When I was nine, I saw my cousin's husband beat her. She'd just thrown him out of the house a couple of weeks before. They had a four-year-old and a one-year-old.
He came to the door saying he wanted to see the kids, when she opened the door to tell him to leave, he forced his way in and jumped on top of her hitting her in the face.
He left after my sister called the police. The whole thing probably lasted less than 10 minutes, but in my adolescent mind, it was an eternity. That was the first time domestic violence ever hit that close to home.
I had only seen men beat their wives on television. I had no reason to believe it actually happened. My father didn't beat my mother and to my knowledge, my grandfather never beat my grandmother.
All this happened nearly 18 years ago and I have never forgotten it. My point is, I never will. I still remember the fear in my cousin's eyes and the sheer evil that was in the eyes of her now ex-husband. The whole thing amazed, frightened and saddened me all at the same time.
A little more than a week ago, when news broke that Chris Brown and Rhianna had a domestic incident that resulted in assault on Rhianna, it brought all those feelings back and I don't even know them.
It seems like since everybody started watching Lifetime Movies on Sunday afternoons that we've all become desensitized to domestic violence. We don't hear about it until October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month or a woman in your city has been killed by her abusive husband and the evening news decides to throw the public some statistics.
Our society is based so much on living vicariously through our entertainers and following their every move, it almost feels like I do know them. If that's not enough, I have a couple of young nieces who are in love with that boy and have the nerve to defend him.
Friday night, I sat down to discuss with my 10-year-old niece why she thinks he didn't do it. It went a little something like this:
Niece: He wouldn't do that.
Me: Why the hell not?
Niece: Because he's Chris Brown.
Me: All the more reason for him to believe he could get away with it.
Niece: Well how do you know he did it?
Me: I don't. But if he got arrested for assault on a female, there's a pretty good chance it happened.
Niece: Well, people who didn't do it go to jail all the time.
Me: You're right, but in domestic violence cases, police tend to arrest the aggressors.
Niece: What's an ah-gress-rr?
Me: It's the person who did the most damage.
Niece: Well how you know that she wasn't the ah-gress-rr?
Me: I don't know. But the reports say that she had visable signs that she was abused.
Niece: She coulda just got in a fight with somebody else.
Me: You're right, but the chances are pretty good it was him.
Did I tell ya'll she was 10? I'm gonna get this kid into somebody's law school or j-school, she'd be great at either!
Anyway, odds are you know someone who has been affected by domestic violence in one way or another. I challenge you all to educate yourselves and others. If you are involved in an abusive relationship, get out and get help or get help so you can get out.
Love is not supposed to hurt, it's supposed to be "patient, kind, not puffed up" and everything else it says in I Corinthians. Today is the day that those blood sucking retailers and gullible people have set aside for "love," so let's remember what it actually means.
Make everyday Valentine's Day, tell your loved ones how you feel about them and by all means, keep your hands to yourself!
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