As I was asked to write my story of survival, in my journey as a domestic violence survivor, I thought of the fact that no one really wants to hear what I have to say, as I have seen so many people ignore what is going on right in front of them.
I can say that with certainty that my family, and my abusers family, knew what was going on, yet did nothing to help me. My family thought that it could not really happen to people they know. They think the idea of abuse is when a woman ends up in the hospital or sadly, a morgue.
Domestic violence/abuse is so much more than that, and everyone goes through something different. People think that it is a “private matter”, between a husband and wife, a boyfriend and a girlfriend, or girlfriend and girlfriend or boyfriend and boyfriend. Well, it is not! Not when it becomes violent and affects a person’s health, both physically and emotionally! It should be everyone’s problem!
My family failed me and the abuser’s family failed, as they encouraged him to further abuse me. They definitely escalated his anger. But I don’t blame anyone for his abuse, just him. BUT…..anyone who stands by and lets it happen, only enables the abuse. Anyone who makes excuses for his behavior, or ignores it, is victim blaming, and that is NOT ok.
The courts are a huge joke, and not in a positive way. They fail women each and everyday. They think abuse is made up and not a serious issue. I had a judge make an inappropriate comment to me, but who is going to make him accountable?!!!! No one in Will County or Illinois, that is for sure.
Women are not equal in the courts or in this county, especially not those who have been affected by domestic violence. It is obvious that these judges and the entire system needs further training. I pray someday that will happen, so that women are treated much better than we have been.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Groundwork 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at (815) 729-1228.