You may have met him before; he is charismatic, romantic, devoted and protective. Everyone likes him. On the surface he seems great so you accept a date with him. He is wonderful. After a few months you start to notice things but you dismiss them. It all went by so quickly from wedding bells to lullabies. Your home no longer filled with joy but with fear and anger. His protectiveness has turned into control, his charismatic charm is what he uses to manipulate, his romantic ways have turned into hateful jealousy and his devotion now is obsession. You try your hardest to make him happy, but lately he is becoming incontrollable. Your children cry alone in their rooms while you’re taking a beating in the kitchen. You awake the next morning trying to make sense of it all while covering up your black eyes and swollen face with make-up.
Contrary to what people think women do not choose violent men; violent men are premeditating and seek out their prey.
Domestic violence is a criminal act. It is a deliberate pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors, including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, that one intimate partner does to another to gain power and maintain control. (CAADV).
In 2002, 128 women in California were killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or boyfriends, and 25 men were killed by their wives, ex-wives or girlfriends. (DOJ, Criminal Justice Statistics Center.)
Why she stays? Fear: The number one reason for not leaving is fear. According to the FBI, up to 40% of female homicides in any given year occur when the woman DECIDES to leave the abusive relationship. Her fears are not unfounded! Given this fact, it is very important that the battered woman's expression of fear not be minimized. If a decision to leave has been made, a safety plan should be put in place. (CAADV).
What The Sheepfold is doing to help protect abused women and the children. In addition to our safe houses, The Sheepfold has started an outreach; Saturday “Nights” for abused women and single mothers and their children in the surrounding community. We will be available to educate and counsel women on domestic violence and their protection provided by the law. Our website has valuable information if you have a friend, relative or co-worker that is experiencing abuse. www.thesheepfold.org
“He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. Cast your burden on the LORD, and he shall sustain you; he shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” - Psalm 55:20-22 (New King James Version)
By DeAnne DiGuiseppe
Legal Advocate to The Sheepfold