Leaving court, the victim’s elderly mother was propped up by her two strapping sons. Justice served, the violent ex-husband was guilty as hell.
Yet, was I the only one who questioned the verdict? The only one struck by their own guilt?
The writing was on the wall. So, why didn’t we act?
More than once, I’d seen the tell-tale, heavy makeup. Yet, I never tried to wipe it away. Call a spade a spade. Rather, I observed the code of silence, and touched up my own face.
Peeling off this mask won’t be easy, but I’m changing course.
I will survive.
In parenting circles, you often hear the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. However, what you hear less often, if at all, is that it takes the village to keep its citizens safe. Moreover, that we as individuals have a responsibility to look out for each other. To step in, especially when a mate is in trouble. However, where the waters start to get more murky, is when it comes to domestic violence. Interfering in someone else’s relationship is seen as a no-go zone. However, it can reach a point where someone’s life might be at risk and we need to step in. Yet, what are we supposed to do? We’re a friend, a brother, sister, parent…not an expert. The one thing I do know, is that we somehow need to find a way, and a quiet place, to ask the next question. Present yourself as a safe place…a harbour in the storm. That at least leaves the door open for someone to turn to us about a whole swag of issues before it’s too late. Don’t just ask if they’re okay. Follow your gut and never give up.
By the way, I’d just like to add that men can also be victims of domestic violence.
It’s not altogether surprising that I addressed this issue tonight. The body of a young woman was found beside the freeway today, when my Mum was driving up to see us. It drove home yet again why we can’t turn a blind eye.
This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz 😀 (Thanks, Ted)