Tuesday, March 9, 2010
by Diane Fanning
When I was in my first marriage, I did not see my husband as an abuser. I did not see myself as a victim. I was fooling myself. Although he did not hit me, he sometimes left bruises on my arms from holding them too tightly and, on occasion, he shoved me. But for the most part, the mistreatment I experienced was mental and emotional.
I was afraid of him, intimidated by him, cowed into an overwhelming sense of worthlessness. Toward the end, I was actually crossing the street to avoid people I knew, because I had allowed him to convince me that others only spoke to me out of pity. And I didn’t think I was a victim. I’d seen pictures of abuse victims—battered, bleeding, or dead—and that wasn’t me.
I was wrong. Without realizing it, I risked my life and that of my daughter. After a dramatic departure in the middle of an ice storm, I was safe, but it could have turned out so differently. I was lucky. Many women are not. Oftentimes, the first serious incident of domestic violence is a homicide.
I’ve written books about some of these cases and have learned through my research that the most dangerous time of any woman’s life is from the moment she makes the decision to leave to up to two years after she acts upon it. If you are planning on leaving your spouse or know a woman who is, you must have TIME’S UP by Susan Murphy-Milano.
Susan explains abuse simply and clearly in the beginning of the book so thoroughly it left me shaking and in tears, even decades after my escape from that bad relationship. I was stunned to read so much about my experience and know I was not alone. Then she takes the reader through everything she needs to do in preparation for departure, including precautions, tips and forms to make the planning and implementation part of a process rather than a helter-skelter act of desperation.
I cannot emphasize how important this book is to all the women in your life. Even if you are in a good, stable relationship, buy this book and keep it handy. One day, when you least expect it, someone close to you will need it. It can save a life—many lives.Tweet