple effect here and how widespread this is if we let it?

With the absence of hope, the victim has nothing and this is where, in understanding abuse, common sense breaks down. Most people who have never been abused can't understand why the victim doesn't see what is happening to her and doesn't leave. Lack of knowledge on this point is massive and this has to change. Our society needs to throw all gut reactions, common sense, and misconceptions out the window and leave it there. Society needs to think the matter through or nothing will get done and someone you know and love will get hurt or die. Most people's concept of "normal" is vastly different from the Domestic Violence victim's concept of "normal". Never, ever, force your concept of "normal" upon a victim or you will push her farther into her ordeal and you become part of the problem and not part of the solution. Abuse is not, I repeat, not their fault and to think otherwise or tell a victim otherwise is a collossal injustice in trying to help or become part of the solution.

Every battered woman stands alone, isolated and without a support system in place. We must become a world of people who understand this kind of violence or nothing will get done. It's not somebody else's problem or someone else's responsibility. It's mine, it's yours, it's your lawmaker's, it's your community's.

Everyone wants to know: Why do men do it?. The answer is, I don't know, but what I do know is that when you start trying to figure out what makes these men tick, you enter a realm so foreign to normal experience that you are taken aback. You find handsome men, intelligent men, successful men and everything in between. But you discover that these batterers have another personality, so to speak. Abusive men are masters at projecting a public face so far from what they exhibit to their loved ones. Their public face is characterized by charm, tenderness and warmth but behind this public mask hides an extreme danger to his loved ones. We have a difficult time understanding men who beat and sometimes kill their wives or girlfriends--or their children--because they violate our sense of normal decency.

This is the exact reason why what happens behind closed doors is not none of our business, for behind those closed doors could be your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend...even you.

Okay, so let's talk about solutions now. The solution is that we learn about Domestic Violence, recognize it when it happens, and help the victim find a safe way out with a Safety Plan. Reading sites such as this and getting angry is a start but it isn't enough. This site is simply a guideline to saving lives. Read this site and share it. Check out the links on here, read them and share them also. Research this topic more and understand and share your knowledge with others; you will begin to help those in need simply by knowing how to help them. Education is key. Education leads to knowledge and knowledge is power and it saves lives.

If you want to do more, here are some suggestions:

1. Contact a shelter. They are in dire need of help. Volunteer your time, as much or as little as you can manage. Donate to food drives and clothing drives. Donate money if you can spare it to enhance programs at shelters designed to help battered women get back on their feet. There is also the Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation who distributes monies donated to shelters nationwide.

2. Get your community involved. This is a community problem and a global problem. This isn't a problem that exists in a fishbowl, folks. To learn how to stop Domestic Violence in your community, call 1-800-END-ABUSE and ask for information on what you can do locally.

3. Contact your Senator, President and other elected officials, via phone, fax or e-mail. When some politicians get letters they think money and votes; many genuinely care about causes such as this. And keep in mind that this November is election time. Ask your Senator, State Representatives, and your President--officials whose job it is to serve the public-- what can be done to save lives and what they will do to change the way the laws are written. Did you know that in most states that the police have to be called and make a report four times before Domestic Violence is considered a felony? That's just ludicrous and that has to be changed right now and these are the very people who can accomplish that. Some states and police departments have a zero tolerance policy and Domestic Violence is considered a felony charge the first time. If your state is not among them, isn't it about time it follows the example of the states and police departments who do?

Complete E-Mail List Of All United States Senators
Contact your State's Member of Congress
E-Mail The President of the United States

4. Go to your local police department, your family courts, law schools, and hospitals and ask for their brochures on Domestic Violence. If they don't have any, ask why not and what they plan to do to get the information out there. In these settings, it is their job and their duty to their community to educate and do their part to help. Remember education is key and it saves lives.

5. If you get a dead end, contact your local paper or news affiliate. The media is a powerful tool.

I would really hate to believe that we as a society are not more angry that men, women, and children are being beaten, humiliated, intimidated, maimed, abused, living in fear, and killed every day, of every week, of every year; that one more person has to get hurt or die because we can't take a few minutes or a few hours of our time to save a life from being destroyed as a result of abuse, or to save a family from anguish and a lifetime of pain because they were informed their loved one was beaten to death.

How ever way you found this page, I'm glad you are here, to educate and to be educated. You and I are a powerful agent for change to keep more men and women from being beaten senseless, and living in fear, and to keep more children safe and free from witnessing this horror. Educate, be educated, and make a difference. This is the very least we can do. And this much is alot because it is the foundation of changing how we think about Domestic Violence. The "Domestic" part of the term "Domestic Violence" makes it seem almost harmless but ask any survivor, any victim, or any family member who has lost a loved one to this how harmless this is. You won't get that answer from them. I make few guarantees as a general rule. But this I will guarantee. From now on, instead of keying a term that makes this issue seem harmless by calling it "Domestic" Violence, let's just call it what it is: spousal and relationship beating.

This page is my way of opening the door to what is happening in America and abroad and telling my story of survival. What is written here could quite possibly save a life if we do our part individually and collectively.

In the time it took you to read just the text on this page, 38 women were battered. How many more people have to be before we light the way for those who may never know what freedom and happiness is? We must do our part now.

This page is dedicated to those who won the battle--the survivors and Angels on Earth-- who light the way for others; to those who cannot yet make their voices heard--the victims; to those who can never again make their voices heard--the Angels in Heaven above.

Domestic Violence Memorial Page

Memorial Site to Rachel and Tyler Miller

Rachel Miller's Killer Speaks

The words you read until now were Rachel Miller's before she was killed. She was attacked on April 13, 2000 and she died on April 26, 2000 from Domestic Violence at the hands of her ex- husband, Bruce David Daniels. The family of Rachel Miller has allowed the transcripts of his police interview and his plea hearing to appear here. The links below will take you to the transcripts, provided by and used with permission from Rachel's family. It is difficult to read due to its graphic nature and may be triggering for some people. It describes, in his own words, his actions that led to Rachel's death. Read at your own risk.

Transcript of Bruce Daniels Police Interview

Transcript of Bruce Daniels Changing His Plea To Guilty

Have You Seen This Child?

Domestic Violence Resources and Information

Do you need help? Important numbers

Stop Domestic Violence Site

How An Abuser Can Discover Your Internet Activities

State By State Listing Of Pro Bono Programs

Violence Against Women Office

Free Legal Advice for Domestic Violence Victims

Domestic Violence Notepad

The Wall- Name your abuser

Safety For Women

Please click on a banner to visit these other important sites:

*This is an excellent resource site*

Tony Ciraolo's tribute to Rachel and Tyler Miller

Contact links

Sign Rachel's guestbook: Make your voices heard
View Rachel's Guestbook

Recommend this site to a friend

To view all of the web rings this site belongs to: Web Rings
Stop The Violence- Find out why. Find out how.