“The only people who get upset about you setting boundaries are the ones
who were benefiting from you having none.” ~Unknown
Amanda was 36.
Casey was 25.
Both women died at the hands of their husbands in my no longer small town in the month of May. You can say what you will about what might have led to their shootings, but very simply put, it is domestic violence, and it is one of the reasons women (especially) die each year. If you heard their stories, you might come away asking one question: Why didn’t they leave? Many never leave for a variety of reasons, but every now and then the abused is brave enough to set some boundaries for themselves, and they discover that the one person bothered by their choice is the person who benefitted from their having had no boundaries.
Domestic Violence is a tough topic for people to discuss, and not much easier for me to write about, but it is too important to push to the back burner. In researching the topic, I found several stories that began, On Monday, a husband murdered his wife. There is a good chance someone reading this has been either the victim of domestic violence or the abuser. You see, “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men,”1 and “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.”1 That is a pretty sobering thought, and we simply cannot pretend it isn’t happening around us.
When I think about abuse, I figure there are just a few things that really matter:
1) What constitutes abuse?
2) What are signs someone is probably being abused?
3) What can I do to help someone?
4) Why don’t victims get help or leave?
You and I have a responsibility if we think a friend is being abused — physically or emotionally.
You and I have a responsibility if we think a child is being abused — physically or emotionally.
You and I have responsibilities.
A friend once shared that someone was reading an article about ‘signs someone has been abused,” and the other person recognized signs in my friend of abuse. She had never shared with anyone and was shocked to have it discovered. What if we each look around us and take a minute to read, to reflect, and then to ask questions when appropriate? We could save a life.
Between 2001 and 2012, the United States lost close to 6,500 troops in battle. During that same time, the United States lost almost 12,000 women to death at the hand of current or ex-lovers. Domestic Violence is no joking matter. Whose life could we save today by simply reaching out? What boundaries do you and I need to set? I don’t really care who that makes uncomfortable if we save a life.