Why She Stayed ~
Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. NIV
We knew that my step-daughter was in an abusive relationship for about a year. Me, being me, also knew that unless a person is ready for help, there is really no need to try to help them. Let me just say here that I cannot understand this concept. But, I am a strong woman. Not everybody is like me. I am a “wait til he’s asleep and bust him in the face with a cast iron skillet” type of woman. My step-daughter is not. I could not grasp the concept that she would let someone be mean to her kids. We would encourage her to leave. She would say, “you don’t understand”.
And then the truth started to unfold. Little by little, we learned why she stayed. Little by little he isolated her. We couldn’t see her or the kids unless he was present. He took her child support. He disabled her car. He isolated her. He put her out in the yard at 1:00 in the morning. He told her that he knew everybody in the county. His daddy is in law enforcement and nobody would believe her. He told her that he would kill her and the children before she left him. So, in fear….she stayed.
Do I agree with this? Nope. I think I’d have done anything to get away from him. But before I judge her, I have to remember that I’ve never been in that position. I’ve never feared that a man would kill my child. I’ve never had to witness a man hold my little girl by the neck while she screams. I’ve never had to see a man try to make a child eat their vomit. I’ve never been so brainwashed to believe that nobody would care. In desperation, she made videos with her phone, hoping that someone would finally believe her. Did you know that unless the person being videod KNOWS they are being taped, that they are not admissible as evidence, no matter how violent they are? Did you also know that the person making the videos can be arrested for making or sharing them?
We went through all of the proper channels. We got her out. We got her safe. And then we found out that she was right. The small town “good ol’ boy” club showed up in full force. Her phone was taken as evidence. All of the videos showing violence mysteriously were “corrupted”. Strange, huh? Matt and I were threatened with arrest if we interfered in any way with “their” investigation. (that means sharing this video with ya’ll...so if I go to jail...please come bail me out)
Today, she went to court to ask for an injunction for protection. Today, the good ol’ boys came in together and sat together...Today, we realized that by getting our daughter out of an abusive relationship, all we did was make her homeless with three children, with no job, with no vehicle, with nothing. But she has her kids. And they are safe.
God, tonight, I’m mad. I’m mad at the system. I’m mad that a poor little boy had to be brutalized. I’m mad that she felt that she had to stay in it. I’m mad that she let this happen. I’m mad that she was right. I’m mad that law enforcement is too busy playing “good ol’ boy” than to protect a child. And I’m mad that in order to save her, I have to come up with thousands of dollars. I’m mad that at the end of the day, nobody who is supposed to care, really cares.
I cannot show the video. The language is awful. There are 17 of them, but I have been threatened with charges if I share them. But, you see...a strong woman has a backup plan. A strong woman makes copies of everything. A strong woman sees through a hot-headed bully. A strong woman comes along side a weaker woman. I’ll stand by her side. If not for her, then for those kids. And that son of a bitch will never touch them again…..Thank You, God, for making me a strong woman.