As I begin to write this, I find myself in tears. Each and every time I hear of domestic abuse, my very soul shudders. I’ve seen battered women my whole life. Some of my family members and friends have been victims. I’ve personally known some of the perpetrators. Even before I became the victim in a mentally/emotionally abusive marriage, I detested the perpetrator. I don’t care who he was/is, family member or friend, I detest(ed) him.
From that day back in 2007, when I met the lady who would become one of my closest friends, we’ve had an incredible connection. Her son befriended my son almost immediately after we moved to Allen and school started. I befriended her during one of their middle school football games. I was hollering like I didn’t have good sense after her son scored a touchdown and since she was sitting nearby and heard me, she was cracking up. Her son had been to my home by that time but I had not yet met her. Since that night, we have shared a bond that is unbreakable. She would do anything for me. I would move a mountain for her. When I suffered that hemorrhage, she came to see me as soon as she could and cried like it happened to her. If there was any way possible that I could take her tears away today, I would. If there was any way possible for me to fill the void in her and her family’s lives, I would. That would mean bringing her sister-in-law, Mishell back. That would mean another woman would not have died as the result of domestic violence.
On the morning of April 28th, Mishell’s husband stabbed her repeatedly in the neck and chest after they had argued about him using the rent and food money to buy crack. He had planned this. He would push aside his plan to kill her when the arguments would subside. She had threatened to put him out but he had decided that he wasn’t going to let that happen. Even as I’m sitting here, I cannot wrap my mind around the level of evil this man possessed. Tuesday was the day that he decided to carry through with his plan and murder her. He had hidden two knives under the seat of their car and after she came out of Dollar General, where they’d gone to pick up bread, he stabbed her multiple times in the chest and neck. After he killed her, he walked into the store, told a cashier what he had done and asked her to call the police.
This is a small tribute to Mishell. She was a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, a sister, a niece and an aunt, and a friend. This is about a fallen angel whose death has had a staggering, numbing effect on her family and friends. By all accounts, she was an amazing person. She was giving. She was kind. She was loving. She believed in allowing second chances. This last fact may well be why she is no longer with us. Her life is over but her memory will never leave those who knew her. She will watch over the ones she loved from a higher place.
Another human being (and I use that term lightly) decided when it was time for her to go. This is a prime example of the fact that abusers clutch control.
Here are some sobering statistics about domestic abuse. These number are provided by the FBI.
- According to the FBI, a woman is battered every 15 seconds.
- Louisiana ranks 2nd in the nation for homicides related to domestic abuse.
- 2-4 million American women are abused each year.
- White, Black, Hispanic & Non-Hispanic women have equivalent rates of violence committed by intimate partners.
- Nearly 1/2 of men who abuse their female partners, also abuse their children.
- Up to 50% of homeless women and children in this country are fleeing domestic violence.
- Studies show that women face the greatest risk of assault when they leave or threaten to leave their partners, or report the abuse to authorities.
Stop turning away when you see it happening. Stop thinking that it’ll get better. It’s time to stop burying women who have died at the hands of their abusers. It’s obvious that abuse can occur in any demographic. It can happen to ANY woman. It’s time for it to stop.