Violence, Part 2

I’ve had some time to think since my last post on the domestic violence that I witnessed, and I feel like it warrants a follow-up. Stick with me here…it’s not as long as it looks…

Many people responded to my post on Facebook, this blog, and in person. Most of them said that I made the right decision, that you have to be careful not to put yourself in harm’s way, and that I could have gotten hurt if I had intervened. And in general, they were right.

BUT…

Based on my life experiences, I don’t think that I’ll make the same choice again.

I grew up in a home plagued by domestic violence. I experienced some directly, but watched my mom take the brunt of it. It was hell on earth. It still is hell on earth, sometimes, even though it’s not happening any more. The effects of domestic violence reach far beyond the time they occur.

It has been interesting for me to stop and think about the emotions that I felt. First, there was a suffocating fear. Like my heart was being squeezed to the point of pain, and all the air gone from my lungs. I felt the blood drain from my face, and felt the feeling powerlessness that was all too familiar as a child. The feeling of not being able to stop the horror unfolding in front of me. Then came the adrenaline: the urgency to call the police, the attention to every detail, the need to get someone to help. Finally, the fury. I was not only mad for her, but mad for myself, for my mom, for other women I know who have been abused, and for all the women I don’t know. There is a righteous fury that survivors of domestic violence hold inside of them…one that isn’t generally seen until provoked. It was that righteous fury that made me wish I had intervened.

And honestly, so what if I end up with a black eye, a broken arm? Wounds heal. I know that stepping in would neither cause the abuser to immediately drop to his knees and repent, nor empower the woman to stand up and walk away. More likely, she would simply go back home and refuse to press charges, and the cycle would continue. BUT, if for just one minute, she stopped and thought that someone loved her…stopped to wonder why a stranger would stop to get involved, that could be seed enough for a change down the road. A seed that I hope would eventually point to Christ, and the unimaginable love that he gives.

Yes, there are risks involved. But having LIVED in domestic violence, the risks are totally worth it. Some women never feel empowered enough to leave. Some men are never questioned. I don’t think I can save the world. I don’t feel like I need to intervene. For me, it’s just the right thing to do. I’ve spoken with other survivors who feel the same.

Christ’s love compels Christians to share with others, on account of the forgiveness, grace and mercy He gives. It’s an undeniable, uncontainable joy, and they are compelled to share that with others.

Similarly, living through domestic violence compels the survivor to make a difference in the lives of women living through it now. They know the taste of freedom, and cannot stand to see another woman still in bondage.

Violence

I’ve lived in Glenwood for four and a half years now. I know domestic violence happens here. I’ve heard about it. I’ve heard it. I’ve seen the effects of it.

Tonight, I saw it.

As I rounded the corner of Union Street and Silver Avenue, a man punched a woman in the head, knocking her to the ground. He then continued to threaten her. Less than a minute later, they were both getting back in their car, pulling away.

I wanted to get out and help her. But, fear of getting hurt myself kept me in my car. I pulled over and called the police, keeping an eye on them the whole time. Of course, the couple left long before the police even started their cars.

As I pulled away, fury set in. I wish I had gotten out of the car. Screamed. Yelled. Fought. Done something to help her. I don’t care if I would have been hurt.

In the end, I know the “smart” decision was to stay in the car. But at this moment, I regret it.

I hope she’s alright when they get home.

Treasures

This is a really awesome ministry I encourage you to check out. The founder/director, Harmony Dust, is a former exotic dancer (who also happens to be married to hip hop artist Pigeon John) who now leads the organization Treasures to reach out to exotic dancers. I had read an article about the organization in a magazine, but had the pleasure of hearing her speak in May at a conference.

Check it out!

They’re serving more than nuggets & fries at Wendy’s…

Not really. Well, at least the employees aren’t.

I saw a drug deal at Wendy’s tonight. It was equally clever and stupid, all at the same time. I pulled in behind a car in the drive through line. There wasn’t anyone ahead of us, so the white car before me pulled right up to the speaker to place an order. A man got out of the passenger seat and walked to a car pulled into a space at the very back of the parking lot. This was, of course, only about two car lengths from the drive through lane. He got in the passenger seat of the parked car (which had a man inside) and made his transaction. Meanwhile, the lady driving the car in front of me took FOREVER to place her order. It was obvious she was stalling. First she ordered a burger with so many changes that it filled the entire order screen. Then, she orderd a kids meal, made all the choices that came with it, then cancelled that and ordered an adult meal, and, well, you get the point. After about a minute or so, the guy walked back across the parking lot, got in the car, and they pulled forward.

I say it was clever because a fast food joint is expected to have a high volume of in and out traffic. Doing it while in the drive-thru lane was even better…I mean, who looks behind the restaurant? Nobody except for other drive-thru patrons, which is where the stupidity comes in. I sat behind them and watched all of this. Wrote down their tag number, make and model of their car, descriptions, time, etc. Anyone with a set of eyes and half a brain could tell what was going on. Granted, I don’t know that I’ll do anything. I didn’t actually SEE drugs…just the exchange of something.

This is where I always get stuck — do you call the police when you have no proof that something illegal happened? Do you wait for a second occurrence just to make sure that you’re right? I don’t want to seem presumptuous, but at the same time, I don’t want it to keep happening.

I did act quickly one time, but to no avail. There was a very distinctive smell in my backyard, to the point it was overpowering. I had to come inside to catch my breath. It was meth. No doubt in my mind. I called the police and the fire department was here in the shortest amount of time I’ve ever seen. But of course, no smell when they got here. Are they keeping an eye out in the area now? I’d like to think so, but who knows. All I got was a group of firemen sniffing, literally, around my backyard. Upon leaving, the head guy told me to “keep a sniffer out.” Righty-oh, will do.

Anyhow, I don’t think it was a total waste to have them come out, but when something is so fleeting, here for a moment and gone the next, it’s hard to get people involved. Even if I had called GPD about Wendy’s, the people were gone.

Clearly, this is an ongoing question. I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to call the police about some things…

3rd Camp Essay

Here’s the next essay in the series. Topic: What do you think the perfect president would be like?

My Essay on The Best Pres.

I think the best president would stop the gas prices from going up, stop the
war, and help the community. Well you havent heard anything yet.
Another thing that I think the best president would be like is they would
fundraise to the poor.

The Best President would make fair laws to all equal
rights. He/She would do more activities for children to stay active.
They would also help the economy/nature. To tell you the truth I really
dont know what the best president would be like, but if I put myself or imagine
me in those footsteps I would know so the best president would let all equal
rights have the freedom to say/speak their minds without having to go to
jail. They would let the people march or stand up for things they believe
in without being punished.

I think the best presidents would be better
than any other job. Im running out of things but I’ll try to keep
going. Well……I also think they would have fair authorities. To
me a best president would protect his/her country, doing what is best for the
people. Im not very good at this but im trying my best. No more
interruptions, carrying on.

Well once again as I was saying the best president
would be more of a role model to little kids. Telling them whats right and
whats wrong. They would make sure that the little kids be happy. The
most important part of a Best pres. is to NEVER TURN AGAINST your country TO
stick with them, hey! maybe even stand up for them. The key to knowing
what the best Pres. is is to know what that person is like. It depends on
how the person is, how they act and how their role modeling skills are. Do
they inspire kids? Do they take care of homeless people? What do you
think? The last thing is I think the best pres. would never leave a child
behind in school or anything. They would help the homeless.

Essays…

The kids essays have started coming in a little more now, and it’s been fascinating to read them. I shared one with you in my last post, when I asked you to guess what grade the writer was in. For the record, he was in 7th grade.

It’s been neat to read the kids’ opinions when it comes to what the perfect president would be like, and you can pick up hints of what each family is going through based on the things that are important to each child. I want to share some more of these with you — I’ll post one at a time over the next few days or so. Feel free to comment if something strikes you, but definitely take time to consider what is heavy on the hearts of this generation.

The Prefect President

Hi my name is ____ _____ _____. I am about to tell you what I think The Prefect President would be.

First I think that the prefect president would be black. I think this because there is no black presidents. It would be the first all black president.

Secondly I think it should be a all black female because it hasn’t been a all black female either.

Next I would want it too be demacrate. I want it to be that because that is may favorite president side.

That is all the thing I would want in a president.

That is not all I want. This is the rest of the things I want too happening when this prefect president is choosing.

First I would want her to stop the war. Then I would want her too make peace with every single place in the world.

After that I would want her too send all The soilder home to be with there family.

Then I would want her to stop immagation.

I would walso want every body to have a job. I would want all the bumb to have somewhere to live with lots of food.

I would want all the bad thing to stop with who every listen to the president. She will be so prefect that she will serve 8 yrs in the Presidents place. So every body will call her the prefect president.