By Karen Rae Elkins
Abe Lincoln said, "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg". There is no freedom without the truth. Violence is a crime. Love doesn't leave bruises, fractures, or warrant the taking of a life. There are no exceptions to this fact. For the next year I pledge to share my thoughts, views and information as I, SOS, (search out solutions) concerning domestic violence through the blog at Time's Up!
The first truth I'd like to share is, "No one has the right to hit you, regardless". If you are a victim, tell yourself what he or she is doing is a crime. You are living with a criminal. I have issues with the the dirty little words "domestic violence." Domestic violence is assault, regardless of whether you know the perpetrator or not. These acts of violence are magnified by the fact that they are carried out by someone who claims to love you.
Second, you know your offender better than anyone. There isn't a one plan fits all situations when leaving. Every situation, every reaction is different. There are safety nets out there to help you end the cycle of abuse.You must become the General in the war within your home.
Not everyone plays by the rules. Stand up for yourself. Make no mistake in thinking justice is blind, fair or balanced by the evidence. Our justice system can often compound the problem. Justice is often corrupt and upheld by the leaders in your community. Sometimes when you stand before the judge, the charges will dumbed down. I believe these options should be taken off the table. If you have the police report, photographs, and medical records what gives any judge the right to decide in favor of releasing a rabid violent perpetrator?
Attitudes must change from the bench down. Judges should be removed for making it easier to commit this crime over and over. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if a judge is held accountable when the results of his decision leads to the death of the victims of domestic violence. He too, is responsible in part for the war within our homes. Justice served would be a shared jail cell with the person he released to commit murder.
I am a believer in the 2 strike rule penalty. If a violent abuser crosses the line twice and strikes again, he shouldn't get a "get out of jail free card". He should go straight to jail for no less than 3 years with no reduced sentence for good behavior. This give you, the victim, time to rebuild your life. His assets should be seized, sold, and given to you as victims compensation, not only for the torment you have suffered, but financially it can ease dependence on organizations for temporary housing. Three years will give victims time to heal scars and rebuild their life free from abuse.
The person who hits you or forces you to have sex would be sitting in jail if he tried the same on a stranger. Not the second time, but the first offense. He can't beat the server at a restaurant because he ordered a steak medium rare and cuts into a well done piece of meat. He can't force a sales clerk into sex, often deviant sex acts, just because he thinks she should want it. So why should a judge make a ruling based on the fact that you know the perpetrator? It's a crime, plain and simple. This type of criminal enjoys inflicting pain. He is a predator with a killer instinct. He wants to kill all that is good in you.
I want to compel those living with abuse to step into the journey that will lead them to a place of safety. The transformation will not be an easy river to cross as you move from victim to survivor to warrior... Hell bent on beating the odds. Your life will be riddled with danger, obstacles, stigmas, and discrimination. Are you worth it? Certainly. Can you do it? I did. When you cross the turbulent waters, you will love yourself.
One of the first mistakes you may have made is in the thought, "It isn't that bad, or I can control it." This thought could prove to be fatal. Trust your instinct. Fear is your friend. You are fighting a war. Don't negotiate with the liar who claims to love you and raises his fist to you. Cut off all contact. Be strong and develop your strategy for victory over abuse. Will you win every battle? It's doubtful, but keep your eye on winning the war.
Truths are easy to understand, sometimes not pretty, and often hidden right under our nose when they are discovered. How do you discover the truth concerning domestic violence? You survive it... and then one day share what you've learned with others trying to process the costly results of abuse.
I've adopted a phrase written by Maya Angelou "I can be changed by what has happened to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it". Amen.
By the time you read this blog, I will be working the production side one of the largest celebrated bass fishing events. An event when the top 100 anglers in the world compete for $500,000. 00 dollars and the title of Champion. These men are hero's and mentors in my world. They've welcomed me into a world where I can live my dreams in the present. One day, maybe I will get the opportunity to fish such a prestigious event.
Whatever your dream is, take the chance. Be safe, be informed, be strong enough to ask for help and live your dreams. Life is too precious to live with the horror that can tear you apart piece by piece, moment by angry moment.
Until next time I write, I will be fishing steady for the little green monsters called the black bass and I'll be fishing for you! I'm hoping to pull you out of the deep waters of abuse.
Much love, courage and peace to you. karen
The opinions and information expressed in the individual posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of each contributor of "Time's Up!" nor the opinion of the blog owner and administrator. The comments are the opinion and property of the individuals who leave them on the posts and do not express the opinion of the authors, contributors or the blog owner and administrator.