Monday, February 3, 2014

Expect Respect

Over the years, I have heard  many stories from abused women. Very little has changed from the first time I heard about abuse. I was in college and a young nineteen year old who was a wonderful, beautiful, and smart young lady was severely beaten by her boyfriend. It was several days after the beating that she joined us for breakfast and told us what happened. She told us her story even though her jaw hurt as she spoke. Her eyes were discolored and she had a choke hold on her neck that blazed red. It was winter, so it was days later that we saw the bruises to her arms and torso. She told us Brian (not his real name) was upset because she was not in her dorm room when he called. She blamed herself for worrying him. She blamed herself for being insensitive to his needs. "He was so worried," she said through tears, "that he sped his way here. He could have gotten killed!" Try as we might, we could not convince her that the problem was his and not hers. It was a year later, after many other incidences, that he went to her house because he "worried" after she did not answer her phone. When he arrived, he not only beat her but also her mother who had joined her at the supermarket. By the time she graduated, she was free of Brian and had begun to date someone who respected her and treated her with kindness and compassion. She is typical of the abused woman. Sometimes I think we should have classes that teach students, boys and girls, what love truly means.

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