Today I know that I feel lucky, privileged, that my own experience of domestic violence has been limited and short-lived; but that even that brief period of emotional / social violence and manipulation was one of the darkest of my life.
Today I know that I'm thinking of three friends who've suffered enormously from domestic violence, one who had to give birth to her youngest child in a women's shelter, fleeing with her children from a violent partner. Her youngest child, that baby born in the shelter, was the child of rape, the last of many physical, emotional and social violences inflicted on her over several years.
Today I know that women and children everywhere - in my community, perhaps even in my street - are hurting from domestic violence.
(And I know that some men are victims, too. To say - and I do say this, emphatically - that women and children suffer disproportionately is not intended to erase those real and painful experiences of abused men).
Today I know that escaping domestic violence can be incredibly difficult and that judging women who stay with violent partners is not only cruel, but counter-productive.
And today I know that if you or someone close to you is in a situation of domestic violence, that I hope you are able to get help. Reach Out is one place to start.
This post is part of Wanderlust's link-up for Speak Out day. If you are posting today on this topic, please join the Mr Linky over there.)
This post is also part of NaBloPoMo. 18 down, 12 to go!