Monday, April 19, 2010

Tragedy: Reducing the Numbers

By Karen Rae Elkins

Tragedy.  Another day gone by someone died today at the hands of someone they knew. When asked how many women die each year Susan Murphy-Milano said,  "As far as the stats....unfortunately there are no accurate statistics because many cases are not resolved, often ruled accidental until family members speak up.  Category numbers have been skewed for years. If we are going to get a handle on the epidemic of DV and Intimate homicide related deaths, we must treat these tragic incidents as crimes."

JFK once said, "Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live."  Violence is one of those tragedies. You either gain wisdom enough to leave, or you continue to live with it and risk your life."

A year ago, April,  I came across the writings of Susan Murphy Milano. I located her blog catalog and bookmarked the site between lodging on Lake Barkley and USDOJ statistics on domestic violence. It was a time in my life when I was searching for direction. I was also taking a break from the madness with a much needed trip toKentucky Lake. I had hoped God would speak to me while fishing on the lake. What to do, what to do? I was in limbo between the divorce court date and the final decision.  I expected a decision soon. It had been six months. Little did I know the final decision wouldn't be issued until July.

Bookmarks on my computer are precious to me, and Susan's insight on domestic violence was what I was searching for. It was like her words were speaking to me. Susan was a masterful writer, well educated in domestic violence. I remember the first blog I came across, "Domestic Violence Does Not Take a Holiday."  to which I said to myself, "Amen! especially on holidays".  Holiday's are used as weapons that burn just like a slap to the face. Holidays feel like, a tender to the touch bruise, from the powerful grip once used to keep you from leaving.

I was still experiencing abuse, even after leaving. I wanted to know the truth. Was I in denial of present danger? In my naivety, I thought leaving the situation meant that I was safe. I expected  the courts were just and would see through my ex-husband. I was so wrong.  Susan reported such facts in her blogs. It was like her words were preparing me for a less than just outcome. Everything works to the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.These words keep my hope alive. Susan's words helped me take actions.

And now Susan Murphy Milano has written a timeless book, prophetically named Time's Up. As I read the pages of Time's Up!, I thought on the things I did right, and the things I did wrong and the task still ahead of me. Still, I believe that every thing works to the good. When Susan sent me a galley copy of her latest book, I read and re-read the book.  The book is drawn for the living to gain wisdom, whether you are in the midst of painful abuse or have set yourself free from violence.

I must have read the introduction to Time's Up!  no less than 6 times. It was her words, but those words were a description of my life and it spoke to me directly. It read, "Today, it is time to say ENOUGH!  Today, Time’s up.  It is time to remove the dangerous toxic and abusive person from your life.  It is time for you and your children to leave the violence that is in your lives.  It is time for you to realize that there may not be a next time.  It is time to wake up, to look at reality and understand that the reason you do not  “feel safe” is because you are not!"

I remembered my "Today, it is time to say ENOUGH!" How about you? Do you remember that day when you said ENOUGH? Or, has your today not arrived... yet?

Time's Up! is for both the survivor of abuse and the ones who haven't recognized that they are not safe. The book is a tool for leaving and living. There is a chapter dedicated to documentation of abuse. I wasn't familiar with an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit and Will until I read the book.

There is no such thing as a sure bet in this life. My affidavit will be the last card played. Time's Up is a book that just gives you better odds in beating abuse. Beating abuse, isn't that a fitting oxymoron or just plain ironic?

Thank you Susan for your courage. Thank you for being an example to women like me. Thank you for sharing the truth. Because of your book, I am making better decisions in hopes that I never have to play the last card. As far as stats, unfortunately there will be no record of the lives saved. However there will be a sense of satisfaction in knowing survivors are out there.

We are growing in numbers daily and one day will exceed the number of tragedies. Until that day, we all work together to bring women out of the hands of violence.

Goodbye abuse. Time's Up!

Until next time, fish steady my friends. karen

John 3:17 for God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
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1 comment:

  1. I have read other articles as it realtes to the book Time's Up. Each one is more powerful then the one before.

    I see an unsung hero fighting for the lives of our sisters, daughters, mothers and children. Yes this book will save many lives but what I have also read is that the author Susan Murphy Milano is much more then even I realized. She is a woman with a heart of gold working sucessfully to save lives.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope to see this book in every law school, police academy, hospital, library, church, day care center, shelter, law firm and college campus.


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