October is domestic violence awareness month. I could quote you a thousand statistics. I could share my own survival story. I could expose the raw pain of it that still washes over me at unexpected moments. But mind numbing facts and emotional voyerism has done little to change the fact that one third of people in this country have lived through hell.
Instead I’m going to tell a story.
One day I was walking down the street in Nashville at lunch time. A man was beating a woman. Lots of people were walking by with disgusted looks while ignoring the woman’s plead for help. Me being me, I jumped in and did my best quippy Buffy impression.
Several people stopped. And then I heard words I will never forget from one of those strangers.
Stay out of it, girl. It’s not your business
A woman was being beaten bloody in broad daylight in my line of vision, and it wasn’t my business. A police officer happened by and took care of the woman. The guy got away. I later learned he had trafficked her and she tried to get away from repeatedly being raped.
The whole incident still bothers me. We hear and see things, and we turn a blind eye with a deaf ear. It’s wrong. It is WRONG.
If you suspect something or you know something yet choose to stay silent you are just as guilty as the person committing to crime. When as a society we do nothing we give permission for every ill. I’m not one for laying blame. But this time, friends, the blame lays squarely on our shoulders when we choose the convenience of silence over the voice of compassion.
Speak up. Speak out. Respond when you have the ability to respond. Make a difference.
Love your neighbor as yourself. All the rest is commentary.