rocks and storm

This is the speech I prepared for my class. I fell apart in the middle. I hope I will do better the next time.

Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner, Patricia Giorgio-Fox made a comment a while back that found its way into the New York Times. (Here is the link to the article.)

Philly police have changed their response to domestic violence calls, due to an increase in domestic violence homicides:

“… because domestic violence homicide is a crime where there are often warning signs . . .”

She added that 21 of the 35 domestic homicide victims in the study had made a total of 178 calls to the police, and that some of the callers had restraining orders against their killers.

Twenty-one women called the police one hundred seventy-eight times. They are all dead.

As a survivor of domestic violence, this gets my attention.

I call myself a Bag lady

My two little girls and I left our home with two paper grocery bags and the clothes on our backs. They each took a change of clothes, and a favorite toy.

We didn’t leave because I had suddenly become courageous. We left because they begged me to run away from the violence.

“Mommy, we have to leave before he kills you.” They were eight and ten.

What in the world was I thinking? They were frightened. I had allowed myself to become so out of touch with reality that I didn’t even see it. I had not protected my children.

I want to work with battered women, and young women at risk for becoming battered. These young women need to know that abuse is not normal. It is not the elephant in the room in every household.

The abuser wants control. He doesn’t want a quiet, helpful woman. He wants a fight. He wants a conquest. It falls then, to the strong woman, to become his victim.

I believe that with help and guidance, a battered woman can find that strong woman she left behind, and the self-confidence that she has lost.

She needs to be reminded that if she was strong enough to take the abuse, she is strong enough to get away and survive without him.