03 October 2014

Domestic Violence Month -- End the Silence

Abused women tend to think they are the only one.  The only woman who is being controlled, getting punched, nursing a black eye, dressed up on Sunday hiding broken ribs.

Abused women tend to go to the well alone, the biblical reference of the Samaritan woman at the well who encountered Jesus.  She was there alone, at Noon time, alone. The cultural context of her isolation is significant because one should be compelled to ask, "where were the women?" Where were her sisters and mothers? It was customary for women to go draw water for daily household use very early in the mornings, when it was cool and with a group of women.  Where were her girlfriends and neighbors?  Respectable women just didn't travel alone; and no one traveled in the heat of the day.  But this woman, was at the well, in the middle of the day, alone.

Abused women know what it is to be alone, not just in the midnight hour after being beaten over burnt biscuits.  Abused women know what it is to be alone, going through necessary motions, going about her daily business of survival, going around town as if she is invisible -- made so by her being an abused woman.  Abused women, often think, they are the only one.

But, my sister / myself, you are not.  You are not alone.  You are among many who have survived and now thrive.  You are among many more who are struggling to stay alive more than you are struggling to just stay.  You are not alone; and you need our help.  You need help from those who are not abused, men and women; those who are not abusers, men and women; and those who abhor domestic violence because they know from whence they came -- male and female, Jew and Gentile, Protestant and Catholic, Lesbian and Straight, or from the White House to the house next door.  You are not alone, and we heighten awareness and bring equipping strategies to the minds of Americans during this time every year.

We declare that just being aware is not enough.  We commit to intervening with presence.  We are getting more bold to interfere with strangers to us being abused in public.  We want to be your village of safety and be complicit no more in our silence.

You are not alone.  Believe us, more are for you that your abuser's rage against you.  Let us help.  You do not have to stay any longer.

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