Living in Fear

by Afiya Augustine

Thursday, February 21, 2008

An extremely talented woman was dating a guy whom she thought she could love and trust. Things were going great, until she found out that he was cheating on her. She decided to end the relationship, and then things became not-so-friendly. He started to harass her and she didn’t say or do anything to protect herself, or her daughter. One night, he came to her apartment, busted down the door, and attacked her. He left her badly bruised by everything from his hands to his feet. It was only then, after such a vicious attack, that she decided to seek help.

This isn’t just a story, a made-up warning. It’s true. When my sister went to visit this woman, her friend, she saw firsthand the broken locks on the door and the fright in the woman’s eyes. She was anxious, uncomfortable in her own skin and in her own home, and completely paranoid that he would come back to finish her off. Another friend stayed with her overnight to keep her company, and she left her daughter at a family member’s home, just in case. But why should this woman—or any woman—have to live in fear?

Living in fear of your domestic partner, family member, or friend should not be an option. There is no such thing as “excusable abuse.” I hear stories of women saying, “well, no one understands how he feels,” or “she doesn’t really mean to do it—she’s just stressed,” trying to justify what a loved one is doing to them. There have been too many cases across the world where people are laying their hands down on women because they think that they are defenseless and helpless and, worst of all, not going to say anything about it. The abuse needs to stop.

If you or someone you know is being victimized, something needs to be done. Talk to someone: call a friend, another relative, or the authorities and let them know that you are a part of an unhealthy relationship. You can not live feeling like your safety and welfare is being can be endangered all for the sake of protecting a human being who obviously has no intention of caring for your feelings and security. You should never have to live in fear of the person you love.

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