Then it's not.
"Studies show that if you're a lady, most men want to kill you." (from the SNL video)
The monster at the end of our house tried to kill my mother when I was 12.
More than once.
I remember one night in particular, the monster step-father calling her all sorts of names, and then:
"I will shoot you right now, you f$#%^ b%##^!"
"Just shoot me then. Get it over with."
I imagined I heard the trigger click -- I was completely paralyzed; I had no voice.
Then there was silence. Then crying.
Thank God he didn't do it, but we're pretty sure he succeeded with his previous wife and had tried with the one before that.
No, we never had hard evidence, just enough circumstantial to piece it all together. We never did anything about it; we only got ourselves out of the situation to safety. (My mother is convinced he had tried to poison her as well at one point.)
I can't imagine now where my sister and I would've been if he had succeeded. The gradual verbal and sexual abuse we experienced was enough to know that any escalation would've been been darkness infinitum.
Again, we got out and had an ally that not many people have in this situation: the police department.
My mother was the dispatch supervisor at the time and my soon to be adoptive step-father was a police detective, and when we moved out of the monster's house, we had at least 10 officers there as our protective safety net.
Not everyone makes it out alive with law enforcement by their side. One of my dear friends, Kim Wells, shared Telling Amy's Story on her blog Friday. Kim is the Executive Director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) and a champion of the fact that domestic violence is "everybody's business".
Telling Amy's Story follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred in central Pennsylvania on November 8, 2001. Amy's parents, co-workers, law enforcement officers, and court personnel share their perspectives on what happened to Amy in the weeks, months, and years leading up to her death. (Facebook page is here.)
I can't wait to watch it. The documentary will be available on Public Broadcasting Stations beginning June 1, 2010.
I'm with Kim when she says, "I hope you will share and learn."
I know not many people read my blog and most are more comfortable with my loving daddy posts about Bea and Bryce and Mama and family.
But if one person is affected for the better and finds his or her voice to help stop the cycle of violence, then it's a win.
Help give a voice to those who never found their own.