Swept Under the Rug No More

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a new endeavor that is dear to my heart. I notice that when I post anything on Facebook  about domestic violence, it gets no notice or likes or responses. Yet, it is a huge issue in this country. (Not to mention other countries). Every 17 seconds a woman is beaten in this country alone. This doesn’t include verbal, mental or emotional abuse.

There are so many young women who don’t know any better. They were raised in an attitude of “men are superior”…..or raised in the church which still teaches the submission of women. We have lived in a world ruled by the imbalance of patriarchy for thousands of years. Women and girls have been conditioned to believe that this is “normal”. I even had a therapist (a PhD, no less) tell me that most men are egotistical and narcissistic and that I “chose” to be a victim. Now, with attitudes like this, women still have a difficult time understanding that they NEVER, EVER should be subject to anything less than 100% respect in a relationship.

Domestic abuse is a topic that is swept under the rug and ignored…..as if it is isn’t happening to you, then it isn’t worth taking note. The sad truth is that it occurs in every race, every nationality and every socioeconomic level. It is not just an issue for the poor and uneducated. My thought is that if young women, even before “dating” age, were taught that they are worthwhile human beings, worthy of nothing less than 100% total respect, they would enter into relationships with a different mindset…..and perhaps not become trapped, making it harder to escape. (Yes, when you have children and you have a mortgage and everything else, it makes it much harder to get out…..then women face the scorn of those who say they should just pack up and walk….it’s not always so black and white.) What makes it even worse for these women is the stigma and loss of friends when they come out with the truth of what’s been going on in their lives and yet the men seem to go on with their lives unscathed.

So. As this idea percolates in my head, (maybe I’ve stumbled upon a new life mission) parents, teachers, friends, please take the time to teach your girls that they are sacred, they are worthy of TOTAL respect and that anytime anyone disrespects them with word or deed, they need to gather their dignity and get out immediately.  I thought about addressing the parents of boys…..but I think it’s inherent, if boys are raised in an environment where women are treated with love and respect, they grow up to treat women with respect. If they aren’t, then they aren’t. To try and address men and/or families that do not foster an environment of respect for women is futile. This is why it is crucial to teach our GIRLS what to accept and what to reject.

Think about it. Here are some statistics …and another thing to chew on….men who kill their partners get only 2 to 6 years in prison…….

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATISTICS

* One out of every three women will be abused at some point in her life.
* Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, exceeding rapes, muggings and auto accidents combined.
* A woman is more likely to be killed by a male partner (or former partner) than any other person.
* About 4,000 women die each year due to domestic violence.
* Of the total domestic violence homicides, about 75% of the victims were killed as they attempted to leave the relationship or after the    relationship had ended.
* Seventy-three percent of male abusers were abused as children.
* Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband in the past year.
* Women of all races are equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.
* On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or partners in this country every day.
* Intimate partner violence a crime that largely affects women. In 1999, women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner    violence.
* On average, a woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before she leaves for good.
* Approximately 75% of women who are killed by their batterers are murdered when they attempt to leave or after they have left an  abusive relationship

And, now, I would like to share this, written by a mother whose daughter, Ashleigh Marie Lindsey,  was killed by her abuser. Here is the link for her facebook page if you would like to join the event.      https://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Ashleigh-Marie-Lindsey/235742913134454

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By Tara Woodlee
Friday, March 21, 2014
Time12:00am in CDT
Where
Everywhere
Description
Today people often refer to “good deeds” as random acts of kindness. They consist of small gestures, a single act, a sudden urge to help someone without any expectation of gain. It’s an altruistic moment that often results in unexpected pleasure.
Ashleigh Marie Lindsey was a firm believer and doer of the most unexpected gestures of lovingly, kind acts that will forever stand out in her family and friends memories.

I sat down today and made a list of things I have personally seen Ashleigh do many times in her short 20 years. On March 21, 2014 I’m asking you to pick one and do it in her honor.

1) Tell your friends and family members how much you appreciate them.
2) In the office, at the bank, on an elevator or a train, hold the door open for someone else.
3) Pick up a piece of trash lying on the street and put it in a trash can.
4) Write a positive message on a post-it note and leave it on a public mirror. Her favorite was……”You are beautiful just as you are”
5) Give your seat to another person.
6) Compliment a co-worker for his or her good performance.
7) Call your parents to tell them you love them.
8) Cook delicious foods to share with your classmates or co-workers.
9) Help your neighbor take out the trash.
10) Write little notes of thanks or support to your friends.
11) Give a homeless person help.
12) Put some money on one of those donation boxes for charity.
13) Write to someone you haven’t seen or talked to in a long time.
14) Address your server or waiter by name and leave a generous tip.
15) Motivate someone to achieve their dreams and let them know you’ll always be there for them.
16) Let someone cut in front of you in a line, especially when he or she is in a rush.
17) Give your parking spot to another driver.
18) Give someone a present for no reason. Better yet, send it anonymously.
19) Volunteer to do someone else’s task.
20) A random acts of kindness list won’t be complete without the reminder to always smile. Smile at strangers, smile at people who aren’t nice to you, even to people you don’t like. Smile – it’s infectious! Ashleigh’s smile share was!!!

Why I picked this day? Few people know this but I, Ashleigh’s mother, share a Birthday with the man who abused and killed my daughter. On my birthday back in 2012, Joshua Mahaffey put Ashleigh’s head thru a wall and burnt her in the face with a cigarette. This is how he choose to celebrate the birthday. Ashleigh called me crying from a locked bathroom. It was the night I first learned of his abusing her. So, you can understand why March 21st has become such a negative for me personally.
HELP ME TURN THAT NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE!

This is why I’m reaching out to her family, friends and supporters. Please invite all your friends to participate by asking them to invite their friends and so on. And I would like to encourage you to post your experiences. How it made you fell. Tag me or post it here on the R.I.P page so I can see Ashleigh’s heart being shared.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Ashleigh-Marie-Lindsey/235742913134454

I am personally between now and the 21st will try to do all 20 on the list. I will post daily how it goes. Thank you for helping spread her love thru kindness.
Tara Woodlee

If this article or these statistics have touched you, please share.  It’s time we stop turning a blind eye to this issue.

Kathy Lee

https://www.facebook.com/kathy.lee.77715       http://www.tigerlilysgarden.com

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One comment on “Swept Under the Rug No More

  1. Hi, I am a survivor as well. My scars were never physical so they were easier to hide for a much much longer amount of time. Over twenty years everything was “fine”.

    Have you connected with Ultraviolet? Maybe you can help with their campaigns for awareness!

    Take care of you, girl.

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