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I had no intention of writing on this topic. At all. Not now..and NOT for a while. I’m not ready to write about it. Or talk about IT. And then yesterday a friend of mine told me something SO horrific; that it rocked my very SOUL..When she shared it  I was able to honestly say ; I don’t know  anyone personally who that has happened to! …Then , later , on my way home my mind wouldn’t let it go…I began to think of the awful VIOLENCE in our country..Is it at an  all ALL time high?!? Or has there always been so many accounts of violence; but it didn’t hit close enough to home to affect me as it did today…..I couldn’t figure out WHY I couldn’t stop! thinking about a person who I had never    even    met. By time I got home I’d figured out why my mind wouldn’t let it go…My friend’s friend was a victim of VIOLENCE that she’d tried to get away from. I couldn’t mentally let it go because I’d once been a VICTIM of something horrific also. So awful that only a handful of people on earth know…so long ago backintheday. Yet, still fresh enough below the surface , because I was silenced…By my youth. By my pain. By my ignorance of what caused IT. By my shame. NO woman should be silenced by VIOLENCE. Silence is fuel that keeps it alive..**Warning: This topic isn’t for the squeamish**

^I’ve got to be honest; as is my style..All day long I tried to convince myself NOT to go forth with this piece tonight(because I know its going to take alot out of me emotionally to release this in such a public forum;this isn’t easy by far even  for me)..I lost that battle of weighing the reasons why I should vs. why I should not..So here I go. *deep breath* First things first. I am a Feminist. Exclamation point. Period.  Nope, that does NOT mean I hate men. Quite! the contrary. Just means I’m down for & in support of an equal playing field for women. And that still hasn’t come about totally; but that is another topic for another time>

I think I’ll try something different ..I’m going to attempt to paint a picture to better explain why I feel SO strongly about VIOLENCE against women..at this point might be the only way I’m going to be able to do this…

Noviolenceagainstwomen**Now, hold onto that thought for just one minute..that is my herstory of long ago..now onto the event my friend shared with me yesterday; that forced my mind(triggered)  to broach this topic & to speak OUT…

A few more stats on rape/sexual assaults on women in the U.S.=

More than 61.5% of rapes are never reported to law enforcement.(mine wasn’t)/Nearly 6 out of 10 happen at the victim’s home(my assailant broke into my parents home long ago..)/An American woman is 10 times more likely to be raped; than to die in a car crash(that is a deeeeep stat folks!)/61% of all rape victims are under the age of 18(I was only 17 & my chastity among other things was stolen..)/1 of every 7 women currently  in college has been raped; 9 out of 10 raped on campus won’t ever report it/Every 45 seconds someone in the U.S. is sexually assualted…Now on to the rest of the story..>

Yesterday a friend told me she’d just found one of her friends was murdered..I’d never had anyone I knew tell me anyone they knew had been murdered! I was horrified; and to make matters worse(as IF)..the murderer was her ESTRANGED husband. A man she had 6 children with..A man she’d left this state to get away from..A man she’d been trying to get away from…THIS is the stuff horror stories are made of; real life horror stories. Its no small  wonder why I don’t watch scary movies or cover my eyes if I happen to “try” to put on my big girl pants and watch one. There is NO need with all of the violent things happening ..Immediately into my mind popped UP a cazillion questions. WHY did she stay long enough with this type of person to have 6 children??? WHY did it take her so long to run?! WHY didn’t she speak out/scream OUT/run to the police?! Report IT? WHY didn’t her family rescue her & her children? Did she even tell her family? All of those questions reminded me of things I’d long dealt with emotionally & tucked away..though the invisible scars will never allow me to close my heart to hearing such atrocities..>

A few domestic violence stats=(of which I’ve never, ever been a victim of; but my unending compassion & heart goes out to anyone who has)

Every 9 seconds a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted/Domestic violence is the LEADING cause of injury to women; more than car wrecks & muggings & rapes combined!(thats a heavy thought..)/Studies show that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually/92% of women listed reducing domestic violence & sexual assault as their top concern(OMG & wth? is going on???)/Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs(WOW)/Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup(THIS has got to STOP & is beyond insane)/Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends(more than 3 is far too MUCH..death is final..WHY can’t the man just accept its OVER and divorce or walk away?? )

**The concept of ‘I can’t have you ; so NO ONE else will’ is something many a woman has heard before..BUT in one’s wildest nightmares you’d not imagine that meant he’d kill you..Truth IS for a man to even utter those words OR to threaten a woman is totally! unacceptable..Women have got to learn the signs of a person who is capable of such things. Personally? I don’t stick around long, at all!, by a person who escalates quickly in anger..BIG red flag ladies & instant deal-breaker..RUN before it even gets to a point of dating; and IF you’re truly lucky his true colors will show that early. RUN. No one can change anyone; which is a big mistake alot of women think or feel. It takes a lifetime for some of us to change things we’re perfecting ourselves..So how in the heck can anyone change someone else?!? You can’t is the answer..Great self esteem is a key factor in all of this..or least thats the way I see it. A woman who has good self esteem will simply NOT accept abusive behavior. And for the record  women a controlling or jealous man is NOT cute. It is a sign of far more potentially dangerous things..RUN. Walking or running; might just save your life. I can only pray anything I shared here tonight helps/saves someone. Sharing is caring & I care. Deeply. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)