Domestic violence thrives in private settings. The domestic abuser is able to carry out his or her violent acts because the victim, in most cases, will not speak up. Perhaps at the start of the violence an attempt was made to reach out for help, but in most places inhabited by human beings with law enforcement, help doesn’t come. The laws seem to offer more protection for the abuser than the abuse victim. A documentary entitled “Private Violence”, an HBO special, is currently being shown. It is produced by Cynthia Hill and tells the story of one woman’s escape from domestic abuse. The documentary features Kit Gruelle, a survivor of domestic violence. Kit has taken on domestic violence in the state of North Carolina in a big way. She wants to end the silence, change the laws, and encourage people to become advocates for domestic abuse victims. Get more information at the following link:

http://privateviolence.com/

Most people wonder why a victim of domestic violence hangs around for more. This documentary explores the answer: the victims have been manipulated into believing that what happens to them is their fault and that leaving their abuser will cost them their lives. The latter is true. As is stated many times by Kit Gruelle: “Leaving an abuser is a process.” In other words it’s not a snap decision because leaving is truly a matter of life and death. Each year victims die as the result of violent domestic abuse. Hence, advocating for a victim can become a very positive and meaningful part of the process. Read about Kit at the following link:

http://www.news.appstate.edu/2014/11/03/private-violence/

“Private Violence” is not a false start. It is a beginning. It is proactive and in your face. As Cynthia Hill says “Why doesn’t she just leave?” is not the question to ask. The questions are many, but a good one to start with is “Why aren’t there better laws in place to end abuse?” I’m on a soap opera. I will have more to say next time. Until then, let’s talk to our friends about domestic violence. Let’s end the silence!

In my new novel “A False Start,” one woman escapes from domestic abuse by using the chaos of 9/11 to disappear. Read the first four chapters at http://www.afalsestart.com

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