Late on a Sunday night in an unfamiliar city
Sitting in my van with a Monster drink in my hand
Trying to wake up enough to drive
Back to my cozy bed.
I also did not expect to see a young woman: you
Standing there in the parking lot
Asking for gas money outside my window.
At first I said no.
I do not often give cash to strangers.
You silently turned and slowly walked away
It was then I saw the bruises and scrapes
On your bared back, and I knew.
"Hey! WAIT!" And you turned back to face me.
"Are you OK? Has someone hurt you?"
You nodded. Your boyfriend beat you again and again.
Broken ribs, broken glass, in and out of the hospital.
Three years you have been with him.
Gone back five times. And I thought,
Five times too many. Five times to hell.
You needed gas money to leave town. I gave you $20.
You asked for a hug. I wrapped my arms around you.
Then I rummaged around for bandages and salve.
I wished I could heal your wounded heart but I can't.
I could only do my small part with love.
And I said to you, and I say again now:
“Do not go back! You are precious in God's sight.
You deserve better. He is not worth it!”
And you wept: “I know. But I love him. I keep hoping...”
Oh no, sweet one, no. Your monster will not change.
If you keep going back, he will keep being cruel.
It is his permission to do as he wishes.
Why should he change if you come back for more?
This is not love. It is bondage.
It is far better to be alone than to be abused.
Do not go back. No matter what, do not go back.
There is a different life ahead of you,
A life of freedom and wholeness.
Reach out and walk forward with open eyes.
You can do this. I will help.
Most of all, I hope that this dear young woman finds safety, peace, and a new life.
A word to the rest of you: Open your eyes. Be aware. Don't be afraid. Offer compassion, not judgment. You can make a difference.
- Lynn's Story: A Dangerous Engagement
- We Can't Ignore Domestic Violence
- Bonding and Bondage in Abusive Relationships
- What to Do about Toxic Power in Marriage
Articles on Other Web Sites
- The Domestic Violence Fact Sheet
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Help Guide: Domestic Violence and Abuse
- The Stained Glass Story of Domestic Violence
- Out of the Fog Now
- Why Women Stay
- Power and Control Wheel
- Trauma Bonding by Michael Samsel
- Trauma Bonding, Children & The Lesson in a Mechanical Duck
- Gaslighting Technique
- Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser by Joseph Carver, PhD
- Stockholm Syndrome at RAINN