My Heart

Domestic Violence: She is Not Bulletproof

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Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens has recently been suspended from the NFL. Video footage from back in February revealed him punching his fiancée unconscious with a single hit, then dragging her limp body out of the elevator. It is sickening, horrific.

What is more shaking, however, is Rice’s then fiancée, Janay Palmer, is now Janay Rice, his wife.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. It is estimated that 42,420,000 victims of such violence live in the United States alone. The vast majority of these will never be reported.

“I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose

Fire away, fire away.

Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away.

You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium.”

The song comes on the radio and we feel the passion of the words. We are strong, unshakable, titanium! It is a nice thing to pretend. It is a lie. We are not bulletproof, we are human.

These ladies, they hurt. They are broken, crushed–crushed beyond belief they can even be put together again. They accept their broken fate, believing a lie that they will never do better, never be able to find a way out.

They are someone’s little girl. 

They too had dreams and hopes, twirling in their pink dresses, imagining their Prince Charming. They giggled at his attention, ached with passion in his sweet touch. Then, he struck. As time went by, they learned to accept the blows, the dreams pushed beyond reach, a far off memory of foolish imaginings.

They may be grown, they may be “big.” Inside, they are just like all us “big” girls: fragile. They still deserve the world.

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My heart is broken and yet what can I do?

As a mom to one little girl, I can start here. I do not mean with simply my daughter herself either. Many friends will enter her life as the years go by. Many girls will come across my path, sit at my kitchen table, sleep over at my house. I will have the opportunity to converse with countless numbers of these precious souls.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. 

How many of these 42,420,000 victims will I encounter?

When I am tired and do not want her friends over, may I stop and remember this number. When the friend is annoying, disrespectful, unlikable, may I embrace her with open arms. May I somehow find a way to plant a seed of confidence, a self worth in their hearts. To know they are priceless, to be treated with nothing less than respect and love.

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To all those out there today, victim to this undeserved abuse: I am praying for you. You are not alone.

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/09/whyistayed-twitter-domestic-violence_n_5790320.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/08/ray-rice-punch-video_n_5783380.html?utm_hp_ref=sports

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a30877/janay-rice/

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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23 thoughts on “Domestic Violence: She is Not Bulletproof

  1. I love football just as much as the next person, but what sickens me the most are peoples’ responses to all of this. Football is not more important than another person’s soul being damaged. People joke around about abuse and sing about it, but they don’t obviously realize the pain it causes you until it happens to you. Many people need a reality check sadly….

    Beautifully written post as always. 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderfull day.

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    1. It is truly such a sad thing when people become more in love with a game than a living soul. Such is life it seems. How often passions and desires cause us to disregard the lives of those around us. It is a challenge to me even, to pop my little bubble and take a fresh breathe of reality.

      May our own children grow with hearts of deep compassion and love.

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  2. This has obviously been going on for a long time and, yes, the woman kept going back–knowing what would happen. There ought to be two types of education here. 1) Young boys need to be trained not to behave like their abusive fathers and 2) the young girls need to be trained to find help where violence is involved. They may want to keep the family together, but there is also such a thing as personal safety. Many women keep going back to cheating husbands too–because they have no way to support themselves. Then the diseases spread, and on and on.

    Then there is the father in South Carolina who killed his five kids, bagged their bodies and threw them out on a lonely road in Georgia. What the media does not tell is that the wife had gone to live with a boyfriend next door and left the husband with the five kids (ages 1-8) and no way to take care of them. He worked for Intel and was a good employee, but just lost it when his wife left him. Was he abusive? Who knows? But he will be tried for murder and his wife will go Scott free. Is that really what should happen? Does she have no responsibility in this?

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    1. Life is cruel and evil. I must believe, however, there is still hope. Without hope there remains no more purpose. There is hope for these women, hope for a better day, a brighter future. I pray they will somehow find a way out, even when they feel there is none.

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  3. You’ve done it again, haven’t you? Taken a huge issue and brought it right to the most personal of levels. Good for you to think that it only takes one to make that difference….the butterfly effect at its very best!

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    1. Thanks Torrie! I know it will have to take more than one, but one is a start, right? I love your analogy of the butterfly effect. I will remember this for a long time to come.

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  4. This is so sad, but you address it so well. You’re right, let’s reach out to the girls we come in contact with and show them the love they so desperately need. And let’s love our boys and teach them to respect girls and women. Let’s teach them that all life is precious and should be treated as such.

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    1. I agree, both our girls and boys need to be equally taught in this area. I placed the emphasis on the women here with my heart torn from the recent events with Rice. However, we need both genders committed to this.

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    1. Amen to that Anna–tenderness is definitely a lacking quality it seems. It is a “me, myself, and I” type world. To have a heart for someone else could be just the secret to seeing change in this world.

      “Every day we have a moment to touch a soul. . . ” I love this!!

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  5. Great article and very timely given the media coverage. However, statistically men are the subject of 40% of domestic violence cases. I encourage you to develop a passion for the men and women not who suffer from this. This is from an article I found recently on the issue:

    Domestic violence is considered one of the most pressing issues in American society. Everyone quotes the statistics given by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner every year, 85% of domestic violence reported is against women. However, in a conflicting survey taken by the CDC in 2010, it was found that 40% of the victims of severe, physical domestic violence are men.
    Despite many findings that show almost equal amounts of abuse perpetrated against men and women, the media and government focus the most attention on the female victims of domestic violence. Men are largely silent on the issue because of the perception that men are physically stronger and should be able to subdue a female attacker easily. Those men who do report physical violence are more likely to be ridiculed–both by law enforcement and by the public–than women are. More money is spent on women’s programs, and more crusades are launched on behalf of women who are victims of domestic violence despite the fact that men are almost equally or in some cases more likely to be victims of both physical and psychological abuse.

    All the best,

    John

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    1. John, in researching this topic I did notice and was vastly amazed by the number of male victims. My heart has been broken since watching the recently released video and I had women on my heart. However, I am mother of a little boy as well and the statistics are equally as awful. What’s more, to be treated with mock and scorn when finally finding the courage to tell someone. . . I cannot imagine.

      I did see on the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website they have information and help for male victims.

      Thank you so much for sharing this John and for bringing a little light to the hushed matter. I pray awareness and attention will be brought more and more to this area.

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      1. That’s awesome Sasha, it really is a tragedy on both sides of the aisle. Satan uses our tempers to cause so much pain sometimes. I know that biblically speaking women are called the weaker vessels, and so I understand full well how sickening it is to see a man doing that. Women should be treated gently and with love, as a woman who seeks Christ will in return respect her husband. Seeing things like this really just encourage me to pray for my own strength in Christ who will provide the wisdom and gentleness in times of temptation like that. Being slow to speak, slow to anger also comes to mind — something I struggle with, and continue to strive for. Thanks again for the post and the self-examination it encouraged me to do.

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  6. I hope to instill confidence in both my children so they feel they can stand up to anyone. That is a good point about embracing the child who might not be as likable. We never know how our kindness may positively impact someone. Lovely post.

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    1. Thanks Melissa! When I think back on the individuals who influenced me growing up, I realize I never most of them. Words spoken to me which they probably do not even remember, and yet I can still bring them back just like it was yesterday. I try to remember this, to remember how much power my words may hold in someone else’s life.

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  7. 42 million! OMG that is a devastating number. That’s twice the entire population of Australia. And people think that there is no need for feminism, when this kind of brutality happens in America of all place, the land of the free (man). So, so, so, sad. I love your promise at the end. i can do that too xo.

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    1. Twice the population! Wow, Sara, that certainly brings things into even greater perspective. It is such a sobering thing to consider. I cannot imagine the scores in those areas where women’s rights are absent. . .

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  8. You always have the most relevant, thoughtful posts that relate current events to our children. I’ve been frustrated by this lately. Especially because someone close to me said, “She’s stupid. She doesn’t deserve to get knocked out, but she deserves to be miserable.” Victim shaming is not the answer–in fact–it may be shame that lead her to an abusive relationship. I don’t want to analyze her every possible reason for staying, but I do know that she–like us all–deserve respect, happiness and love. So do our daughters. So do our sons–even when they make mistakes. So do we.

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  9. So very very true! And as the mother of a son may I teach him the value of a woman, may I show him how precious they are and that they should be sheltered and love never to be abused verbally or physically!

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    1. Yes, Rochelle. I too have a son and my heart’s desire is to show him these things. In addition, the many boys who will come across our path in the years to come, may we find a way to plant a small seed of these truths in their souls as well.

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