Domestic Violence has connected me to so many strong women, and men. My blog tonight is going to feature a couple of ladies who have a strong story I feel like you need to hear.
This is Janice and Angie…their story is striking. Read Below
“Bound but not chained” when that phrase was suggested we both immediately knew that was the perfect description for our family. To be honest if someone had suggested that we take a picture together several years ago we would have laughed at the absurdity of the suggestion. Let me explain why this picture and our story is an unusual and unconventional one to say the least. We are survivors of the same abuser, between us there are six beautiful and amazing siblings that are the center of our universe, and it has been one hell of a battle to get here. The friendship we have now was the easy part but the survival was the true battle, his chains controlled us for years. He regularly pitted us against one another because he knew our greatest weakness was the love we have for our children. The games he played to make us hate one another always involved the veiled threat that our children would suffer and those chains kept us at odds for a very long time. Her strength in the face of some of the greatest adversity that you can imagine freed us all, and that is why we are family. The statistic of 1 in 3 is a number that we often see when speaking of domestic violence, when a gun is brought into a situation of domestic violence the chances of homicide increase exponentially, and strangulation is most often a significant predictor for future lethal violence. He did all of these things, yet here we are still alive and thankfully he is in prison for the crimes he committed. I am amazed that she is still with us; her attack was caught on video- we counted over 50 full force punches to her face. He had a loaded gun that had already shot a man numerous times. Yet with all of that she was there for every hearing, she took the stand and faced him head on. She is phenomenal and she is my family. We are bound through our children, our friendship, and his chains are long gone. When domestic violence is a factor in life we often loose family and friends during the destruction. I see and hear the stories all of the time, families fractured because the victim may have defended the abuser or reacted with anger towards those who were not the problem. Friends who give the cold shoulder once the victim is free because we so often go back, but it does not have to be that way. Coming out of abuse is not easy, you are rediscovering who you are. Often we are faced with shame and pain as we realize just how destructive this has been and how lucky we are to survive. To anyone who may read this and understand the loneliness we often experience once we are free, please know that you are not alone. Our stories bind us because we are survivors, you are not alone and in case you have not heard this before, you did not deserve this, you did not cause this and this was not your fault.