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Domestic violence, dating violence, partner abuse, mental abuse – these were words which I perhaps never paid attention to.
My phone broke my concentration on June 3, 2005. I was barreling down a dark highway that rainy evening and should have pulled over to take that call. Actually, I never should have answered it.
She described herself as a police detective lieutenant. This officer had something important to tell me. The tone signaled it was going to sting. I asked what she needed to tell me. She cut me short by saying we couldn’t discuss it by phone. It must in person.
Of course, I believed terrible news was coming my way. Whatever I imagined would have been more preferable than what I was about to hear.
We met a few feet from the automatic doors of a grocery store. There I was hit with a parent’s worst nightmare. My daughter had been brutally murdered earlier that day by her boyfriend. In plain-speak, Kristin was dead. OMG. What more was there to the story? Everything else was an afterthought: The whats. The hows. The details.
What is dating violence?
Fast forward through the viewing, the funeral, the eulogies, the interment, and all that it takes to bury your dreams alongside your 21-year-old daughter. In the midst of it all, what I had to to know was why. Why did he do it? Why didn’t anyone see this coming? Why didn’t she? Her friends?
We didn’t know what dating violence was back then. We knew Kristin was dating a guy during her last semester at college. We heard her say, “Well, it wasn’t the perfect relationship.” We figured it was going to end soon. Not like this.
Let’s vault past the part about getting him into prison. He pled guilty and he is doing 15 to 30 years. He has completed over 15 years at this writing. Will he do the full 30? Better hope he does. We know what he can do.
What needs to be talked about now is not him. It’s not Kristin, either. It’s What are we going to do so there are no more young women murdered by their boyfriends?
That’s an area where we can actualize something.
One in three women suffer serious physical harm at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetimes. It typically happens between the ages of 16 and 24. That’s the truth whether you want to believe it or not. Intimate partner violence is real. And it’s in every zip code across this land. In fact, it’s equally everywhere. My street, your street, your town, and your depressed inner cities. Equally.
Keep yourself safe from domestic violence and abuse
Do you have a daughter? A niece or a sister? Female friends? One in three of all women who could be in danger at this moment. You just don’t know about it. People who are in dangerously abusive relationships don’t typically tell anyone. It’s too embarrassing to admit that a guy she thinks she loves treats her awfully. If he doesn’t hit her, he pulls her down emotionally until he takes complete control over her. It’s not love, it’s hatred masquerading as love. One in three women? That’s a lot of women.
So, what are we going to do about it? Try and convince ourselves it doesn’t happen where we live or work? Great if it were true. Are we going to wait and deal with it if it shows up? Remember, most women don’t tell anyone about it. When it shows up (reread the beginning of this article), oftentimes, it’s too late.
I’ll tell you what you should so. Accept the truth. Then act on it.
Recognise partner abuse and get help
Get ready like it’s a ravenous wolf coming hard at someone I love. Dating violence is terrible, and it ruins innocent women we know, work with, and care about. Become proficient in the realities of dating violence by learning the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. Search for what to do if you detect abuse enveloping someone you know. Absorb the best steps to take from professionals who know what to do. They’ve all been there. You will never figure this out on your own. If you try to help someone without guidance, trust that you won’t get a do over if you fail.
The perpetrators who use power and control techniques have nothing on their minds but taking away the ones you love. They’re practiced at what they do, and they’re so good at being bad. You don’t want your phone ringing like it rang for me.
Remember the ravenous wolves. One in three women are at risk. Now do something. Get help!
FemmePharma’s mission is healthy and safety of women. Keeping our mission in mind, we are bringing Bill Mitchell to our audience with a Facebook Live event. We are sure that many women in this situation can be helped by hearing Bill’s list of warning signs and 5 step viscious cycle. Check his book “When Dating Hurts“!