Stacie DeSantis-Dorego, HWT-member and victim of intimate partner homicide

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?

* * * *

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.