Domestic Abuse

Those words on the page seem so simple.  Domestic Abuse.  The clean and legal definition of the injury of one person by another.  When the two have an intimate or marital relationship.  For years it wasn’t even prosecuted.  It was private.  Something that no one discussed.  My great grandparents had a marriage full of abuse.  The Klu Klux Klan in Iowa even burned a cross in their front yard to shame my great-grandfather.  Not only did he beat his wife, he nearly killed one of his children for disobeying, drinking and coming home late…. and being gay, but that is a different story for a different day.

One of our close family friends has been called for jury duty this week.  It’s a domestic abuse case.  The judge has promised all the jurors that it will be a one day trial.  While this is good for the jury and the justice system, it is interesting for me to think about all the suffering this pair has endured to make it to a court date and the knowledge that this will be decided in less than eight hours.  Women are sometimes killed when leaving because the abuser is so hell-bent on control.  I worried about that so many nights.  And I honestly believe that I was justified in that fear.  Hopefully the injured party in this case isn’t bullied, tricked or sweet talked into letting the abuser off.  Hopefully, the jury can offer her some protection.  Hopefully she is strong enough to leave, and willing to take advantage of the people who can help her, without being too proud, or too stubborn, or too embarrassed to admit that things were so bad, for so long!



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