Every 3 Minutes – Every 5 Minutes


With No Immediate Cause

by Ntozake Shange

 

every 3 minutes a woman is beaten

every five minutes a

woman is raped/every ten minutes

a lil girl is molested

yet i rode the subway today

i sat next to an old man who

may have beaten his old wife

3 minutes ago or 3 days ago/30 years ago

he might have sodomized his

daughter  but i sat there

cuz the young man on the train

might beat some young women

later in the day or tomorrow

i might not shut my door fast

enuf/push hard enuf

every 3 minutes it happens

some woman’s innocence

rushes to her checks/pours from her mouth

like the betsy wetsy dolls have been torn

apart/their mouths

menses red & split/every

three minutes a shoulder

is jammed through plaster and the oven door/

chairs push through the rib cage/hot water or

boiling sperm decorate her body

i rode the subway today

& bought a paper from a

man who might

have held his old lady onto

a hot pressing iron/i dont know

maybe he catches lil girls in the

park & rips open their behinds

with steel rods/i can’t decide

what he might have done i only

know every 3 minutes

every 5 minutes every 10 minutes/so

i bought the paper

looking for the announcement

the discovery/of that dismembered

woman’s body/the

victims have not all been

identified/today they are

naked and dead/refuse to

testify/one girl out of 10’s not

coherent/i took the coffee

& spit it up/i found an

announcement/not the woman’s

bloated body in the river/floating

not the child bleeding in the

59th street corridor/not the baby

broken on the floor/

“there is some concern

that alleged battered women

might start to murder their

husbands and lovers with no

immediate cause”

I spit up i vomit i am screaming

we all have immediate cause

every 3 minutes

every 5 minutes

every 10 minutes

every day

women’s bodies are found

in alleys & bedrooms/at the top of the stairs

before i ride the subway/buy a paper/drink

coffee/i must know/

have you hurt a woman today

did you beat a woman today

throw a child across a room

are the lil girl’s panties

in yr pocket

did you hurt a woman today

 

i have to ask these obscene questions

the authorities require me to

establish

immediate cause

 

every three minutes

every five minutes

every ten minutes

every day.

 

 

Born Paulette Williams in Trenton, New Jersey, Ntozake Shange took her pseudonym as an expression of her anger at the dilemma of being a black woman. In Zulu the name means “she who comes with her own things.” / “she who walks like a lion.” She was educated at Barnard College and the University of Southern California.

 

 

 

Black and White photo of Pacific coast.

Pacific Ocean

Freedom Writers


Freedom writers teacher, Ms. G.  Freedom Writers Teacher and role model (still from the Movie)

A little while ago, I wrote about a teacher in Long Beach, California who was teaching English to kids who had problems of some sort. I had watched the movie and discovered the book. It is available in bookstores and on Kindle and Nook. Ms. G. taught freshman and sophomore English. Well I am now reading the book which is an anthology of the student’s work.  The students were told to write in their journals, and the anthology includes various entries from each of their journals.

To encourage participation without the possibility of humiliation, the journals were all anonymous, but the entries were numbered.

The students wrote about what was happening with their families and their lives, and why their English class in Room 203 with Ms. G became Home; for some of them a second Home, but for many, it was the only Home they had.

Some of them wrote about going home from school and opening the mail and finding an eviction notice.  Others wrote about the fact that there was no food in their house, and no money to buy food.  They wrote about being molested or physical beaten by their mother’s significant other.  They wrote about watching their mothers being beaten, and trying to pull the abuser off their mothers while blood is running off their mother’s head.

Some of them wrote that they lived in very bad sections in Long Beach.  , some children would stay late at school to finish their work, but because they lived in such dangerous areas it wasn’t safe to be out after dark, particularly for the girls.  Ms. G would wait until the children left and even though she did not herself live in Long Beach, she would personally drive each child home to keep them safe.

More than one student wrote about how hard it was to keep their minds positive, to keep hope in their hearts, that they would get good grades, and be able to do everything that they wanted to.  They were surrounded by negativity, and that was what made it so hard.  Everywhere they looked, there was negativity.  This negativity was where the violence and the gang life style, and the intolerance and bigotry that surrounded them came from.

The students learned through Ms. G’s class to respect themselves and to believe in themselves.  They wrote of seeing the whole world differently after reading books, biographies like Zlata’s Diary, that showed them that other people have gone through really difficult times and survived, and got stronger, and turned themselves into better people.

The students wrote about how reading opened up the world to them, and they learned about what was possible, not matter where you lived or what kind of background you had, you could be a person who gave backed to the world.  You could make your life be how you wanted to be, instead of what the world said it had to be.

One student even wrote how her mother ever gave her curfews or rules to follows, so she got the idea that she should give herself curfews, because she didn’t want people to know that her mother was neglecting her.  She felt like she had raised herself, and that it wasn’t easy.

After they had compiled their journals, choosing the pages to submit, Ms. G had the compilation turned into a book.  Ms. G then contacted the Secretary of Education, and told him about her students and their projects, past and present, and about the book created from their project.  He invited them to come in person to bring him the book.  Ms. G and the students earned the money for the trip to Washington, DC, and got to meet the Secretary, who was very impressed with their book.  SOme of the students were blown away just walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  When they reached the Washington Memorial, they encircled the monument, held hands, sang and said prayers.

Some of the students wrote about that trip, and how they felt so light and full of hope joined together around the Washington Monument.

When they returned to Long Beach, they found out that another student in their school, not a Freedom Writer, had taken a trip to Vegas with friends, and while their brutally raped and murdered a 7 year old girl, while another student watched and did nothing to stop it.  The students wrote about the difficulty of balancing the positive energy from the trip with the horrific news that someone they knew had raped and murdered a little girl.  It was a difficult time but they made it through together, and when the media came to the school looking for headlines about the murder, they went out against school regulations, and sang and talked to the media not about the horror perpetrated by one student, but about what the 150 or so of them had accomplished instead.

The negativity that surrounded these students is what is causing the distrust, distress and violence in the world today, but this wonderful teacher and her courageous students stand as a shining example of what positive energy, hope and understanding can do to make the world a better place.

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

Who

 

 

BJWordPressDivider

 

 

Freedomwriters

 

guarda5

The Perfect Storm


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

animated.LoveYou

 

 

In the sixties, there was a perfect storm of hatred and violence and passionate pacifism. Folk singers like Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seger and Joan Baez sang the songs that started the fire that crossed America to get the Vietnam War ended. Hearts were set afire with music, poetry, sit-ins and marches. We watched the boys we knew going off to the war. There was a draft and I can remember sitting at the dinner table and listening for the numbers to be selected. You knew the numbers of your family and friends. The silence that would envelope a family when a son’s number was called was so opaque you could cut it with a knife. In addition to this being held like a human sacrifice by a Pagan world, some of these men fled and went to Canada. Very few returned, even when all was forgiven.

 

Thanks to President John Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. whites and blacks moved together to bring his dream of equality to reality. Since the Civil War, the South had promoted and enforced strict segregation. This included separate restrooms, sitting in different parts of busses and not allowing interracial marriage. The very brave black youth who shared Rev. King’s dream began to protest and white Northern kids went South to help them. People lost their lives. The KKK lynched many young black men. The cowards who hid under white sheets were big shots when no one knew who they were. Many deaths were accomplished by the hand of the KKK.

 

In the seventies, my adoptive family lived in a small back water town in Indiana. They were the only Jewish family and there was one Black family. One night both families awoke to crosses burning on their front yards. The Klan had left its business card.

 

Women also participated in all of the changes going on in America. Rosa Parks got on a bus and instead of taking a seat in the back where black people were supposed to ride, she sat in the front of the bus. She was dragged off the bus and arrested but she is a heroine of the Civil Rights Movement. Feminists were out front and speaking up against the war and loudly demanding our civil rights. Women, make $.77 for every $1.00 a man made. We didn’t want to lose jobs if we had a child. Maternity leave was a subject that many businesses used as a reason not to hire women.

 

Women were being beaten by husbands and boyfriends, according to the FBI at a rate of one woman every eleven seconds. I worked hard with other women in my home town to begin a Domestic Violence shelter for women. We wanted to give them a safe place to go. We were a group of Jewish, Protestant and Catholic women who bought an old rotted dingy house with the help of the Sisters of Mercy. A penny was buried in the tree lawn and the Sisters prayed for the money to come to help the women in our community. Today, this shelter still exists and has over a yearly budget of over a half million dollars. But I remember the early days when we literally risked our lives for these woman and I would do it again.

 

Voting rights, economic rights and education are still not equal or just fifty years after the Civil Rights Act was passed. I thought that America had begun to change and we would just continue to move in the direction of fairness and justice. I was wrong. Very wrong. I didn’t realize until our President Obama was elected that the closet held more than homosexual people. It held people who still feel that human beings are not equal because of the color of their skin. This is such a travesty and must be corrected. We are one people who live with hearts beating as one despite color, education, who they love. We need to care as much for the babies who are born and need to be taken care of as we do for a woman’s right to decide what happens with her body. I saw a bumper sticker today on a car that said, “Save the whales, kill the children.”

 

The rich feel that their money gives them more rights than anyone else and it is getting worse every year. Is this a new situation? Not at all. It goes back very far in our history. During the Civil War, President Lincoln instituted a draft to have enough men to save the Union and free the slaves. The rich families were allowed to pay for their beloved sons not to have to go to war. So most soldiers were poor or middle class. They weren’t worth as much because their families had less money. Please don’t think that the rich looking down at the other 98% of our country. People need to select sides not parties. This mid-term election coming up is going to make it necessary for us to stand up and speak out. I encourage everyone do so and fight for justice in your particular country. As is often repeated,         ” If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

The Need for equality


Every woman is equal to everyone else no matter what country she lives in.

Every woman is equal to everyone else no matter what country she lives in.

feminist

Love is not Concerned

love is not concerned
with whom you pray
or where you slept
the night you ran away from home
love is concerned that the beating of your heart
should kill no one.” —-Alice Walker, novelist, poet and feminist

Women survive so much in life. There are so many sources for what damages women. Child abuse, hunger as a child, looking different, rape, domestic violence, child birth, child loss. Illness, toxic work environments, sexual harassment, being left for a younger woman, parents to take care of, knowing you can’t make as much as a man does. verbal abuse and emotional abuse. I will stop with keeping thin, showing no gray in your hair, being enthusiastic all the time and support. There has never been a generation of women that weren’t damaged and continued to function to the best of their abilities. For every feminist man out there in the world who has helped a woman, been kind when she really needed it, or who loved her despite her imperfections, you stand out in this world. Be you American or French, or Chinese or Brazilian; on behalf of all women, I say thank you. You are very special.

“Too many things are occurring for even a big heart to hold.”
—-From an essay by W. B. Yeats

The Big Heart

Big heart,
wide as a watermelon,
but wise as birth,
there is so much abundance in the people I have
Max, Lois, Joe, Louise,
Joan, Marie, Dawn,
Arlene, Father Dunne, and all in their short lives
give to me repeatedly, in the way the sea
places its many fingers on the shore,
again and again
and they know me,
they help me unravel,
they listen with ears made of conch shells,
they speak back with the wine of the best region.
They are my staff
They comfort me.

They hear how
the artery of my soul has been severed
and soul is spurting out upon them,
bleeding on them,
messing up their clothes,
dirtying their shoes
And God is filling me,
though there are times of doubt
as hollow as the Grand Canyon,
still God is filling me.
He is giving me the thoughts of dogs, the spider in its intricate web,
the sun
in all its amazement,
and a slain ram
that is the glory,
the mystery of great cost,
and my heart,
which is very big,
I promise it is very large,
a monster of sorts,
takes it all in——
all in comes the fury of love.” ——-Anne Sexton, poet and feminist

Young women marching to :take back the night:

Young women marching to :take back the night:

Feminist and First Lady of The United States of America

Feminist and First Lady of The United States of America

Quote by poetess Maya Angeloe

Quote by poetess Maya Angeloe

Feminist and author The reason I became a feminist.

Feminist and author
Of the book The Feminine Mystique

                                                                                                                                             

 

Spousal Rape is Rape


Blaming the victim

Blaming the victim

It is a widely held myth that a husband can not rape his wife. A fairy tale to cover up the tremendous damage that is used by men to keep their wife under their thumb.  Many people believe that sexual intercourse without consent, in this context doesn’t constitute rape. The other aspect of the myth is that it is not as serious as stranger rape. This simply is not true. Men often declare that when they live with a woman or are married, anything sexual that they do is not rape. They could run, but not hide.

In the late 70’s, we began to discuss marital rape and all of the negative effects on a woman. We challenged the notion that a wife or intimate partner can indeed say no. The response of abusing men often was to beat the wife up and then rape, sodomize her or force her to have oral sex or sex with other men while he watched. The damage done when a woman is raped by her partner can be extremely severe. The damage can be emotional and physical.  There are husbands who will use objects to perform the rape. This can cause quite a lot of damage to internal organs and her uterus.

The emotional damage comes from the fact that this man is someone she loves and trusts and now he has used her as if she were an inanimate object. What she once gave freely, now she has taken from her in violence and pain. This damages her ability to connect with her husband and often with people in general. A woman is humiliated and ashamed. She has a hard time dealing with the fact that the man she loved has turned into a monster. Often marital rape is repeated until enough damage is done to require a trip to the Emergency Room. And a woman is expected to just do her duty and perform the sex acts he wants.

This is what many men in many cultures and religions and countries believe. The phrase that they hide behind is “She asked for it.” It is difficult for a woman to admit even to herself that her husband or intimate partner has indeed raped her. She has to get to a point where she can admit it to herself to be able to ask for protection and assistance. Some women do leave the rapist husband. They do find that people will still blame her for the way she dresses or where she goes. They want to give the man a pass. 

We worked very hard to educate the police, the justice system and women themselves to understand that only they can decide how their bodies are used. Beatings often go along with rape. It actually often happens after a severe beating. Some men are turned on by the power and control they have used on the women.

The cycle of violence

The cycle of violence

A volunteer community study of 159 women was done. Seventy seven per cent of these women were African-American. All the women were interviewed about abuse in their homes and forced sex. Almost forty five percent of the women had experienced marital rape and physical abuse. The women had similar lifestyles except for ethnicity. There were no other demographics that separated the women. However, women who have survived marital rape experienced many more health issues, many more gynecological symptoms and an increase in their risk factors for homicide.

Sexually assaulted women exhibited many more negative mental health symptoms. The number of assaults can even effect body image and depression. So let me make this perfectly clear. Having an intimate relationship with a woman does not give you the right to assault and /or rape her. You do not own your wife. She is not property that you can control and discipline. You will go to jail. You will pay for abusing and not respecting your wife.

Quote from Maya Angelou

Quote from Maya Angelou. Ladies, you are not alone. There are many of us working to save you.

Marital Rape


FBI stats are that a woman is beaten every nine seconds. This is sickening and demonstrates the continuing war against women

FBI stats are that a woman is beaten every nine seconds. This is sickening and demonstrates the continuing war against women

It used to be make love not war; now it is make love not rape

It used to be make love not war; now it is make love not rape

A wedding links two people in love and in life with trust. Many times, husbands think it means that they own their wife. She is to obey and put out. One aspect that is a big part of life in a violent home is marital rape. Marital rape is a serious form of violence that can be life-shattering for the victims. Marital rape has been illegal since 1993 in every state and DC but it is not always enforced. This is always a problem with laws that protect women. They have to be enforced to be of any good in saving women’s lives. It is part of the War on Women. 

Why is there a war on women? Because we are not considered legally equal. Thanks to the suffragettes we have the vote. Up until then, women were not allowed to vote.  It took a real fight to obtain the right to vote. Women belonged in the home and didn’t know or weren’t intelligent enough to cast a knowledgeable vote.

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

The violence by intimate partners is physical, mental and emotional.

The violence by intimate partners is physical, mental and emotional.

Marital rape occurs when your spouse forces you to take part in any sex act without your consent. It is an abuse of power. One spouse over another. One spouse abuses power to attempt to establish dominance and control over the other. Either spouse can be the rapist. This is a form of intimate partner violence. Research shows that it can be as equally , if not more damaging to the victim as physical violence. Spousal rape can be as traumatizing to the victim as stranger rape. Part of this is that after you perform whatever sexual acts he wants, you have to lie down beside him and sleep with him and then get up with a smiling face and make his breakfast. This is really devastating to women in abusive relationships.

Marital and Date rape

Marital and Date rape

A broad definition of marital rape (legally), includes any unwanted intercourse or penetration, vaginal, anal and oral, obtained by force, threat of force, or when the wife is unable to consent. If you have experienced rape by your spouse, you have the right to make a police report. This is important if you are planning to escape. Police reports may be entered into evidence to help you with a restraining order, or a protection from abuse order. You aren’t alone. Your local domestic violence shelter can assist you through this process. Know you are not alone and he does not own you. For more information you can call the National Sexual  Hotline at 800-656+HOPE for help at any hour of the day. You can also visit the website, the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.

Fixing the marital rape loophole

Fixing the marital rape loopholes

Use of force isn’t a prerequisite of being convicted of rape in the third degree, which means that the victim didn’t consent…to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator and such lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victims.  Many states have eliminated the loophole of being married as a defense against rape charges. It was the late 1970’s before anyone was convicted of raping his spouse in the United States. Now rape includes stranger rape and marital rape. The perpetrator will go to jail. Forced sex is not a “wifely duty”.

Marital rape statistics

Marital rape statistics

All of this twisted thinking comes from common law situations. And to add to the problem, the old common law said a husband could discipline his wife with anything as long as it wasn’t thicker than his thumb. Look at your husband’s thumb and think about what he could be allowed to use to beat you. This was what courts based their decisions on for hundreds of years. If you are abused, living in a violent home or are being raped by your husband, you do not need to live in fear. Get out. Do it for yourself and for your children. I have been writing on Domestic Violence for all of October. Please feel free to read my other blogs if you are living in fear or if you know someone who is.  I will be continuing the subject for the rest of the month. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

What do we want? We want the violence to stop

What do we want? We want the violence to stop

Why I Remain a Feminist


Quote from Maya Angelou

Quote from Maya Angelou

I initially became a feminist because of books. I was taking some continuing education classes in nursing. One book I had to read discussed the “The Burning Times.” These were in the good old days when women were midwives. Men felt that taking care of sick people was beneath them. Midwives got paid in a pie, some vegetables, some homemade bread. They were also more than expert in herbs and healing plants. Because of the nature of such a woman, she often enjoyed gentle relationships with the animals around her cabin or home.

There were a few men who exhibited the same gifts. Today we would call them feminist men. I am sure everyone knows some. The Church, in those days found it hard to handle midwives and healing women.

We are looking at the time in history of the Spanish Inquisition. Protestants had to confess after torture, Jews fled to present-day Europe and the Ottoman empire. Special priests were sent out to root out and to kill the blasphemers who said they could heal. As time went on, village after village suffered through “witch trials.” Many good and caring women went to their deaths because they were deemed witches. Children had no protection from these accusations. They often would be tortured and would speak the name of someone they knew. They would call someone a witch, just to get the pain to end.

It is said that over 2 million women were murdered for being witches.  This was also a holocaust. At this time, midwives went underground and men began to look to medicine as a way to make a living. So men suddenly had good reason to ensure that no healing women or witches were in their communities. Much information about the healing effects of herbs was lost for a very long time.

I was interested in what I was reading and took more books out of the library. I couldn’t stop reading and thinking about these women. There is an article you might be interested in reading called “Witches, Midwives and Nurses”, by B. Ehrenreich and D English.. It can be found at .www.blancmange.net/tmh/articles/witches.html.

To this day women’s medical practice has thrived in the midst of rebellious lower class movements. These witch hunts for the midwives did not stop these healing and caring women,, but the midwives where often branded as superstitious and possibly malevolent.

I read all this, and another feminist was born. I got involved with other concerned women in my community and we tried to assess women’s needs in our community. What we discovered was that women were being abused in their homes. So we started a shelter for abused women. We had no money, but we got a rundown old house in a bad neighborhood and the Jewish, Protestant and Catholic women worked long and hard to save these battered women and their children. Some of the Catholic women were nuns and I remember that we all “planted” a penny in the tree lawn of that house and the nuns prayed for the women and children who would be saved. Today that shelter, started in the 1970’s has a budget of nearly a million dollars a year. I am still a feminist because they need every penny of that budget to continue to protect the women and kids.

Children are also beaten

Children are also beaten

This may be happening to someone you know...like your sister, your cousin, the neighbor, your minister's wife, or the wife of that nice young family who always comes to church.

This may be happening to someone you know…like your sister, your cousin, the neighbor, your minister’s wife, or the wife of that nice young family who always comes to church.

As our society becomes more violent, with mass shootings and other community violence, Domestic Violence is not shrinking. Nearly forty years after domestic violence shelters and programs were established in this country, we are still taking pictures of injuries, advocating for abused women in court and hiding them until they and their children can get safely away from the abuser. Oh, I must not forget to tell you that more women are killed trying to get out than at any other time in the battering relationship.

This is the number one reason I am still a feminist, however it isn’t the only reason.  I am concerned that women are not legally equal, and do not get paid the same as a man for the same work.  And so, I fight on.

Together we can gain our legal equality. Together we can take care of each other. Together we can become equal partners.  Together we might just add some peace to the world.

You can't beat a woman!

You can’t beat a woman!

Please remember the extreme danger many women are in and talk to the young women and girls. It isn't their fault. They were victims.

Please remember the extreme danger many women are in and talk to the young women and girls. It isn’t their fault. They were victims.

You Know Someone Who Has Been Abused


Children Learn What They Live

Children Learn What They Live

One in every four women will experience violence in her lifetime 85% of DV victims are women. An estimated 1.3 million women will be abused each year. Abuse is a generational thing that children learn because they see it happen.

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

Almost one third of female homicide victims that are reported in police reports are killed trying to get out of a battering relationship with an intimate partner. In 70 % to 80% of homicide victims were battered by their domestic partner prior to their demise. Less than one fifth of victims who report injuries seek,medical help.

Witnessing abuse between intimate partners is the strongest risk factor to children growing up to be a victim or a batterer. 30% to 60% of perpetrators also abuse the children in the home. Forced sexual assault is also abuse. It is illegal to rape your wife and a person could go to prison. Marriage doesn’t mean you own a person. They still own their own body and you may or perhaps not be able to use it.

There is no specific time you can expect abuse to start.

There is no specific time you can expect abuse to start.

The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds 5.8 billion dollars a year. Victims of intimate partner abuse lost almost 8 million days of work because of the violence perpetuated against them. This loss is equivalent to 32,000 full-time jobs. Another 4.1 billion dollars is for medical care of the victimThere are 16,800 homicides each year. More victims are murdered trying to leave an abusive relationship that at any other time during it. This is why women often go back over and over again.

Don't teach your children to be victims or batterers.

Don’t teach your children to be victims or batterers.

Domestic violence  is one of the most underreported crimes. Now, cities like Norristown are penalizing the victim for calling the police, (please see previous blog), Who wants to be homeless or have their children being homeless? Only approximately one fourth of physical assaults and sexual assaults are reported. States differ on the type of relationship that qualifies under domestic violence laws.

For more information or to get help, call:

THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE 1-800-799-7233

THE NATIONAL TEEN DATING ABUSE HOTLINE 1-866-331-9474

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

Can we Disarm Domestic Violence


Disarm Domestic Violence

Disarm Domestic Violence

The people in Domestic Violence have put forth the logical thinking that abusers need to be not allowed to own guns by law. And guess who disagrees. The NRA. The National Rifle Association feels it is right and proper for an abuser to own guns. Even to own assault guns. I feel this is absurd and will increase the deaths of victims of Domestic Violence.

Enough victims have died due to their abuse. Why would we want to arm the abusers? The NRA has beaten back legislation to stop abusers from owning guns. This legislation would mandate that an abuser turn in all guns and not be able to buy more. Yes, I realize it is easy. Under current laws, you can buy guns at gun shows and other places.

Do we want to make it easier for the abuser to have a gun to further his/her power and control? They believe it is the constitutional right even of abusers. The NRA feels guns should not be confiscated unless someone is found guilty of a felony. They feel it “would be a nuisance”. I believe it could save lives.

At this point in time, Domestic Violence is a misdemeanor and includes a maximum sentence of 18 months. Even if it is a felony in your state, abusers need to lose the guns.

In Washington, current law gives judges issuing civil protection orders the discretion to require the surrender of firearms.They need to find a “serious and imminent threat” to public health. Records show that they seldom confiscate guns from an abuser. I guess if the imminent threat is ‘only’ about the women and children, that doesn’t count as public safety.

According to the New York Times, at least five women have been murdered in New York City by guns used by their abuser.This form of gun violence happens all the time even when the courts step in because the laws requiring the surrender of firearm under orders protection are not strong enough, subject to judicial lacity or are non-existent.

There are many individual stories that can freeze your blood. A woman’s abuser held a gun in her mouth and threatened to shoot her. He did not lose his guns until the cops stopped him from shooting her a second time. A woman filed for divorce and a restraining order. The cops refused to remove his collection of firearms. She went into hiding, with the assistance of the “Underground Railroad” that has been created by Domestic Violence shelters.  After a while she felt safe and she returned to her life. Her husband caught her in a parking lot and shot her and then killed himself.

The NRA needs to be stopped from encouraging the right to bear arms even if you are guilty of being an abuser. Male or female abuser, it is the same.If the NRA supports families as they like to brag about, then they should agree to the confiscation of all the guns of a person who assaults their spouse, significant other or children.  It is time to revisit the intention of the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers did not intend for people to hide their crimes behind the Amendment.

If you are interested, there are previous blogs of mine dealing with gun control and Domestic Violence.

The War on Women

The War on Women

Quote from Abraham Lincoln

Quote from Abraham Lincoln

Don't turn away from uncomfortable truth. Stand up and stop the violence. Care what happens in families.

Don’t turn away from uncomfortable truth. Stand up and stop the violence. Care what happens in families.

Violence Destroys Families


Battering destroys families.

Battering destroys families.

For the victim of battering or Domestic Violence, they exist in a house with someone who hurts them. They are literally “Sleeping With the Enemy.” Abuse is the only crime in America where we ask the victim to lie down in bed next to the person who has just finished knocking their teeth out, punched them in the stomach, burned them with a cigarette, or holding a gun to their head.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Generations of children have learned that battering is normal.

Children in violent homes are often beaten or molested by someone they live with. Even for those who haven’t been beaten, They see their parents as role models. Yes, they often try to protect their mothers but the majority of them repeat the beatings they saw over and over as a child . They  learned to be an abuser. Girls in violent families whether beaten or not, watch the victim be punched, dragged, choked, slapped  burned with a cigarette and many other vile acts. They learn from their family that they are victims.  As they grow older, it is not unusual for abusers and victims to find each other. They live together in their set roles.

This woman is being victimized

This woman is being victimized

Love should never hurt

Love should never hurt

The scene of Domestic Violence begins like any other relationship. Two people meet and fall in love. They live together or marry and may eventually have a baby. An abuser doesn’t always begin to abuse while they are dating. Sometimes it begins on the honeymoon. That first punch to teach the victim who is in charge. The abuser wants her to know exactly what is expected. Dinner at six, his shirts laundered just so. He expects her to be home all day and he will be calling to check up on her. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until a pregnancy becomes reality. The abuser may say they are pleased and excited, but will then begin to beat the victim up. Frequently, the abuse consists of punching her over and over in the stomach. Many women have lost their babies because of abuse. Sometimes the abuse doesn’t begin until the children are older and the house doesn’t run as smoothly as it used to. The house is full of playing, laughing, screaming or giggling children. They learn soon enough not to bring anyone home to play because an episode of abuse may begin. These are families in name only.

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Often violence begins during pregnancy

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

Hands were made for hugging and not for hitting.

To attempt to prevent episodes of abuse, the victim will try to have everything just the way the abuser wants it. The children are taught to be quiet and just eat dinner and go do homework. They stay in their rooms or go to a friend’s house so that they won’t be battered or have to hear the screams of pain and the abusive slurs that go hand in hand with the physical abuse.

Speak out

Speak out

If you are being abused or know someone who is, get out and go to a shelter. Almost all cities have shelters now. Get yourself and the kids out before the abuse escalates and someone is dead. In a shelter, you will find medical help, warm beds, food, counseling, legal advice and assistance. You and your children will be protected and supported as you begin the process of starting a new life without violence.

It is never, never right to abuse a woman or children. It is never right to abuse a man. This is not really love. It is power and control. The abuser thinks he owns you. Leaving the violent home will be the beginning of having the ability to live without the fear of abuse.

A handprint