Thursday, November 4, 2010

What If She's An Angel

Those of you who follow me on twitter probably know it's been a weird/rough couple of days for me. I'm not really in the mood to give a lot of details as to why right now, but I'm sure, in time, I'll share my story for those of you who don't know it.

This morning as I was getting ready for work I had my iPhone playing on shuffle and a song came on that I haven't heard in a long time. It was Brad Paisley's version of What if She's an Angel.  It's a powerful song - one that I think of often when I see people struggling.  Here's the second verse and chorus:

There's a man
And there's a woman
Living right above you in apartment G
There's alot of noise coming through the ceiling
And it don't sound like harmony
You can sit there with your TV turned up
While the words and his anger fly
Come tomorrow when you see her with her shades on
Can you look her in the eye

What if she's an angel sent here from heaven
And she's making certain that you're doing your best
To take the time to help one another
Brother are you going to pass that test
You can go on with your day to day
Trying to forget what you saw in her face
Knowing deep down it could have been her saving grace
What if she's an angel

A bit cheesey - yes, but it's an important message. Domestic violence is messy and I understand not wanting to get involved, but I'm going to ask you to do just that. If you hear or see something that isn't right, pick up the phone. If you see a friend with bruises time and time again, don't force your friend to make up excuses, instead offer help or support. Trust me when I say that sometimes all it takes is knowing there are people (or even just ONE person) to turn to for help for an abuse victim to leave.

From Safe Horizon:

The Victims

  • One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. 
  • Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
  • Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner (30%) than men (5%).
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her partner.

The Families

  • Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
  • Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence are also victims of abuse or neglect in 30% of 60% of such cases.
  • A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home show greater symptoms of trauma, including more illnesses.
  • A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which places the child at great risk for injury or even death.

The Circumstances

  • Domestic violence is most likely to occur between 6pm and 6am for both female and male victims.
  • Domestic violence happens at home in more than 60% of reported incidents.
  • More domestic violence-related homicides occur in rural areas than in suburban or urban areas.

The Consequences

  • Among battered women living in shelters, 88% experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of domestic violence.
  • Among women brought to emergency rooms because of domestic violence, most were socially isolated, had lower self-esteem, and had fewer social and financial resources than other women not injured because of domestic violence.
  • Girls who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become victims themselves, thus continuing the cycles of victimization.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are also far more likely to become abusers, of both their spouses/partners and their children, thus perpetuating the cycles of violence in their own homes.
  • Nearly 50% of homeless women and children are homeless because of domestic violence.
  • Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.


Change the facts – speak up, speak out, and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.

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