A woman speaks about going to clergy, doctors, friends and even advocacy agencies to seek help from her violent husband, only to find that they all accussed her of inviting her beatings. The best advice that she recieved was to "relax". Once she even called the police and they didn't even respond to the call, but they called her back later to see if things had "settled down". This woman feels that the only way to get out of her current situation is for her to get an education and a good job, so that she can leave her husband and take of herself and children without him. The only problem now is she has to outlive her husbands attacks.
Martin, Del. 1983. "A Letter from a Battered Wife." In Kesselman et al. Women: Images and Realities: A Multicultural Anthology. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. Pg 424-426.
In the passion of this story resounds the brave voice of a woman who harrased her courage and creativity to overcome domestic violence, religious dependency, and homlessness. Here is an inside look at domestic violence and how it is perpetuated, shown by one who witnessed as a child, endured it in marriage and couragously escaped. The author tells of quitting school at 16 to marry, of bearing eight children ("As far as Lou was concerned, pregnancy was like sex; neither required a wife's consent, and both required her cooperation," she says), of escaping her abusive father and then a husband who for years had rendered her hopeless and terror stricken. Her account of pushing on through homelessness and shelter life with her children in New Yor City to the daylight of education and wholesome surroundings, is inspiring. It is a story of one women's experience about society as a whole. Time to Stop Pretending * by Staphanie Rodriguez.
Physical Battering- The abuser's physical attacks or aggresive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent attacks.
Sexual Abuse- Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual violence wherein the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activiity.
Psychological Battering- The abuser's psychological or mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property.
Arrests and prosecutions * in general are up. Many police forces are only now beginning to make arrests for reported domestic violence, However, the prepertrators rarely serve any time in jail or other punishments for their crime. In the meantime, women are using various means to cope with their struggle, such as art.* Domestic Violence isn't just a problem in the United States, but it is a problem for women all over the world *.
Poem by Mitsuye Yamada
* All annotations are on the Annotations page which is linked above
Women's Studies *