We’re about to get very close and personal in this post. Mostly, because I will be sharing some tough personal experiences that led to me to write this about domestic violence and abuse. Before we continue, the names of these once private encounters have been changed* to protect their privacy. So, let’s get started.
About a year ago, I went in to my local DOVES office to volunteer my time. It was suggested by my therapist that dedicating my time to something that was important to me would help my depression ( completely different story). So, I went and found out some more information, and memories of a married couple ( Brad* and Miranda*) that I knew came flooding back. I eventually went home and ended up not volunteering that day, but it inspired me to take action. But before I get into that, let me give you some details about what happened all those years ago.
Brad and Miranda were neighbors of mine. I was very close to them, as they had no children of their own. They were married for 20 years. But those many years were completely fabricated with smiles, parties and lots of gloating about their happy marriage. Come to find out, their marriage was far from happy. Turns out, Brad was physically abusive. I remember a time when I was playing in the front yard and wondering into their backyard looking for a Frisbee when I saw the couple working on their car. Brad was yelling at Miranda, and got into her face. She pushed him away and it made him livid. He then punched her in the stomach. While she was gasping for air, I ran away and back home, scared to death to tell anyone in case I was wrong or Brad would be angry.
A few years later, I was helping them with a yard sale in front of their garage. Brad had left early and went out. I ended up staying over late, helping Miranda put away boxes. She was very upset when her mother called, saying that she thought Brad was cheating on her and that she had had it. She then took out a bunch of clothes from his closet and threw them out on the lawn. I was concerned when she told me to go home, but I did…at least I pretended to. I hid by the side of the house and waited. Brad eventually came home, very drunk and started yelling for Miranda to come out of the house. She kept the door cracked but didn’t come out. He got so angry, he pulled her out of the house and pushed her into the garage door. I was shaking when I got out my cell. He smashed her head against the garage door, yelling at her that she was a wh— and a b—- and that he made the rules. She was sobbing and screaming. I called the cops.
I don’t really remember what happened after that, but I was so terrified that I’d get into trouble for spying on the neighbors and that my parents would be mad that I stayed out past curfew, so I kept quiet…until now. Since then, the couple has divorced and Brad remarried. I’m scared for her. But I wrote a letter to Miranda, telling her what I saw and that I was the one who called the police that night. She sobbed and told me how sorry she was that I had to see that. But honestly, despite the gruesome scene that will forever be with me, I am happy that I helped.
You see, it’s memories like this that make me so angry and ready to take action, that I decided to look into social work and possibly Child Protective Services. It’s because incidents like this make me so grateful there were no children in the house, and made me realize how hard women have it if there are children involved. They don’t want to risk the kids’ safety, don’t want to take their kids’ away from a parent, don’t know how they’d support themselves. There are a lot of reasons women are afraid to leave, but that is NOT the issue.
The issue is why these men are abusing their wives and girlfriends. I mean, I don’t care why, because no matter what it’s wrong. But it’s something that needs more funding and support, escorting these women out of abusive homes safely and getting them the help they need. So let’s make that a priority. Let’s not waste time wondering why women stay because it simply does not matter. It’s psychological, emotional and physical trauma they have to live with, struggle with. So let’s make the women and their lives matter more!!