This is a re-print regarding the Stacy Peterson case from 11/11/2007 . Stacy Peterson vanished on October 28, 2007. The blog is dedicating a full week to bring awareness that Stacy is out there somewhere and we need to find her.
This morning spattered across the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times..in big bold block letters "WHAT WAS SHE DOING WITH HIM? My head was spinning as I read the article with my morning coffee. Why? In my opinion Stacy Peterson is being placed on a national public serving platter like a turkey at thanksgiving being plucked away about her less than perfect childhood as an explanation for why someone like "this" marries men such as Drew Peterson.
She is after all, a potential murder victim. The public are the judge and jury as they read less than favorable words of a woman, who is not here to defend herself. So I will.
As the daughter of a Chicago Police Detective, my father was very violent. My first memory is that of my father Phillip Murphy beating my mothers head against and iron bed rail, watching the blood slowly run out of her thick brown hair and onto the wooden floor, trailing in a fine line until it made a pattern in between the wooden groves. And I, running to a chair, barely able to dial the O for the opertator, as I placed a call on the rotary telephone in the kitchen for help. When the police arrived, as they had done so often during my young years, they did nothing. Many nights my father would come home drunk and violent, the repeated behavior would become a regular part of our lives. Often my father would tell my mother " You know Roberta, no one will ever listen to you, I'm a cop, who do you think they're gonna believe." As he did so often dragging her about the house by her hair , sometimes to get his point across he'd throw her head up onto the kitchen stove and turn on a burner or two, informing her in his angry tone, "See, I could kill you right now, burn the house down with you and the kids and no one would be the wise." "So, Roberta, dummy up".
My mother finally had the courage to leave in 1988. Then in January of 1989, after they divorced as my father continued to stalk and harass her, his final act of control as in all abusive relationships was to take her life and then kill himself. He use to say, "If I can't have you no one will."
In the marriage of Drew and Stacy Peterson, she faced the same life threatening situation. And she knew it. What she did not know was that he would kill again. She believed he loved her enough not to harm a hair on her head. And that if he did she surely as I write this, had a safety net, wife #3 Kathy Savio would be her protective Armour into remaining alive. But, as most abusers do, Drew was cocky and confident in his plan, certain that no one would figure he would have had anything to do with her disappearance. After all, look at her family background. She grew up in a less than perfect home, as did many of us. And she dreamed of a better life with the first person who showed her kindness and affection. That is appealing to anyone who was read fairy tale stories as a child, wishing their life, would begin, with a prince taking her away from everything that was unpleasant and evil.
As most abusive victims will do, Stacy Peterson grew, over time, into a strong confident woman. When the abuse was no longer acceptable, she looked at her two young children, possibly thinking back on her own life and decided to make changes that did not include abuse, control and violence. She made plans to move forward, as to not repeat the cycle of violence. For that, she is to be commended.
Abusers are cold and calculating, many are also, below the radar, or in this case above the law. They plan carefully how to regain control of what they feel is their property. No different than a title to a house or a car, a relationship to thses cowards, whom we call men, equals nothing more than ownership. They grow up in less than perfect homes. They have no respect for women. Many carry the lessons learned from childhood into adulthood. Some as in this case, become policemen, like Drew Peterson. These men who abuse live among us, in our community. They attend church. They are the first to offer assistance to other neighbors. They appear to have a heart of gold. They have mastered the art of manipulation in everything they do. And, sadly, we believe them as they suck us into their less than perfect world.
To print a story such as the one today, helps no one and serves no purpose. It only adds to the plight of those women aross the county who are alive and trying to leave their abusive relationships in futher turmoil, offering no hope, but rather the continued victim blaming by our society. Instead, the story should focus on "Safety Plans" for escape, legal services and an action plan for their lives.