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Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Never Forget, It Just Gets Easier to Not Remember

Every year around this time I am reminded of how lucky I am to be alive.

In April 2009, my best friend and I were attacked by my ex-husband. He and I had separated following the death of our son and a long history of abuse. While none of my injuries were severe, to this day I still deal with frequent headaches and backaches from being slammed into walls, doors and furniture. Without my best friend, I would not be alive. I have no doubt that if I had been alone, my ex-husband would have killed me, he had every intent to do me severe harm.

Many of my family and friends have never heard about what my marriage was like, nor do they know the reason I finally left.

In July 2008 my ex-husband and I had an argument regarding his relationship with one of my friends and his lack of being home. During this argument, he shoved me and I fell into a wall. I was holding our 5 month old son at the time, his little head hit the wall. I had finally had enough and packed his things (and a few of mine) to send to his mother's house. I honestly don't know if he stayed there during the next few weeks, but on August 26th he stayed with us and the next morning our son was dead.

Abuse is something you rarely see happen, but often you see the repercussions. Very few people ever saw my bruises, but many saw me withdrawing and isolating. If you ever think that someone you know is being abused, or if you are being abused yourself, tell someone. Get help. Because it's not an "if something bad happens" its a "when something bad happens" kind of situation. Abuse always ends badly, and unfortunately it's generally bad for the victim.

In Virginia we have a "3 strikes" kind of law. If you are caught being abusive once, you must go to classes and complete 6 months probation. It's almost impossible for the victim to get a protective order even for a few weeks. If the abuser then moves on to another girl and is charged with abusing her, it's his first strike again. Generally, the abuser creates a string of 3, 4, or 5 victims before the state finally says "Enough!". Virginia is not the only state like this.

In the news today was this story. This woman was lucky enough to escape, but how many other women are living this same story today? How many of them will die before our country steps up and finally says "We will not tolerate abuse!"? Please, help break the cycle...change a woman's, child's, man's life today.

In love, light and honor,

Audrey

PS. I just wanted to note that the man in the story I posted was released on bail. His original $750,000 bail was reduced to $100,000. He is out and wandering the streets today. This happens all too often...it's almost no wonder that we have repeat offenders and that so many women go back to these men. Even the police can't or won't protect abuse victims. And by the way, did anyone see the story about the young man that tried to give his ex-girlfriend an abortion by jumping on her stomach? I don't know if he was released on bail as well, but men like this are out there. And just in case you think I'm being sexist, a woman in Texas recently scalded her newborn until his skin was "bubbling" and another woman recently killed her husband claiming he had been abusive (although it was later found that she had been having an affair). Abuse spans all race and gender lines, and we can do something to stop it.

3 comments:

  1. I was in an abusive relationship for over 7 years. My life hung in the balance so many days. Having my son over me when I came to begging me not to die was one of the reasons I finally got away.

    I never thought it was that bad as long as my son never saw the bruises or the fighting. I am lucky to have gotten away with my life. Just as you did.

    Also just like you I have lost a baby. My daughter was only 18 days old when she went to heaven.

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  2. Jenn,

    Thank you so much for your comment, I always find myself strengthened when I hear from other survivors. It's amazing how we justify things in our mind, I remember my most common thought was, "but my son needs a father". He did, and his biological one let him down. Biology is never a reason to stay. Congratulations on your strength and I hope your journey continues with love and support.

    Audrey

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  3. Also, I wanted to say that I am sincerely sorry for your loss. Meeting other empty armed moms like you helps me to feel a little better and less alone. It also gives me the beautiful image of my son having playmates in Heaven <3

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