When I learned recently of the horrific murder of one of our Here Women Talk colleagues – cutting short the life of a beautiful, sensitive woman and loving mother – my immediate reaction was anger. More specifically, I find it disturbing and outrageous that over the past several decades we haven’t made more progress in taking a “Zero Tolerance” stand against domestic violence or abuse of any kind.
During her 25-year run, Oprah brought a fair amount of attention to this issue, and way back in 1984 the courageous Farrah Fawcett starred in a disturbing made-for-TV movie about domestic violence, “The Burning Bed.” Now, it’s more than 25 years later, and not enough has changed.
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released recently, here in the US, 24 people per minute are the victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. That’s 12 million individuals – mostly women – every year, and this is simply unacceptable. We need to open our eyes and look for the warning signs, and when we see them, we must get involved.
If we somehow can’t be moved to action to protect ourselves or the women close to us, then things must change for the sake of our children. In their tender years, children learn so much from what they observe in the household – eating habits, how to manage money, the importance of being respectful of others. In households where domestic violence takes place, they are very likely to perpetuate it. (The heartbreaking experience of watching one parent physically abuse the other is bad enough, and the damage resulting from this kind of instability at home can literally last a lifetime.)
We cannot let the death of our friend and colleague Stacie, a fellow member of the Here Women Talk community, be in vain. After all these years, isn’t it time to finally take a firm stand against domestic violence and abuse?
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Susanne Veder Berger hid her face for more than 50 years. Now, an amazing surgical procedure has allowed this courageous resident of New York City to show her “true face.” Susanne calls it “Getting Naked.” She’s embarking on a new journey and invites you to join her in confronting challenges, “getting real” and stepping into a fresh, more empowered life.
Susanne: I totally agree with Delilah’s comment regarding the very real resources provided by Susan Murphy Milano. Each and every day she also posts more real life examples on her site called Susan Murphy Milano’s Journal. She introduces you to the case, presents her expert knowledge regarding what did/did not happen re preventative measures and repeatedly offers others to become familiar with the EAA and it’s use.
Intimate partner homicide is not cocktail conversation…. but it needs to be a part of all of our conversations to increase awareness and knowledge for those “hiding in plain sight!” Thanks so caring!
Susanne, your post is right on target in pointing out that there has not been any positive change for abuse victims in over 20 years. BUT…now there is. Susan Murphy Milano, a host here on HWT, along with other colleagues have put together Document the Abuse.com http://documenttheabuse.com
I urge you and any others who are interested in preventing any more abuse and deaths at the hands of abusers to become familiar with this site and the information contained in it. I also invite you to listen to Susan’s show Time’s Up each Thursday at 2ET or the archived shows. We have presented so much material in the year that it’s been on air, with many expert guests.
Action IS being taken in a big way to not be reactive to abuse as has always been done, but to be PROACTIVE, take real preventative measures, and be a voice for those who are too afraid to speak out, like Stacie was. Let’s not let her death be in vain, but reach out to save the next one who is in her same situation. Your statistics from CDC aren’t reporting all of the cases, there are many more.
One thing everyone must remember is that no two cases of abuse are the same. They can not be treated as such, and each case must be documented and treated individually, not just checked off a list like is done in most systems, that simply doesn’t work as evidenced in headlines every day.
Susanne, if you would like more information or an opportunity to be involved, please contact Susan at [email protected]
Again, thank you so much for your post and realizing that we all must open our eyes to positive change for victims of abuse.
Susanne – thank you for your passion and we need to stay passionate about this issue and make sure that it starts to stop- a start will be a good thing because it won’t go away until all women said “no” ad we have enough places for them to go so they and their children can be safe and rebuild. men have got to get involved also. We can make a difference. let’s keep talking. thank you.
Until launching Here Women Talk, I lived in a bubble. I had no idea how widespread and common abuse is. It angers me, too. We have many members who have posted their sadness and outrage AND tips and resources for escaping and getting help. Several commented with resources on the following two blogs: http://herewomentalk.com/rip-stacie-hwt-member-murdered-by-boyfriend and http://herewomentalk.com/slaughter-of-stacie-call-to-action. Thank you, Susanne, for your impassioned plea for us to take action.