I’ve been sitting here racking my brain trying to figure out how to start this blog entry on domestic violence. I want to give the topic itself the respect it’s due and my friend the privacy and respect she deserves. This week, I completed by Selfless Saturday act without having to really consider doing anything else. I felt it was something I had to do because (a) it was the right thing to do and (b) there were kids involved, and any time there are kids involved, there is no other recourse.
The Domestic Violence Incident
What happened in this situation is something that should never happen to anyone. And out of respect to the person involved, I will not give specifics about names or the number of people involved to preserve anonymity. But, the reason I got involved is that she was left high and dry by her husband, who had physically abused her, gotten arrested, gotten released, and then took everything from her. With no money, no job, no car, and children to take care of, and with a self-esteem that was left crumpled after a long time of bashing from her husband, she is now trying to get back on her feet.
Out of the Darkness
Did she ask for my help? No. Hell no. In fact, two days ago, we weren’t even speaking. Seriously, we weren’t. We had a falling out months ago. When I heard about what happened, my heart broke for her. I knew things had been bad with her marriage and that he was not nice to her, but I did not know it was to this level. I have a true disdain for men who treat women this way. Any man who can break a woman’s face and cause her to get stitches is a worthless piece of shit. And the fact that she is trying to pull her life back together, as depressed as she is, earns her some respect. I contacted her and asked her to let me back in so I could help her. I felt bad blocking her out like that, wondering if her relationship had played a role in what happened with us and if I had been hasty in my retreat.
Into the Light
So, today we bought her some groceries. She told me she had about a weeks worth of food left in the house, but I know that she tends to stretch her food to last and probably had very little food in reality. We got her a few extras that she didn’t need as well. I knew her favorite brownies, so we threw that in the cart as well, knowing she could use a pick-me-up. I knew she needed laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, and things like that, so we got that stuff too. I think we got her enough to stretch her out for a bit. She doesn’t have a family here–no support system. I knew that until she got everything figured out, she would have nothing. She was stressing and she has kids and that’s no way to live.
Being There is So Important!
Of course, she told me that this was not something I had to do, and she didn’t expect me to. But I would like to think that if I were in the same situation, someone would do the same for me. And if she had the means, I think she would do the same for someone else. Really, I’m glad we have the means to help someone who needs the help. And, most of all, I’m glad that we were able to sit and visit for a while, because I think she needed that more than anything. And since the husband cut off the internet and everything else, the kids don’t have TV to watch or anything, so we’ll be bringing some entertainment over for them later this week as well, and that, I know, will be a huge help.
In the times to come, I really would like to just offer emotional support and I hope that she knows that I am here now and I’m not going anywhere. Domestic Violence is a serious issue, and no one should be alone when they’re going through that.
If you are suffering from Domestic Violence or know someone who is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224 or visit http://www.thehotline.org.