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These are very powerful words looking at the horrors of domestic abuse, Caro. I’m also very sorry to hear that people you know had to endure such a nightmare

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Thank you. I was very naive when I was younger. I couldn’t imagine a close friend was going through that. My friend did get out of the relationship, but like any trauma, it took many years for her to trust someone. We shared an apartment for a few years and spent many nights talking into the wee hours. I also went with her to support groups. It was tough.

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I've read often and talked with professionals in this field who tell me 99% of this kind of abuse comes from close family members and it's 'all a secret even when someone finds out because nobody wants shame or jail time in their family' which strikes me as protecting everyone except the one person who needs and deserves it most. Case in point, I was chatting with a neighbour recently - she was walking her dog about 9PM recently and balked at coming out the door of our building; she saw me approaching wearing a dark toque and couldn't see my face as someone friendly she knows. She stayed safe inside until I entered with my key and took off my headwear. She was trembling. I don't know her very well - we say hello in passing, but that night she opened up about having been molested at age six by a family member who swore her to secrecy or he would kill her. She's rarely told anyone, and has tremendous anxiety about this she's carried all her life. And you might be surprised at her age. 91 ... I'm so glad she shared that with me. We had a pleasant chat that night. That conversation was far more powerful for me to 'understand the issue' than anything I'd heard before.

Keep up the great writing Caro!

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Jan 20Liked by Caro Henry

Beautiful and touching poem. Your words will help others who are struggling

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Thank you. I hope they do.

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Am currently reading "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson. It's a horrific testimony of the kinds of abuse people have endured. (Have you read it?) I have personally, I am grateful, not experienced much abuse in my life. (I think we all may experience a measure of some sort.) I am praying God will heal all of us, and enable us, the best we can, to help others to heal. Christ told us to pray... "forgive us our debts as we also forgive us our debtors." I believe that in that prayer we can include... heal us and fill us in the places where we have been hurt and neglected, and fill and heal people that we've hurt and neglected... and help me to be an instrument of filling and healing.

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Yes. I have not read “Just Mercy.” What is it about some of us that we'd accept abuse of any kind? I have only spoken with women, but many blame themselves for the abuse. A friend who was in an abusive relationship said she was ashamed. At some point, she said getting out and staying out of that relationship was like going through the twelve steps of AA, but in the end, it came down to a lot of time spent in prayer asking for strength and healing.

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Thankfully I have never been physically abused .. at least not in such a way as to evoke mental trauma. When I was growing up, I would sometimes hear of the mother of a friend being beaten by her husband. I had a hard time wrapping my child's mind around such an event as it was so totally foreign to me. Domestic abuse is a crime most horrible. I sincerely hope and pray that anyone in such a situation will be brave and courageous enough to break away and seek help. Sadly, so often the fear is too great.

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Yes. It’s the fear and shame, too. So many people, young, old, male, or female, feel ashamed because the abuser tells them or implies in some way that it's their fault they are being abused!

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