Thursday, October 10, 2013

More Than Jewelry - Supporting Domestic Violence

A short while ago, a young couple moved into the apartment below my husband and me. I had not taken much notice of them until a couple nights ago, when I overheard them fighting. The fighting continued to progress, and I began to here something being banged around, and the screaming of the young girl, pleading for her boyfriend to stop. Instantly, I called the police, but it seemed as if it was taking forever for them to get there. Something inside me though made me go down there. I was scared, but I know that when I get this gut instinct, I have to forget how I feel and go for it.

As I was going down to the young couples apartment, the police arrived, and I was able to direct them to which apartment it was. The police knocked on the door, and brought the girl outside, where the officer began talking to the girl. I knew she was not going to press charges against her boyfriend, and this meant that police really could not do anything. So instead, I interrupted the officer, and asked if I could say something. He said sure. Speaking to the girl, I told her that if she ever needed someone to talk to, that I just lived upstairs. I had heard everything, and knew what she was going through, as I had been there as well. After saying my piece, I went back to my apartment, knowing that was all I needed to say.

Around 4 this morning, I woke up to crying and screaming coming from the apartment below. Without thinking, I threw on some clothes and ran downstairs. I saw that the window was cracked open, and started yelling, “get your hands off of her right now.” The door suddenly opened; it was the young girl. I told her to go to my apartment, that the door was open, and we both ran up the stairs. After we both got inside, I locked the door. It all happened so quickly. I was still in the process of collecting my thoughts, as I had just woken up.

A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door. We both knew it was the boyfriend, and she said that she had better go. I asked her to please stay and at least hear what I had to say first. To my surprise, she agreed. Her boyfriend continued knocking on the door, so I answered. He demanded to talk to his girlfriend, but I told him that was not going to happen until I got a chance to chat with her first, and that he could now get out of here.

I talked with her for a couple of hours. She truly is a sweet young girl, who had moved up here with her boyfriend in search of an oilfield job. Now, she just wished she could go back home, but she did not have the means to do so. Unbeknownst to her, I was a person that could make that happen though. I told her about what I did for a living, and that I raise money for victims of domestic violence through the sale of my empowerment bracelets. If she wanted help getting back home, I told her I was more than willing to help her; that I would be here whenever she needed me, and that ultimately, the decision was up to her.

However, I felt in my heart that she would go back to him, at least for now. I understand that though, as I had been in the same situation in the past. One can not be forced to leave someone; it must be there own decision. At least she knows now that there is a way out.
Now, when I am writing this, it is 6:30 in the morning. Reflecting on this mornings events, I see that everything does happen for a reason. I never thought that when I started making these empowerment bracelets, that I would personally be helping these women. Instead, I had planned on giving the money to the domestic violence shelter, and they would be able to take care of everything. But because of the support I have gotten from everyone who has purchased one of these bracelets (and I truly thank you all), I have been blessed with the opportunity to share my story these young women, as well as help them escape from their abusers. Without your support, this would not have been possible.-


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