To Match the Blood – Part 2

Purple ribbons at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort mark beginning of Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, Author Sgt. Angel Galvan (PD as work of federal govt.)

 At the conclusion of one of my abuse shelter talks, the women there presented me with a notebook of handwritten thanks they had put together for me.  I cherish that memento, but the thanks were unnecessary.  It has been my honor to speak to and for these women.

The legal system provided inadequate relief.  [According to the women I met, it] could be life-threatening for…[an abused] woman to contact police.  Too often, police treated the call for help as a routine squabble.  Protective Orders could be obtained through the courts, but were not always enforced.

Though not a domestic relations attorney, I had been to Family Court for the legal clinic.  It reminded me of nothing so much as an ancient bazaar, merchants haggling.  The rooms were packed with unrepresented women and their children, all supplicants waiting their meager share of justice.  Some judges welcomed the few attorneys present; others seemed to despise attorneys.

The teenage son of one of my clients was…determined to become a lawyer, himself.  At age fourteen, he was already jaded by the system, sure that he could master it.  Certain he could do no worse.

— Excerpt from Like Rain on Parked Cars

Originally posted 9/22/13




Filed under domestic abuse, domestic violence, Justice, Law, Violence Against Women

5 responses to “To Match the Blood – Part 2

  1. “What did you do to provoke him?” That’s what the police officer asked me when I called in a panic, begging for help to stop my husband from beating me. I was four months pregnant and bleeding vaginally after he had kicked me, hard, in my round pregnant belly with his steel-toe work boot. My face, arms, and legs were covered in bruises, while my husband did not have a mark on him. I was skinny and frail, he was muscular and probably weighed twice what I did.

    “What did you do to provoke him?” This was the question I was asked when I called the police in February, 1971. Forty-seven years ago, but I remember like it was yesterday.

    Dear God, I pray they aren’t still asking abuse victims that question!

  2. The darkness of domestic abuse is terrifying, but the light of those shining to highlight, speak boldly about it’s effects and assist victims will always be ‘necessary’ – If I could, it would be an honour for me to add my name to that ‘notebook of thanks’.

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