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Activism - Art - Authorship

☀Stay Safe and Protected in Your Light☀

Domestic Violence, It's Victims and the Power of Silence.

Intimate Partner Violence

"According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes."

Domestic Violence - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf, Feb 17, 2021

"Molly Elizabeth Lillard, the 28-year-old daughter of Toon, and a former star volleyball player at the University of Michigan, was shot to death on Sunday and found outside of her home by authorities at around 5 p.m. following reports of a shooting."

This morning I woke up to the headline, 'Tragic Loss': Moly Lillard of Ex-NY Jets Legend AL Toon, Killed by Husband in Murder-Suicide," and it broke my heart. Another beautiful young woman is now relegated to the statistical proof that intimate partner domestic violence is a scourge within our society. Talented, this young woman still had much to give to the world. I am not a sports fan, so I am not familiar with her journey. Nevertheless, my heart breaks to see the senseless loss of a young life. The National Statistics Domestic Violence Fact Sheet states that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. As I write this, there are women and men across the USA suffering in silence, hoping their silence will bring them another day, another breath. Unfortunately, for some, this hope will shatter under the weight of violence. How silent was Molly Elizabeth? Did she share her pain with anyone? Did they help or listen? If they attempted to relieve and those efforts failed, the pain they must feel today after her death must be abysmal. The effects of domestic violence also affect those who are not directly involved. Did silence cost her life?

In a March 31, 2020 post on l'Raise Girls and Boys INTL, titled "The Silence of Abuse," Shanequa Moore shares some reasons for the silence under violence. An organization that started in 2012 as a mentoring program for girls 9-18 years old, the primary mission of this organization is to help young people become successful in life. Although Molly Elizabeth Lillard was 28 years old, she was still a young woman probably silenced at some level under abuse.

In the piece, Moore talks about why victims do not come forward regarding the abuse they face:

Victims are often viewed as the blame and punished by family members, friends, and at times the child welfare system, for remaining in violent relationships. Victims are fearful of leaving violent or abusive relationships, often because the abuser uses manipulation, intimidation, and threats to cause the victim to remain silent and keep it a secret from their family and loved ones.

Reading the article about this beautiful young woman's death made me wonder how much she suffered in silence behind closed doors. As I write this piece, my heart aches for her as I try to imagine how she felt each day of her suffering.

When I was a young child and a teenager, I saw that pain and suffering first hand. My mother was brutalized regularly by my father, who beat her for the silliest of reasons. She attempted to further her education, but he went after her and shamed her in front of everyone. I saw her silence, and then I saw her attempts to reach out for help, only to be blamed by others for standing up and running away to protect herself and her children. In the end, she often returned because of his coaxing only for the violent cycle to begin again. These patterns of behaviors affected and infected my life as a child and a young woman leading to the same behaviors and patterns in my intimate relationships as I matured. Only an illness in my early fifties brought the clarity, awareness, presence, acceptance, and gratitude needed for me to break free of the addictive, violent cycle of abuse.

Today, every day is a fight against old inherited habits; as I continue struggling with these negative tendencies from my past, I am in a better place because I now value myself and my life. However, I know this fight will continue as long as I live. Sadly, I have no idea about Molly Elizabeth Lillard's mindset or what was in her heart. Unfortunately, all we have is the result. She is no longer with us because her husband shot her, and her body was found outside her home as she ran for her life. Mindless violence and abuse have claimed yet another life.

Please! Make. It. Make. Some. Sense.

Further Reading:

"The Silence of Abuse"

Domestic Violence

Why Do Domestic Violence Victims Stay Silent?

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