‘Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?’ A Local Domestic Violence Story
"Why doesn't she just leave?"
It's a question you hear a lot when someone is made aware of a victim of domestic violence. To be fair, I don't think those who ask that question have a lack of empathy, they simply do not understand. The truth is the answer is just never as simple as the question itself. I can't even imagine the emotional and mental strain of domestic violence, the fear, pain, disgust, the empty lonely feeling of helplessness. I just can't imagine, and therefore I do not ask that question.
I think the question to ask ourselves is, "If she tries to leave, will I help?"
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and as this month comes to a close I have been made aware of a local woman who was indeed trying to free herself and her children from domestic violence. Her story was brought to my attention by a woman named Cheryl who started a funding page for this woman. On the page she writes:
"I am raising funds for a woman who recently left her husband and her home after years of intimate partner violence. She left for the health and well-being of herself and her children. She needed to leave AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for their safety, but she has been financially dependent on her partner for over a decade. She is scared she will have to return to her husband or face living in a shelter with her children. She has no family in the area. She is a real woman in OUR COMMUNITY - the children are in the Shen District. You walk by them every day and are likely unaware of their circumstances and the trauma."
Obviously this woman needs to remain anonymous for many reasons including safety but please understand YOU DO KNOW HER. She is your friend, your sister, your coworker, and thousands of other women who touch your life everyday yet live theirs in a silent nightmare from which they feel they can never escape.
Maybe this one time we can help her escape. Even a few dollars can change a world.