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A Writer's Den: Dear Victim of Domestic Violence, Is Today the Day?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dear Victim of Domestic Violence, Is Today the Day?

Dear Victim of Domestic Violence,
I am your mother, your sister, and your friend. Day after day, I provide a listening ear for you to share your pain. And I often ask myself “Is today the day.” First the arguments begin, and although I was worried, we laughed through your pain together after you assured me that he was just a little jealous. So against my better judgment, I held my tongue.

Then you called me in tears one night saying that he hit you. I tried to stay strong as I listened to your story. Little did you know, the tears were swelling in my eyes, slowly streaming down my cheeks, while listening to you make excuses for his actions. I placed a pillow over my mouth to hide my sobs. You needed me to be strong for you, but as I listened to your story, the weaker I became. After we hung up the phone, I cried for you that night and I have cried for you every night since then. As I fall on my knees in prayer, day after day, I boldly say your name aloud asking that God protect you. I have even asked my guardian angel to leave my side to stand by yours because deep in my heart I wonder “Is today the day.”

A few months later, you called me from the emergency room to let me know that you had suffered a head injury at his hands. This time I couldn’t hold back my tears, and I refused to only be a listening ear. I told you to leave him. I even offered to pick you up. Finally it seemed you’d had enough because you did leave. We talked through your pain, and somehow we managed to laugh again.

A few days later, you decided to return to him. I assured you that my home was your home, as you walked away. Then I went into the room to make up your bed. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as I stopped in my tracks and fail on my knees. You didn’t prepare me for the drops of blood you left behind on your pillow. Holding it close to my heart, I said a prayer for you and asked God “Is today the day.”

I know now that you must make the decision to leave all on your own. Although, I love you more than you will ever know, my daughter, my sister, my friend, I cannot continue to stand by helplessly waiting for the day. The day my phone will ring, hoping to hear your voice on the other end, only to hear an unfamiliar voice asking me “Are you the next of kin?”

With Love,

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month! Please join me in supporting The Allstate Foundation’s Tell a Gal Pal movement, by clicking on the “like” button on the Tell a Gal Pal Facebook page,  and pledging to Tell a Gal Pal about domestic violence to help raise $20,000 to be donated to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in The Allstate Foundation’s Tell a Gal Pal blogging program with TwitterMoms, making me eligible to get an interview with Cheryl Burke. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Credit: maodesign © istockphoto.com/maodesign

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