Wednesday, October 05, 2005

October Marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I did not write this message, I only borrowed it to share with you. Eleven years ago I was where Rachel was, but by the grace of God I survived. You may ask yourself, why we just don't leave? The answer to that is the abuse gets worse after we leave, and our abuser looses control, they do everything in their power to get us back. It becomes a living hell, worse than the one we where in, so we go back to stop the pain, and it does stop for awhile, then the cycle starts all over again. I remember as if it where yesterday the first time he put me in the hospital. I was asked many questions about what happened and of course I lied, but in my head I was screaming out, Please help me! But all I could think about was my baby sitting out in the waiting room with the man who put me in the hospital. Would he take him? Would he hurt him? So I kept silent. 6 months later I did leave for good,I endured 3 years of living hell, always looking over my shoulder, always watching. Today I live a happy and complete life with my two sons.

You can find more information by clicking on the title of this post. To reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

On April 26, 2000 Rachel died at the hands of her ex-husband.
I leave this for you as a memorial to someone I had just begun a friendship with.

Rachel's Story- To Hell and Back
by: Rachel
Mar 24 2000 04:51 AM
I have been graciously asked to share my story with all of you on this message board. Here it is:

Rachel's Story

I have read a lot of statistics and personal testimonies about Domestic Violence situations. Most of us know the patterns. Most of us are familiar with the statistics. Oftentimes statistics are just numbers unless you or someone you know have become one and have lived that hell personally. Many of us have, including myself. While we can, and should, do our part as individuals and as groups, to lobby for protection, for awareness, and for support, we also need to realize that, as difficult as it may seem, each of us has been given free will. While it may seem the most difficult thing to accept that we maintain some control of our destiny in most cases- especially after years of being told otherwise- it is ultimately the most empowering realization. I know it was for me. As a victim of the most extreme forms of physical and verbal domestic abuse for six years- having been beaten bloody and unconscious on a regular basis, having been raped and tortured almost daily- I came to a point where I knew that while I had the support of family and friends, it was ultimately me alone who would make the final decision to walk away from something that wasn't right and could no longer continue. That was probably the most difficult thing for me to do in my whole life. I always believed that marriage is something you do not take lightly. I took the words "till death do us part" literally up to that point. My children- whom I loved and cherished more than anything in the world- were the product of this marriage. Up until I made this difficult decision, I thought it was my duty to God, and to my family to continue things as they were. Until I realized that "till death do us part" took on a whole new meaning. If I had stayed, this man would have killed me. Each beating escalated to the point that I was convinced this man will end my life at some point had I stayed. Imagine how I felt the day I decided to walk away for my own safety and for the safety of my children. I didn't sneak out of the house. I waited for the father of my children to come home. I looked him in the face and told him I was leaving, and with escorts, I did so with my children and ran for three years in fear. Today, I have attained the financial stability to provide for my family after a long and hard road, that far exceeds the money my ex husband would not allow me to have in our marriage. Today, I am engaged in a wonderful, healthy relationship that made me realize that I wasn't the problem all along as my ex husband told me every time I was beaten for offenses only unacceptable to him. I cannot promise you financial success after you leave a marriage, nor will I tell you that leaving a marriage or relationship is the right thing to do in a particular case. But I will tell you that the cycle of violence can end with you and with those whom you allow to help you should you find yourself trapped in an abusive relationship. From the time I said "I do" I fell under the umbrella of statistics that show that a woman is battered every 15 seconds in this country. In the time it took you to read this, approximately 6 women were battered in one form or another by an intimate. What happens behind closed doors is not none of our business, because behind those closed doors could be your sister, your mother, your daughter, your friend..even you..This is how I envision a stop in the cycle. I envision a candle that lights the way for others. I have a candle and perhaps others do as well. And that is a start, but imagine what happens when the flames of two or more candles join. They shine brighter and with greater strength but don't suffer in their individuality. So, I have a flame and maybe you or someone you know does also. What do you want to do with them? They could mean the difference between life and death for those who cannot yet make their voices heard.

Just one month and two days after this was written
Rachel was beaten.
She lived long enough to tell authorities who did it.

Rachel Susan Miller

Beloved Wife, Mother, Sister
Counseled many abused victims
May 27, 1970---April 26, 2000


Mel said...

Oh man...this gave me cold chills. And makes me so very sad. Did her ex find her and beat her to death? Did you personally know her?

blue1aqua1 said...

wow thats intense. do u know her.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Jill, I have lived the horrifying experiences you and Rachel wrote about, and perhaps that may be one of the reasons I have never married again or I have such a high standard for a man to meet before being too involved. I have no real answer to my own statement. However over 20 yrs now being divorced, I feel I am healed but still fearful to a degree of someone that can be misleading.

People do not realize this syndrome women experience, only in the last ten years has it been brought closer to the forefront. There are still women serving time in prison that were protecting themselves, hopefully the day will come soon they will be released.

This is extremely sad about Rachel.

Unfortunately some women go back to that same habit of that type of men, I praise God I was able to change that with HIS help. My heart goes out to each and every person that is being abused women, men, children, elders or any one for that matter. Thank you for posting this for others to read, I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel....I have been there.

Jillian said...

Mel & Blue: No Rachel was not someone I knew, but them again she is someone we all know, the Teller at the bank, the woman at the grocery store, our next door neighbor, our sister, our friend.

Suzie: Thank you so much for your comment. I too think at times that it is the reason I have stayed single 11 years, or just gotten myself into a relationship and then bail at the first sign of trouble. I have no answer, my standards are set high to maybe to high. But Im alive and happy!!

badgerbob said...

A very sad story, with a tragic ending. My heart goes out to those kids.
It's impossible for kids not to be affected by seeing their dad hurting their mom.
No punishment is cruel enough for that guy.

Jillian said...

Badger Bob: Yes it does affect the children. As a matter of fact it was when he almost hit my oldest son who was 9 at the time, that I finally had to courage to leave.

mal said...

Wow....a wrenching story. I some times forget how fortunate I have been in my own marriage and just don't see the insanity that dominates some lives. Frightening

Bud said...

When I was teaching I often got to help girls who seemed to gravitate toward the bad boys. They are obvious and often the girls see it in time to get away from them. The scary ones are the ones you'd never guess are violent.

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing that, there are so many people in this situation and it is heartbreaking. I know of someone that needs to read it, so I will copy it and send it.

Blazngfyre said...

I have tears streaming down my face.

For you.
For Rachel.
For abused women everywhere.

For myself.

Anonymous said...


I was just looking around the net for web sites related to relationship help and came across your blog. I was going to add a blog to my site, for relationship help and of course other related material, but I'm not sure if it would work.
I'm a bit worried about getting un-wanted 'rude' posts rather than ones related to relationship help on my site...... perhaps I just try it out - then you can come and post on it :)

Take care