Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mothers and Daughters of Abuse

By: Cherry Simpson

I am the mother of Regan Martin a spousal rape and abuse victim. Her story entitled “One woman's struggle to escape abuse”, by reporter Megan Twohey, was on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on Nov 11, 2008. It’s a story full of pain, fear, hope to escape and most of all the truth. (Update)

How did the Chicago Tribune become interested in Regan’s case? A friend introduced me to Susan Murphy-Milano a DV advocate/author - the child of a batterer - her father, a police officer, murdered her mother. Susan got the Tribune interested in Regan’s case. I was a mother desperate to save my daughter. Susan was a daughter who could not save her mother. Susan taught me helping others helps you.

Susan also knew the in and outs of the justice system. She acted as my daughter’s advocate, going to court with her, counseling her, and she helped make a video to serve as testimony if Regan’s ex did take her life. We successfully got a GPS put on him upon his release from prison in 2008. Susan also made sure, when Regan’s ex violated the OP a 3rd and 4th time, that he was prosecuted “fully”, picked up by his parole agent and rearrested. Thankfully he is now back in prison until 1/2/2010.

Since then Regan has reached out to help others by writing to the Survivor Blog on the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She has been working on inviting a piece of legislature, which would stop sex offenders from plea-bargaining out of sex offender status. (Spousal Rape Laws Continue to Evolve).

We need move education and awareness of the overwhelming problems of domestic violence. Families and friends need to actively advocate for their battered loved ones. Instead of judging or blaming a battered woman for staying or taking him back. Many are convinced they are safer if they stay. Some go back numerous times.

I now ask why isn't domestic violence thought of and treated like torture? They both have the recognizable profile of imprisonment, detention, enforced isolation, extreme physical and mental abuse and some end in death. Mothers and daughters are raped, beaten, burned, deprived of sleep, food and human contact. Its purpose is to break her. What she learns in order to survive can make living later unbearable, causing post-traumatic stress even suicide years later. We need not ask, “What led you to become a member of this concentration camp?” We just need to help them escape.

I am often asked, “When will this be over?” I think of it the same way I would of a terminal illness. I do not believe we will ever be free of him until he dies. I pray the courts stop allowing batterers the right to kill their families, as in the Leichtenberg boy’s case; it is obvious these cases have reached a critical mass. (See number of DV deaths.)

What can I do to help them? I lend my support and help her to be strong and diligent in her pursuit of a normal life. I encourage her to prosecute the abuser every time he violates the law. I give her love unconditionally, share my faith with her and look for the joy God gives us everyday. Get involved you might save a life.
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  1. Charles Moncrief says:

    Cherry, thank you for your amazing comment about the Good Samaritan's motive. This makes me wonder what motivates each of us today when we see someone suffering. Our current pain? Our gratitude for healing past hurts?

    There's a lot of room for reflection here

  2. Cherry, my observation over the years is that batterers could be profiled just like serial rapist and murderers. I have often been able to anticipate a perps next move and assist victims with getting prepared. In a training video that I helped produce, Family Violence: Debunking the Myths the videographer stated after interviewing several battered women was that "This was the same woman she just had a different face." The behavior is so classic that their next move can often be predicted. Keep up the great work. Someday, we may actually make beating your partner and children are real crime. Love the GPS thing. I hope that catches on.

  3. Charles, I have thought about "the Good Samaritan" many times ever since my daughter was raped and beaten. The man whom the "Good Samaritan" rescued was a victim of crime. We don't know much about him except he was left for dead until the "Good Samaritan" came to his rescue. He did that at great personal cost, unafraid for his own safety and taking care of him long after his wounds had healed. My pondering on what motivated him to do came from of source my personal experience but also knowing a little about the Samaritans and how they were viewed at that time.
    I look forward to your post.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Carolyn Cox Video - DV doesn't stop at the poverty level

    The story told here is painfully similar to those told every week on Violence UnSilenced.

    But in this case, by watching and listening to the story, you can actually directly benefit survivors of domestic violence. For every person who views the video $1 will be donated to the Jessie Bliss McGrew Freedom Fund within the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation. (For more information on Alpha Chi Omega and the Jessie Bliss McGrew Freedom Fund, 237 visit this site.

    Funds up to $22,000 have been pledged by sponsors based on viewership, so it will only cost you four minutes of your time. Four minutes that could make all the difference for someone who desparately needs it. Someone like the latest contributing author on Violence UnSilenced who found out just how difficulit leaving can be -- even if you can leave safely.

  6. Cherry
    Thanks for passing the word on the Carolyn Cox video. I've got a series of posts, including the one you've quoted above, scheduled for Fridays October You can find them all using this link:

    Related Posts

    There are no boundaries Domestic Violence doesn't cross. Not economic, not social, not ethnic... it's an equal opportunity problem. And whether or not we ever take a punch in the face, we are all victims of it in some way.

  7. The Dana Pretzer Show on ScaredMonkeysRadio 10/09/2009 Cherry Simpson talking about Times Up Blog and my daughter's case.

    Edited version
    Full version

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