By Susan Murphy-Milano
As I sip my coffee with cream, pecking away on my computer, reading the bloodshed in the headlines, I am split between those whom you will never read about because they got out of their abusive and violent relationships, and those whose permanent residence is now in a cemetery, their violent lives marked by a single headstone tablet coldly displaying the name, date of birth through the date they died.
There are many mothers and their children who are living their lives without violence because they had a plan to get out of their toxic and abusive relationship. Some enlisted an army of friends, neighbors and relatives, others, by shear will and determination, got out, but you will not ever read about them, they are safe. Some packed their bags and made a new life for themselves across country, others did not stray very far from familiar territory and yet were still able to rebuild their lives.
So why are we seeing bloodshed at epidemic proportions? What are those victims who are being killed doing wrong? And what are those who remain alive doing correctly?
Are the women who are murdered along with their children assisted by a society of pure ignorance when it pertains to domestic violence and intimate partner homicide? Look around folks, you cannot pick up a paper or turn on the news without hearing how another woman was murdered by someone they new intimately. You can't help but read nasty comments on the internet, not from strangers, but, often by friends and realtives who knew both the victim and the abuser, trying to defend the actions of a cold blooded killer, and blaming a victim because she filed for divorce or took the children. Has anyone ever asked the question, "why?" Or is it easier to turn our backs and call victims liars or drama queens even after they or their innocent children are murdered? The phrase "shame on you" (I have a different phase more along the lines W.T.F. but I cannot use it here) to all Americans comes to mind especially when I know in 80% of these tragedies the victims did not have to die. They would still be alive if not for human ignorance. I do not have enough posts to list all those who are dead, but, if I did, it would surpass those killed in both the Vietnam and Iraq war combined.
American soldiers are properly trained and given weapons as they fight and go into battle for our country. Victims of violence during their battle are often given little more then lip service from the legal system and society.
For those who got out of the stalking and domestic violence relationships, do not think for one minute they have or had it easy. These victims swallowed their dose of being beaten and raped within an inch of their lives, not knowing from one moment to the next what their abuser or former partner was going to do to them or their children. Somehow they made it through to see a new sunrise the next morning, and many began, after the beatings and verbal threats against them, a plan to exist in their toxic environments with their lives. It was not easy as many of these women who came and tried before them did not make it and let's remember where those victims are, dead. But, many abuse victims who are now alive had help, be it a shelter for women, a church, an attorney who took favor on them representing them in their divorce or custody case for little or no charge. Or in some situations, they were able to get hold of advocates like me.
With all my heart and soul I would like to believe that someone is listening. Someone cares about the number of murders wreaking havoc in America on the lives of innocent victims of violence, not always women, men too, and are ready to be part of a revolution demanding that the victims of this war be given a level playing field to fight and stay alive. I, for one, am tired of singing in a choir where the lives of victims murdered out weighs the millions of Americans' who are able to be a voice and sing loudly for effective change.
Been there, done that…” Susan Murphy- Milano has turned a tired phrase into demonstrable realism through the gift of her newly published book, "TIME'S UP: A GUIDE ON HOW TO LEAVE AND SURVIVE ABUSIVE AND STALKING RELATIONSHIPS