Domestic violence activist
I am a survivor!
I survived years of domestic violence at the hands of a man who thought it was OK to beat me up and threaten my children.
I survived the corruption of a court system that not only fails to protect women like me but also often scapegoats those of us who have the nerve to dare fight back.
I survived an all-out assault on my reputation by a well-known author who recklessly and shamelessly disregarded the facts of my case to create a sensational and salacious story for the sole purpose of selling more books.
I survived 12 years in the Oregon state women’s penitentiary where I was separated from my young children and mistreated by some prison staff (male and female) that hadn’t taken time to read the truth. Those who had expressed respect and even admiration.
Time after time, my cries for help went unanswered.
Still, I survived … a nightmare most people cannot even imagine. I did it by developing survival skills that can help overcome adversity in almost any situation.
And I am not alone.
Every day women are battered by the men who are supposed to love them. Every year more women die at the hands of their intimate partners than American soldiers die at the hands of enemy combatants. Every day police, prosecutors, judges, legislators, and the media turn a blind eye to domestic abuse, which has become epidemic in this country.
That’s why I am taking a stand and asking you to join me in ending this national disgrace.
To be sure, changing our culture of acceptance of domestic violence is daunting. Changing the paradigm will take resolve, commitment and perseverance. We will have to unite, educate, energize, demand changes and hold batterers – and their enablers – accountable. We will have to work together, fight smart, speak up and speak out at every turn.
It won’t be easy but in the end it will be worth it because the women and children in our lives are worth it.
Enlightened view of domestic violence in Clackamas Co.
Melissa Erlbaum, Executive Director of Clackamas Women’s Services, recently did an excellent radio interview about the work her organization is doing with women suffering from domestic and/or sexual abuse. This is a great 20-minute lesson in the issues surrounding domestic violence and is worth hearing.
VIDEO: 'Lay Down Your Life
Mahatma Ghandi, whose known as the father of non-violence, when asked if faced with a situation of protecting a loved one with violence or remaining passive he said without hesitation you must us violence to protect a loved one because cowardice and standing idly by is a far greater sin than protecting what you love.