Losing the battle at home

You know him. He works in your office, works on your car, sat next to you on the airplane over the holidays. These men are quite different, one from the other, but they have one common ugliness — they think it's OK to beat their wives, girlfriends and children.

The pleasant smile he sends to you is a biting snarl at home. Masquerading as a gentleman in public, friendly to most, only to reveal his true nature at home — a monster. He yells, screams, beats, breaks and kills.

While our country fights enemies overseas, the greatest enemy many women and children face is in their own living room. The great perversion in our community is that we live in a free and open society, but now to wonder, free to do what? Free to strike out wantonly at the weak and defenseless? Free to live a life of terror? Afraid to speak?

The courts have failed, the police have failed, the churches have failed, government ignores these victims and we are left knowing that we bring great shame upon ourselves. It's your sister, your daughter and your grandchild who needs protection. …

I lived with a monster for years, and no amount of love or prayers or acceptance ever changed one thing. I'll never get the stain off of me, and all that was broken inside of me will never be fixed. Will you turn out the same? Will you fail to act and then carry that shame for a lifetime? Is this what we came into this life for? Surely not, yet I see no change, and the monsters prevail. They are free to walk the streets, to come and go as they please. They are winning, and we are losing. All of us are losing.

— John Buckley


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One thought on “Losing the battle at home

  1. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Your letter summarizes so well a deplorable vestige of English common law and religion that allows our law enforcement, courts, churches, and society to consider domestic abuse and domestic violence in one’s own household as being less heinous than abuse and violence against someone outside one’s own household.

    Police officers will tell you that domestic violence is among the most volatile encounters they are ever called upon to investigate, but the substance of their investigations are hindered and diminished when the violence is among members of a household.

    They will also tell you that domestic abuse and violence, unlike non-domestic violence, is usually ongoing and often continuous for many years against the weaker members of the household who cannot escape it; and cases of domestic abuse and violence are among the most under-reported crimes.

    As long as a “head of household” is allowed by our antiquated laws to treat others in their household as chattel, numerous women and children will continue to bear the brunt of such circumstances as you have described.

    We need to change both laws and attitudes to declare that there is no such thing as domestic abuse and violence; there is only abuse and violence. Abuse is abuse, and violence is violence, wherever it occurs, without any limiting or diminishing qualifiers.

    Best wishes to you that you can eventually heal and move on. The memories and scars will always be there, but time does help one overcome a lot of pain.

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