Domestic Violence

March 4, 2008 at 11:39 pm Leave a comment

(As defined by law.com

  domestic violence
n. the continuing crime and problem of the physical beating of a wife, girlfriend or children, usually by the woman’s male partner (although it can also be female violence against a male). It is now recognized as an antisocial mental illness. Sometimes a woman’s dependence, low self-esteem and fear of leaving cause her to endure this conduct or fail to protect a child. Prosecutors and police often face the problem that a battered woman will not press charges or testify due to fear, intimidation and misplaced “love.” Increasingly domestic violence is attracting the sympathetic attention of law enforcement, the courts and community services, including shelters and protection for those in danger.

One might wonder why I’ve chosen this for post topic today.  The fact of the matter is that this issue has come really close to home for me over the course of the last year, more specifically in the last 24 hours.  My best friend has been dealing with increasing anger, verbal abuse, fighting, and now physical abuse in her marriage.  It is a difficult situation for her to be in and also a difficult position for me, as her best friend and a former friend of her husband.  I am constantly struggling to find comforting words to try to ease the pain, to offer encouragement, and to try to get her out of the situation… all without injuring our friendship. 

When I first met M. we didn’t hit it off, in fact I disliked her quite I bit.  Looking back, I can’t really even tell you why I didn’t like her except that we were much younger and still very impressionable by our friends.  Then she started dating my friend R.  At first I didn’t like it at all but I saw how much she cared for him so I began to accept it.  (What other choice did I have?)  Over time we somehow became close friends, eventually eachother’s confidant.  She knows things about me that I would never dream of telling anyone else other than my DH. She stood by my side through the darkest days of my life… against everyone telling her to forget about me and that I was a lost cause.  A year later the two of us ended up sharing our first pregnancies together, although neither one of us were planning on starting our family at that time.  Our boys were born less than 3 weeks apart.  The experience of our son’s growing up together has been awesome!  We were both married during that time, to men who are 8 years older than us.  The similarities and experiences go on and on.  We have shared so much!

R. has a drinking problem.  As long as I have known him, he has been a heavy and constant drinker.  M. grew up with an alcoholic parent and doesn’t want that for their child.  This has been the main source of fighting in their marriage.  They have other problems too, don’t get me wrong, but this is the one that always causes issues.  Last night, after a day at the bar with their son, R. came home to M.  She knew he had been drinking and was not happy with the situation, especially because their child had been with him.  Screaming led to destruction of property which led to more screaming, which led to crying, which eventually turned into R. grabbing M. by the throat and slapping her as hard as he could.  The sheriff was called.  Investigation was done, firearms were removed from the home (R. is and avid hunter), and R. went to jail.  He is being charged by the state with domestic assault- and rightfully so.

Maybe this will be a wake-up call.  For who?  I’m not sure.  I hope that either this is the last straw for her and that she will leave him for good or that maybe this will be the wake-up call for him to realize that he has a problem and needs to get help.  Either way I pray it does not happen again for M. and their son (and the baby she is currently pregnant with). 

It’s easy for the outsider to say: “Just leave him,”  “He’s not worth it,” etc. but when you’re the one living the situation it’s not always that easy or that cut and dry.  I understand that because I have been in abusive relationships before myself.  I just hope that whatever needs to happen there happens before something really bad does happen. 

Please pray for them!

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52 Days “I don’t like it”

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