More than one hundred Texas women, 132 to be exact, were killed in 2014 by their partner. That’s an 11% increase from the previous year. That’s frightening, tragic, heartbreaking. That number is alarming. That number is high. That number is so much more than a number. It represents mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, friends, coworkers; that number could be someone you know. That number could have been me.
October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month but it’s still not widely recognized by enough people.
I’m reminded constantly how lucky I truly am to be alive, to enjoy my life, to be happy and safe. I was one beating away from having my life taken. I was so close to becoming a deadly statistic and never even knew it.
That’s why I wish there was more education, more awareness about this deadly crime. I wish when I turned on the TV to watch the Cowboys game, I would see purple socks, ribbons, purple anything to represent this important month. But wait, I guess that would be awkward since how many of their players have been charged with domestic violence?
I’m passionate about bringing awareness to this crime because I survived. I got out but so many others didn’t, so many others are still living in fear and that scares me. It scares me more than ever now because now I have a daughter. I have faith she will not continue the cycle because I will share with her my story, I will share the red flags, I will hope and pray she listens to me but I will also let her go. Let her experience life, experience relationships, and experience the good, the bad and the ugly.
I hold her extra tight tonight as I rock her to sleep. Right now she’s too little to understand or comprehend anything about domestic violence but I hold her tight and cherish the moment because 132 women either never got this experience or they were cut short of the moments like this. 132 women didn’t get out, they couldn’t, they were trapped or for some they did leave, they took that chance, that risk and escaped but their abuser came back. 43% of the women killed in Texas last year had actually ended the relationship so for those who think “just leave” this puts into perspective how difficult it can be to “just leave” and the real cost of getting out.
For us lucky ones who survive domestic violence, it still haunts us. We do not forget. We can’t forget. The bruises have healed on the outside but on the inside, we still feel them. That’s why I wear purple, share articles, spread the message that this month and every month, we need to raise awareness about this deadly crime. We need to do more. We need to decrease that number of deaths.
The Texas Council on Family Violence compiles data from across the state and releases the names of the women killed. You can read about each victim HERE.