Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dan's podcast on domestic violence walkathon

I am amazed at the talent and expertise my son Dan had in putting this podcast together.

I don't say this because he is my son; it is of similar quality as you would find in a network broadcast.

It is emotional, uplifting, informative and puts a face so to speak on this issue.

What a tribute and testament to Cheryl Dawson and the life she led. And its in celebration of her life that is inspiring and the facts surrounding her murder at the hands of one who professed to love that are poignant.

Unfortunately, Cheryl was one of many. I didn't know her personally but I know her. In listening to the comments by those who did know her personally I got a glimpse of who she really was.

Cheryl was more than a domestic violence statistic.
She was a wife, Mom, daughter, friend, employee, church member. she lived in a community that was like any other community.

She was educated. In many ways she was abnormally normal.

Inside her day to day life she lived a horrible existence. She lived in fear, desperation, isolation; she attempted to change her circumstances and for that she was murdered in broad daylight on a busy downtown street.

Her story is too often repeated.

The most dangerous time for a woman who is a domestic violence situation is when she has taken action to leave those circumstances.

Unless and until we all rise up to educate ourselves about the Cycle of Violence her story and those of too many will be repeated.

The victims of domestic violence are not just the statistic who has a name and face and life.
We are all victims.
We are robbed of living in a society where families live harmoniously. Children grow up witnessing not only unspeakable acts but the loss of dignity and serenity.

Not every case of domestic violence is as dramatic as Cheryl's.

Some just live with the day to day barage of verbal assualt.Some live with financial restrictions.
Some live with loss of freedom, independance and control. Some live with educational restriction. some live with the the just the threat of these things.

What is common throughout is the powerlessness. Domestic Violence is insidious.
It hardly ever starts out to be as big as it ends up.

A rude comment said in jest; a comment about how long it took to return from the store said with a sense of love that the person just missed your presence.

A conversation that your friends don't have your best interest at heart but the person who claims to love does.And those comments become convincing until you doubt your own judgement.
An isolation from family convincing you that your people just don't like this person and you took a vow to cleave unto him.

The way you dress or wear makeup or style your hair is brought into question and to please you transform yourself into the person he wants you to be.

Comments are made that question your sexuality and your ability to mother; your femininity is devalued.

Often, these are the same comments you heard as a child made to your mother. Although unpleasant they seem normal.

If you were brought up in a home that abuse was normal abuse will look normal in your home.

Being a nurturing female you want to please so you are the one who accomodates. You feel responsible because the males in your life told you that you are.

These things happen long before the first slap.

And often the its some time before the first slap turns into a punch, a kick, a shove.

And he is always sorry and you choose to believe it because by then you are not only beaten up, you are also beaten down.

The promises are made that it will never happen again and it doesn't, ---until the next time.
And the next time happens more frequent until its an everyday occurence and in its insanity it also begins to appear "normal".

Meanwhile you have retreated into a place inside yourself that no one knows exists trying to hang on.

Its always your fault.Its the if only's, the you should or shouiln't haves, the I wishes.

Its always I love you, but....

And one day you through the grace of God Almighty decide to end it.

It may be because of your children; it may be because someone got through to you. it may be for a reason you don't even know how to articulate.

The human spirit is fragile yet resourceful.

There is fear and trepidation along with exhilaration and excitement.

Get in touch with a women's center, have a safety plan.
Help is available.
There can be life away from abuse. I know.I'm living it.

Its a journey. its a struggle. Its difficult.

Yet its the life free from condemnation that is the rainbow waiting for you.

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