Wives who are raped, punched, bruised, fractured bones and worse . . .

Domestic violence occurs in ALL walks of life. Economic status doesn’t make any difference, religion makes no difference, and race makes no difference.

I just finished reading the book “Strange Fits of Passion” by Anita Shreve.

The entire book was about wife beatings and how the main character put up with it, dealt with it, and what the consequences were.

Oprah Winfrey continually has speakers on her shows about women and abuse.

But have you EVER sat side-by-side with a woman who underwent similar torture? I hadn’t, until recently. I met a really lovely, charming, bubbly and extraordinarily bright woman on a recent business trip. She was a highly accomplished professional in her career, and had risen to the top, top ranks. I mentioned the book I had just finished reading, and there was this unnerving silence, this look of terror, as though I had just invaded her most intimate secret. She would have been an awful poker player, as it was written all over her face. She chose to talk about it.

The only question that kept going over and over in my mind, which I wanted to ask her, was “Why did you stay in such a destructive marriage for so long?” She was routinely beaten, pushed down the stairs, knives held to her throat, cigarette burns, and it was more that I ever wanted to hear.

I finally got up enough courage to ask “Why, why did you stay married for 10+ years?” and her only response was “because of the children. But then, as my kids got older and saw what was happening, the 4 of them came to me and said, “Mom, we don’t want you to get hurt anymore. We think you should leave Dad.”

Ladies, there is help. Many many agencies offer emergency shelters, counseling, crises lines, and police protection. If you are reading this blog and have ever been in similar situations, I urge you to begin, quietly, researching what is available to you. You need to BUILD your self-confidence, realize your worth, and especially realize that you are not helping your children if your husband, one night, goes too far and murders you! Seek help NOW. But move cautiously – If you are in an abusive relationship, do NOT USE ANY COMPUTER THE ABUSER HAS ACCESS TO! The abuser may be able to track your internet usage--even if you know how to erase your internet history. Instead, we strongly recommend you create a new, free email account at your local library or a friend's home (Hotmail is one such free email service and there are many others.) Also, please be aware that any listed phone number can be discovered and even cross-referenced to a map. You should only make calls from a public payphone or use *67 to disable caller id information.”

Be smart, and be strong in your conviction that you deserve a better life, and how dare anybody treat you ever again like this!

Below are agencies that can help! Take the first step . . .

National Domestic Violence Hotline
International Domestic Violence and Abuse Agencies List
Safe Relationships: a domestic abuse prevention program.
National Clearinghouse on Family Violence
Family Violence Prevention Unit -Public Health Agency of Canada
Resources for Victims of Jewish Domestic Abuse
Jewish Women International (JWI) -- dedicated to ensuring that every woman and girl is safe, in her home and in her relationships, committed to ending the cycle of family violence and to promoting safe homes, healthy relationships and strong women
Wife Abuse in the JewishCommunity
Are You Emotionally Abused? Questions for Women in Heterosexual Relationships

Ladies … read below and see if this strikes accord? If so … seek help now!

The Safety Seeker:
It may be familiar, and oddly enough,
a comfortable lifestyle.

The Blind:
Not realizing it is "abuse."

The Worthless:
"No one else would ever love me."

The Defective:
"I deserved it; I'll do better."

The Manager:
"I can keep it from happening again."

The Gullible:
"He's really sorry, and it won't happen again."

The Pretender:
"I know I make him sound terrible, but he's
really a good person most of the time."

The Defender:
"He didn't mean to hurt me."

The Caretaker:
"No one else understands him the way I do."

The Fantasizer:
"But I love him."

The Martyr:
"He isn't hurting the children;
if he ever did, I'd leave."

The Helpless:
"I can't support the children on my own."

The Hopeless:
"He'll kill me if I try to leave him."

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