This morning I posted about a personal experience with domestic violence. When I posted, I made the disclaimer I would remove the post in a few hours because of both the personal nature and the people involved. I don’t claim to be much of a writer, so when the blog recorded 497 views in 2 hours, I was more than shocked. Is there really that much violence out there?
I’ve already written that I grew up in a violent home. Each incident was preceded by copious amounts of alcohol. I heard from my aunt that my grandfather was occasionally abusive toward my grandmother, but he changed after they had grandchildren.
Even though I have a horrible temper, I’ve never come close to hitting a woman. My mom told me countless times growing up that I was NEVER EVER EVER to lay hands on a woman. As I child, I asked if I could defend myself if a girl hit me first, and I was adamantly told “NO!” Those words have stayed with me and are ingrained into my fiber. Thank you, mom.
When Christy and I married, she got to witness a few of my anger episodes, which consisted of yelling and throwing things. I can’t remember what sparked any of them, but I do remember the day she drew the line in the sand. She said “If this keeps on, we will not be married.” My wife is the love of my life. I took her words seriously and sat down with a counselor to talk about my anger.
If I loved my wife, more than I love myself, as I claimed, I had to sacrifice my right to be angry. It was that simple. When I looked at it from that standpoint, it was an easy choice. And it is a sacrifice I gladly make, every single day. But as bad as my anger was, it was neither physical, nor verbally, abusive toward her. I had a fail-safe switch, that forced me to get in the car and drive to the church down the road whenever I felt I was losing control. There’s something about sitting at a house of worship, even in the parking lot, that grounded my emotions.
I can only look at the world from one perspective, and that’s mine. I haven’t had the experiences or influences of other people. I had a tough childhood, but I didn’t bring the baggage with me. Anger is something I grasp. Violence is not.
I do not, nor will I ever, understand a man hitting a woman. It is wrong on every level. A man should protect his wife from all harm. Domestic violence is that insidious demon lurking behind closed doors. It’s something no one likes to talk about. It’s embarrassing for the woman who doesn’t want the world to know that man she loves is hurting her. It goes unreported and unchecked.
I wish I had answers. I only have questions.
One in four women have experience domestic abuse in their lifetime according to The Domestic Violence Resource Center. One in four. I don’t understand. The more I read about the topic, the more I believe that number is low.
A friend of mine sent me this video from Pastor Mark Driscoll and he screams “How dare you!!!” multiple times. I agree.
There is no provocation or excuse that justifies the cowardly act of domestic violence.
Guys, if you’re doing this, seek help…http://www.4angertherapy.com. Admitting you need help makes you more of a man. I’d rather my wife think I’m her “Knight in Shining Armor” than the dragon any day.
Ladies, if this is happening to you, seek help…National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or http://www.womenslaw.org.