Back when I was in grad school, I did my final project on domestic violence. At the time, I had recently worked as an intern at a local facility for court appointed, domestic violence offenders (the abusers) doing intake.
It was a difficult job. You’d meet these men (during my time, there was only one woman), that we charming and funny and sometimes even good looking, and you’d hear their stories. During all my intakes, I never got the bitter guy that said “she deserved it”. No, I always got the charming ones.
So of course, there was also this teeny, tiny part of me that kinda believed that it was an accident. I mean, the logical part of the brain knew that they were just telling a story. But the naive, young woman in me sometimes thought that maybe this one was telling the truth.
Which, I must say, make it difficult for this single gal to trust the men she was dating…Were they telling me the truth? were they making up stories? Were they lying through their teeth?
That is, until the day my former boss came in for his intake.
Just to clear the air, he wasn’t my direct boss, but he was the owner of the salon I was working for. So when I answered the phone, so I recognized his name. I scheduled his intake and told my boss that I knew him so someone else would need to take the meeting.
When he showed up, he said that he was fine with my doing the interview (clue one he’s convinced he did nothing wrong). During the whole interview, he went on and on about how it was an accident. How his wife called the police but it was just to “get back at him” during an argument. Et cetera, et cetera.
Thing is, I knew him. Personally. I was there, both inside his salon as an employee and outside his salon when I worked across the way. I’d seen the short tempers. I’d heard the yelling. I’d seen the rampages.
I didn’t believe a word he said. I knew better.
That day I decided that I could no longer work with this population of individuals (or substance abusers – domestic violence and substance abuse tend to go hand in hand) and quit.
My heart goes out to anyone that has suffered any sort of abuse…physical, sexual, financial or emotional. I know they must feel trapped and they don’t realize that there is a way out. And just as importantly, that they’re not alone and there is support out there.
Which is why when a friend shared this video from YouTube sensation, make-up artist, Lauren Luke I had to share it. I later realized that it’s a fictionalized account, but it looks so real (especially the fear in her eyes at the end).
It’s a short one (under two minutes)…watch it.
And if it moves you, do whatever you feel you can do to help the cause and support other women in similar situations. And if you need help, please, know you’re not alone and help is only a phone call away (800-799-SAFE).
This particular campaign is with Refuge.org – if you’re in the US and need help you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE)