MY SISTER’S STORY OF SURVIVAL: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

My sister and I have always had a close relationship…we’re only 1.5 years apart – grew up in a home with parents who displayed love and affection…Married 32 years – we NEVER saw our parents raise their voice at each other.  My parents taught us to be strong, independent women, showed us the finer things in life – because they never wanted us to ever settle for less. So it came as a shock to me when my sister shared her story of being involved in a brutal, domestic violent filled relationship – for seven years.  And it all happened right under my nose.

To be clear, I knew something wasn’t right…I HATED the guy she was with…(yes, I know hate is a strong word…but I couldn’t find a stronger one to use.)  Anyone who was in my life during that time period knows that I was an emotional wreck…In 2004, my mother passed away, my sister was living in a different city with a guy that I didn’t like and I could not put my hands on what was wrong…and I was very scared for my nieces.  I would get phone calls from family members who lived close to my sister – they would tell me about incidents they witnessed that they felt was out of character for my sister…and when I would call to check in on her – she would always say that everything was ok.  In my heart and spirit, I knew this was not the case –  there was nothing I could do about it, but pray.  My sister and I grew distant during that time because to me, she just was not the same person I knew.