Time’s Up, Don’t Give Up, Speak Up
It happened to me, the strongest woman I know
24 Hours After:
As I’m home pondering where he is, if he’s near my house, outside, thinking about how to hurt me, kill me, or not have anything to do with me, I google search women’s abuse help and networks and organizations on social media…searching for a feeling of security and ironically I feel even more lost. I feel like nothing is here nothing is helping me. No one close by, I feel helpless but so resilient at the same time. Yet I’ve never had this feeling, utter isolation, no clue who to call or what to do. I went straight to the hospital, gave my account to the police; step one as they say.
I’m sitting here icing my face, my eye, I can’t swallow much or chew a thing. I ask myself why me, but then I say, better me than her. I am built to bounce back. I am built for resiliency. Tears haven’t rolled down my face since I was screaming for help at the top of my lungs. I can honestly say that was the first time I thought my life would be taken from me. I wasn’t sure If I would be able to breathe after his hand was around my throat, with the other on my mouth compressing my jaw. I’m not alone. I know this. I know thousands, millions of women get abused every day. Millions stay silent. Millions will always stay silent, and by all means I get it. I was apprehensive at first which may come as a shock for anyone who knows me. I’m a fighter, a feminist, an activist and humanitarian. I’m also tough, outspoken and not silent. I am woman.
The police go to his home but he’s already fled, coward like if you ask me but I will try to present facts, not emotion after this point. Three days passed, then he turned him self in. Having a warrant for your arrest, that is the only other option as oppose to fleeing. He turns himself in with a former detective, trying from the jump to get more justice on his side. He was arrested, let go on no bail. Key factor; no prior criminal record. Free as a dove he was that morning.
Individuals with no previous charges, get off with a slap of the wrist. The irony in this however, is that based on the severity of the abuse, there could be a good chance they have done it before. Now, the law is letting someone get away with abuse, allowing them to return to the victim within the same day. Women fear to disclose any information to authorities for this exact reason. We are afraid for our lives, what someone like that is capable if returning to our homes, the same home or knowing our where abouts. It’s frightening, no matter how much physical or mental strength you may have. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence stated that on average, about 20 people every minute are physically abused by a partner in the United States, adding up to over 10 million women and men per year. There has to be a better law put into affect for domestic violence. Prime case in point is the young Tonie Wells of Brooklyn. After he was arrested in September for assault Barry Wells repeated that offense again in December of last year, resulting in her death. The law definitely let Tonie and her family down, when her sister called the police to check on her to see if she was okay and they never followed through on that call. Different authorities showed up too late to find her unconscious. Domestic violence is extremely serious as it can lead to death however, it seems to be overlooked as such a threat.
Convicted but not a Convict:
A week after I went in front of a jury of 20 strangers, told my story more or less by answering the District Attorney’s questions. ‘Conviction of strangulation and assault’, I typed into the Google search. My attacker, abuser, former partner not even with title, was indicted on those charges. I came across a horrible realization about domestic violence. My eyes have been opened even more. I feel pain in my heart for the women that have endured it and more pain for them because of the laws that governed their victimization as not serious enough for a legitimate consequence of their abuser. At this point, I sit and wait to see what him and his lawyer pull out of their hats to fight. He was a lot of money and power, but I have a voice and that is something we tend to dismiss. Your voice is strong and can be heard, even better when joined with others. I’m an abuse victim now. I say abuse because it is the reality. I keep saying incident, event but essentially I’m minimizing it. The truth is…it was horrible and it was physical abuse. I am not embarrassed by it nor ashamed. He should feel that, not me. The truth is it can happen to anyone. It happened to me and I wasn’t even in a relationship with him. I didn’t see it coming and I didn’t think he was capable. One thing I found out after this tribulation was that every single girl I knew, was abused or knew someone who was. I was in shock and disbelief. This is worldwide of course but we have to start buckling down more within our own legal system so we don’t let more people become subject to hitting, bruising, strangulation and possible homicide. As I wrote this, I wondered if I’ll be okay to return to the city I just left, if I’ll feel safe a year from now, if he will go to jail, if he will do anything above counseling, any fines…I wonder if the judge will let me down too.
11 Months Later:
This was all written within 24 hours. I write this on November 5th, same year of occurrence, he has skipped every trial date thus far, pushing and procrastinating his sentencing. My attorney has told me that again, the court date set for the 7th, is further delayed. From January to November, I still await a sentencing of some sort, which at this point keeps downgrading without explanation. Felony of strangulation to misdemeanor if he pleads guilty requiring anger management. Thank you judicial system for having my back.
The law is designed to protect those who created it.
I urge you to seek help with these organizations below. Whether emotional support, counseling, legal advice, relocation, these organizations can really help you. No one told me about them, it wasn’t until I went through it, did I know so please, tell a friend to tell a friend, it’s just good information to have. I tell you again, I didn’t think it would be me. I also wrote my book and finished it to help anyone who needs to be re-grounded.
“13 Ways to Evolve as a Human”
-National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
-Center for Disease Control and Prevention
-The National Domestic Hotline