Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Yeah, it’s some bad stuff.

I recently released a novel that focuses on Domestic Violence and depicts what someone in an abusive relationship might be going through, might be feeling. I have been told the dynamics of this story are very accurate.

I’m not here to promote Forever Blessed so much as to raise awareness for an issue that has divided families for generations. The statistics are staggering. Here are a few:

· One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
· An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
· 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
· Most cases of domestic violence never get reported to the police
· Almost 1/3 of female homicide victims that are reported in police reports are killed by an intimate partner.
· In 70-80% of all intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
· Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
· Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.

If that doesn’t make you sad, then I don’t know what will. Every day women live in fear because of what their spouses, partners or boyfriends might do. They never know peace. They fear for their children, for themselves. They have been threatened, manipulated and controlled for so long, they know longer know who they are.

My grandmother was abused. In a letter to the reader at the front of my novel, I tell this story:

The idea for this novel is based on the life of my grandmother, Ella Louise Lafferty. While she was a victim of spousal abuse, this is not her story. She was the mother of eight children, the wife to one husband. She had more lines etched around her kind eyes than a woman of 62 years should carry. She lived a hard life.

What broke my heart the most was after her passing she left a stack of Harlequin Romance books in the common room of her apartment building. Her marriage was built on fear and trepidation, not love and certainly not romance. She read hundreds of books, living a life of romance through each page she turned. Her self-imposed guilt kept her from sharing her quest with her family.

I rejoice in the fact that she entered heaven’s gates and looked upon the ultimate face of love, that of Christ Jesus. She never knew the romantic love of a man while on this earth. She saved herself for the best.

Darlene Shortridge

If you are being abused…call:

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

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