Monday, 2 February 2015

Why I write about Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Violence in the home between partners is not about to go away. Just over the past holiday season, there were several incidents in Alberta involving deaths. One was so horrific in Edmonton, that the headlines read "Worst Mass Murder in History" 

This horror story of domestic violence took place in affluent neighborhoods and in the end it cost 9 lives, 2 of them children. I won't go into the gruesome details, you can Google the news articles for further information. The bottom line is, if a partner threatens to kill you, get out of that house.

The judicial system, the police can't protect you 24/7. If someone wants to kill you, they won't give up easily. Abusers get extremely angry when forcibly removed from their homes and often feel they have nothing to lose. They won't just kill you, they may also kill your new partner, relatives, even your children. No house or job is worth your life.

The reason I left my husband, my house, teaching position and city I lived in for 16 years, is because I took my husband's threats seriously. I have a true story to share that made me realize this was the only safe option.

I got quite close to one of my students, who I will name Susan. I took her out for dinner as a thank you for working for me in a school capacity. Susan was wearing a stunning red suit and I remarked how nice she looked in it. Susan told me it had belonged to her dead older sister, Debbie. Then she calmly related the story of her sister's murder. Debbie had been shot to death by her husband with a shotgun as she sat in a living room chair. Her husband was in a drunken rage when he came home at 3 in the morning and discovered she was packing up to leave him. Their toddler son was sleeping in a crib in another room. Debbie's neighbour, a mother of 3 children, was helping her at the time. Her husband also shot the neighbour lady to death. Susan's nephew ended up being raised by her parents. 

When you do decide to leave, do not move in with known friends or relatives. It puts them at risk. Leave secretly while your partner is at work or out of town. A women's shelter can only help you for so long. Leaving the area is your best option. Severing ties with in-laws may also be necessary to keep you safe. An abuser is not going to change without professional help. 

You can read my personal story in  more detail in an interview with can also find the infographic detailing 7 signs you are in an abusive relationship.