Domestic Violence, "Why Doesn't She Just Leave?"
Contributor
Domestic violence gets respect this month because now women will have an outlet to receive assistance to escape the misery. Better now than never to make October Domestic Violence Awareness, but I wished it had happened long ago. Our house was filled with fear, pain, and shame. (Yes, alcohol played a pivotal role) My mother suffered while we watched, sometimes we older children rescued her. This hidden, depravity was a well-kept secret in our home. As adults, three of my sisters, five of my neices, and me experienced it. My sisters were brutalized so badly that they needed multiple hospitalizations. It was cyclical for Mother, her daughters, and granddaughters: Domestic violence crosses all socio-economic paths, religions, race and ethnicities, and creeds. Well, during my adulthood, I heard people say repeatedly: "Why Doesn't She Just Leave?" It's about the money for It is known that battered women without financial freedom, especially those with children, will stay in there. This awareness comes with much-needed resources to get abused women out. While you're pondering the financial necessity for such efforts, consider this: Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, according to the FBI, and in this public health crisis, a woman is beaten by her spouse or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. That constitutes such a huge population that I need a mathematician to do the math. (I'm terrible at it) Money is central, but the issue is so complex even that may not resolve all issues. How about shame? How about the woman who loves him more than herself? How about the woman whose self-esteem is so low that she thinks she deserves brutality? How about the ones who watched it in childhood and thought it was their faux pas or raison d'etre -- reason for being? What about those whose religious beliefs dictate that they stay. As a former columnist for a major daily newspaper, domestic violence has always been my passion to write about because I know how lonely these women are. Once I spoke to a group of pastors who educated other pastors on counseling battered women without telling them, "Stay, don't go. God will take care of it." The issue that makes the least sense to me -- once a well-paid career woman, is why a woman would rather have spoiled bread than no bread at all. Otherwise, as my grandmother's generation used to say, "A piece a man's better than no man." I simply call the issue insanity that robs a woman of mind, body, and spirit.

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