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A victim of domestic violence will leave their abuser an average of 5 to 7 times before they leave for good. While Espe (not her real name) was isolated in the United States from her family in Venezuela, they emphasized their unconditional love and support for her, regardless of her decisions, and helped her implement a safety plan. "I had to be the one who left him," she told me. "It couldn’t be like a rescue."
I have not been able to bring myself to post since this weekend’s awful verdict, and the retroactive attention it has brought Marissa Alexander (a Florida woman who was denied Stand Your Ground protection after firing a gun into the ceiling to scare off her abusive husband against whom she had a restraining order - she was given 20 years in prison. Google her name for more info.)
But friend & reader Reuven sent me something that has lifted me out of my slump.
Get this - Massachusetts is protecting women from intimate partner homicide by a) taking what they know about men who kill their partners, and b) monitoring and restricting the activity of men who match that criteria.
This is amazing. I read about it over the weekend but promptly forgot to blog it. GOOD NEWS FOR ONCE.
This is a possibly revolutionary model for preventing domestic homicide. Wow.
I really need to make a post about the higher rates of suicide and arrest among adopted and foster children (most of whom are girls, given that girls are more frequently in demand as “orphans”), wherein even outside the juvenile justice system and psychiatric wards, isolation, forcible restraint, and sensory deprivation are often mandated. [MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING for linked contents]
Tumblr, in all its glorious wisdom, won’t let me reblog myself, but please reblog my post, Resources for Decision-Making and Low-Income Parenting! The more people who know about it, the better!
I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.
I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.
Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.
When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.
And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.
I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.
I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do."
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